Work with schools
As part of the outreach programme, which formed a large element of the Lottery Application, we worked with five local primary schools and one secondary school with an Archaeology Club. The schools had one classroom visit for a day of activities and presentations and a half day visit to the site. They were given an introduction to archaeology and the techniques used and then a more specific look at the medieval period and the occupation of longhouses. Groups were rotated through four activities during the day. They had a chance to handle real objects from OAN’s school collection ranging from flint scrapers through medieval pottery to clay pipes. They excavated modern objects buried in sand trays recording their progress in stages as the sand was scraped away. We made a length of trench, partly drawn and partly made of real objects, which they recorded using planning frames. A number of sieves were used to show how small objects might be missed if the holes were too big. Finally, they had a chance to reconstruct items of broken pottery. It was great to see the cooperation and hear the range of language during the activities.
The site visits had the full range of summer weather but only one of the groups got really soaked. The walk up to the site had a history timeline going back a year for each metre walked with board highlighting the events for each fifty year period. At the site, children took part in different activities looking at the excavation, the surrounding area and drew part of the enclosure walls. Two schools were able to dig in one metre square sections over areas highlighted by the geophysics but no finds were made.