Several schools such as Lisnafunchin NS, Glenwood PS, St Brigid’s NS and Inchicore NS made use of local historians in their research. Sometimes the historian supported the teachers by sharing expertise about particular topics. At other points they became a powerful figure in engaging the children directly with stories and facts.
In St Brigid’s, Haddington Road a local historian brought children on trip to local Barracks, while a second historian has made available recordings of people from the area talking about housing conditions in tenement buildings.
Case Study: Inchicore NS-Visits
A local woman with knowledge of transport works and link to the locomotive “Maedb”–became a catalyst for a school trip to the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum to see the Maedb. Teacher, Gemma Kenny explains.
Case study: Lisnafunchin NS, Kilkenny
A local historian was able to bring artefacts from the time including original weapons
Case study: Glenwood PS -Local Historian
In Glenwood PS, Belfast, Bobby the historian engaged the children with a wealth of resources, including artefacts, guided tours of the Shankill area. He was an amazing resource for the teacher.
Kathryn Connolly, the teacher from Glenwood PS in Belfast started the project by asking the children to bring in objects and stories from their families and area but despite several attempts she wasn’t getting the response that she had hoped. At that point she decided to call in some support and contacted a local historian called Bobby Foster through the Shankill Spectrum Centre, who proved to be a great asset for the project. A local resident, Bobby was very passionate about the Shankill and as well as giving them a general sense of history from 100 years ago, he engaged the children through historical stories and objects connected with their area.
He supplied Kathryn with old photos of the Shankill Road. By comparing them to contemporary images of the road, the children were able to contrast the photographs with their experience of the surrounding streetscape. It was a great starting point for the research as it immediately anchored the work in a familiar place. Kathryn realised that the children were very good at spotting buildings and landmarks – in some cases better than her as she didn’t come from the Shankill Road area herself.
“Not being from the area, I didn’t really know any of the places in the pictures, which was great because the kids knew.”
-Kathryn, Teacher, Glenwood PS
The historian talked to them in the school and then brought them out on walks where he was able to show them changes in the landscape over time. They could make links back to images that their teacher had shown them of the Shankill road over the years. In Woodvale Park Bobby showed the children a unique War Memorial. It commemorates soldiers from the allied forces in Europe but also remembers the German soldiers who died. There was a also a Peace Tree planted just after WW1 and in a local graveyard they were able to find graves of WW1 soldiers that he had been telling them about in school.