Powerstown Educate Together National School holds it's annual Heritage Week

Last November Aoife McGonige from Powerstown E.T.N.S. got in touch with us to tell us about their plans to hold a Heritage Week in January. The Heritage in Schools Scheme was delighted to offer some support for the event.

For the past 3 or 4 years the school has held a week long celebration of history with Aoife at the helm!  Aoife curates a 'mini museum' of artefacts that she has collected/borrowed and invites parents to donate to the collection. The children visit the mini-museum during the week and explore the items on display: copies of old maps; a 'guess the artefact' section which is a daily display of an unusual item and the children guess what the item might have been used for; a 'guess the baby' display using photos of staff as babies - the results of which are revealed at assembly on the Friday.  Other events during the week include a visit from a Heritage in Schools Expert; Grandparents Day; Show-and-Tell (children and/or parents bring in items of historical or cultural interest) and sometimes there are even mini-archaeological indoor digs with the infant classes.

This year two Heritage in Schools Experts visited the children for their Heritage Week:

Catherine McGuinness cultivated fantastic exploratory learning in her hands-on heritage session! The children investigated a range of objects including call cards, paraffin lamp, candle holders, ink well, ink bottles, fans, shaving jug, silver serving forks, a tea chest and a stamp box dating to 10, 20, 30, 100 and 200 years ago. They examined the materials the artefacts were made from; made predictions as to what they were used for, by whom and when and gasped with delighted when learning more about the items! The opportunity to handle domestic artefacts from a broad range of history was invaluable to the children's understanding of history.

Ragnar son of Olaf (Heritage Specialist Iain Barber) literally brought Viking history alive during his interactive, in-role heritage session! Through the direct teaching portion of the visit - the foundation was laid for the children's understanding and learning about the topic of the Vikings. Building on this, Ragnar the viking paid a visit bringing the children on a wondrous journey through Viking history using story, facts, maps, artefacts and imagination. As the children handled the seemingly never-ending collection of Viking artefacts on display they became enthralled in the period, eliciting a much deeper learning than any textbook could muster!