HERITAGE FOCUS FOR LOCAL SCHOOLS
The Grand Theatre has begun work with a cluster of local schools in Blackpool on the Historic England Scheme: Heritage Schools Award.
Heritage Schools Award is a national programme which brings together clusters of schools in eight regions across England. Through this scheme children develop a sense of pride in where they live, understand and feel more connected to their local heritage and learn about how the place they live in fits within a national story.
The first cohort of teachers from Blackpool schools are working towards their Heritage Schools Award gaining researching skills and learning to use heritage resources more confidently. Through events and activities, delivered by the school and children, the local school’s community will become involved and learn a little too!
The Grand’s Creative Learning team kick started the programme in Autumn 2017 with a full day of training for the teachers. In the morning, they were treated to a behind the scenes tour of The Grand, trained in how to use historic maps and aerial photographs and taken on a breezy heritage trail around Blackpool town centre. The afternoon was focused on getting to know the Local History Centre (based at Blackpool Central Library) and the Heritage Service. They were shown an array of real artefacts from Blackpool’s collections which explored the life of Dr William Henry Cocker (the first Mayor of Blackpool from 1876 – 1879), often referred to as the ‘Father of Blackpool’.
All the teachers went away inspired and excited about using their new skills, resources and brimming with ideas about how to incorporate them into the curriculum.
To support this first cohort of local schools in achieving their Heritage Schools Award in 2018, the Grand Theatre and Historic England will be providing further professional development days with teachers and Blackpool’s local heritage partners.
Daisy Horsley, Historic England’s Local Heritage Education Manager for the North West Heritage Schools programme said; ‘There is a lot of brilliant local heritage work going on in schools in Blackpool at the moment. The online Heritage Schools Award is an easy way for schools to record, and gain recognition for, their local heritage work. Historic England are looking forward to awarding plaques to those schools who tell us what they are doing and share their work with others. The online award is in a developmental phase at the moment – a number of schools who are involved in the wider Heritage Schools Programme are trialling the system – but we hope to roll the initiative out to other schools in the future.’
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