-Siobhan Coleman, Teacher, Laghey PS
What we are learning
This work is not just about the facts and stories that have been uncovered, although some of these are full of interest and worth: above all, the project needed to be child-led. This approach has required a huge amount of resourcefulness from all concerned, as often the material doesn’t exist in a form that is easily accessible, particularly for younger children or those with English as a second language. In this phase the role of the writer and artist was in supporting children and teachers in their research, encouraging them to dig deeper into local and family history. The aim was to empower the children as independent researchers.
As child and teacher, writer and artist, participants needed to be inventive in finding ways of discovering information, engaging with that information in a meaningful way and recording the work effectively so that it can be interpreted creatively in Phases 2 & 3.
Strong source material
No matter what period in history is being investigated, strong source material is crucial in order to catch the children’s imagination: but where to begin? The following are some of the strategies used by teachers and children in the project so far.