Ancient Britons at Hooke Court School

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Richard McNeal and Alan Vian as ancient Britons Richard McNeal and Alan Vian as ancient Britons

CHILDREN at Hooke Court School will be getting a vivid history lesson next month when their teachers turn into ancient Britons.

Three tutors are planning to live as ancient Britons in the school’s own history settlement for a week.

Six schools, five local to Bridport, will be taking part.

Headteacher Sarah McConnell said: “In order to maximise the experience for everyone, we have invited local schools to come and spend some time with the tutors who will guide them around their ‘home’, talk to them about their activities and allow them to try various tasks – weaving, grinding, Celtic face painting etc.”

Schools nationwide have also been invited to interact over the internet and the school will be broadcasting twice daily through YouTube.

Mrs McConnell added: “Schools nationwide have been invited to watch our broadcasts, help solve our problems and interact with the tutors through YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or email.”

Every day watchers will be able see the tutors tackling aspects of Celtic life.

Chris McConnell, field studies director, said the project was partly in response to the changes being made to the history curriculum.

He said: “We are trying to live as Celts for a week. The reason behind that is that from September the primary school history curriculum is changing with a much greater emphasis on ancient history. We thought that the best way to do it was to do it for real.

“We have lots of ideas of things to do that the kids might find educationally of value as well as being fun.

“We will be tackling a whole range of ancient civilisation skills.”

These will include building a wattle fence, attempting some Celtic face art, building and using an authentic bread oven, constructing and using a loom, using natural dyes in the processing of fleece, making felt, flint knapping, fire lighting, building and using a kiln, making soap, tallow candles and brewing barley beer.

Schools will be asked for help and advice so pupils can think about the sources of natural dye or recipes for oat cakes or mutton stew.

The living history project starts on April 22.

Mr McConnell added that the project would go ahead whatever the weather.

“That’s part of the experience – we have to work in all weathers and all conditions.

“We have an ancient settlement we have built in Hooke Court and it will be as comfortable or an uncomfortable as it would be for real.”

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