Our Year 7 pupils were taken on a “Source Walk” around the school grounds and buildings this week as part of their history lessons.
The object of the exercise was to help the children seek historical evidence when they visit historic sites. We looked at the Eighteenth Century style of architecture at Pitsford Hall and our pupils considered the lives of those who might have liberty and viewed a plan of the Hall from when it was a house still lived in by a family.
The pupils were told about looking at census returns to find out who lived and worked in the house at different times. We also looked at pictures showing the royal connections of Pitsford Hall before the Second World War. From looking at the photographs, the children can now recognise King George VI and the late Queen Mother.
We continued our exploring by looking at the rather overgrown gravestones of Mrs Drummond’s dogs and cats behind the teaching block. We went on walking further in the school grounds and came across the Nun’s graveyard. We looked at the evidence we had found about the Polish nuns who ran a school before it closed and became what is now Pitsford School. We considered the historical events that led to the Nuns being at Pitsford Hall.
As we wandered through the grounds we observed the different styles of architecture in the development of the site. The Sunley building with opened by Margaret Thatcher but given that she resigned over 27 years ago some of the children seemed quite vague about who she was!
The historical walk is an annual event for Year 7 ran by our teachers who would like to encourage our pupils (and parents!) to take part in National Trust houses, castles and other historical sites to gain a real sense of learning from history. From places to artefacts, photographs and natural surroundings there is always more behind the scenes to learn than expected.
Our Year 7 pupils are now confident in how sources inform our knowledge and understanding of history.