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About the Project
The "Living History" project was first proposed for the 5ème (Y8, 8th grade students) in April 2000 and subsequently piloted during the academic year 2000 - 2001. The idea behind the project is to cut down on "chalk and talk" by taking the students outside school on visits relevant to their programme. Logistically this involved adjusting the timetable in such a way that four half classes (around 52 students) could have a three hour slot once every two weeks where the visits could take place. At the same time, the other four half classes remained in school for one hour to take part in a history and English workshop where history and English teachers work as a team to help the students develop their writing skills in history. The following week the half groups are reversed. The overall schedule slot for this project is therefore two hours per week over a two week period.
This type of project requires a dedicated teaching staff who are willing to put in extra hours making on-site pre-visit assessments, reserving guides, preparing work sheets and, of course, establishing a visit timetable for the year. These teachers also need to be able to adapt when one or more of any number of factors involved in the planning go wrong at the last moment! Finally, it is impossible to establish a project of this kind without the help and encouragement of parents who are willing to accompany the visits and help ensure the security of the students.
The pilot project proved to be a great success in the opinion of all concerned. This year the teachers are working to finalise the written material needed for each visit. This material will be made available as .pdf downloads from the Open Door Web Site.