Champion Heritage Schools Scheme Launches in the Midlands
Historic England has selected two schools from across the region to join a new scheme aimed at championing the value of teaching local heritage.
The Hall School, in Glenfield, Leicestershire and Dawley Brook Primary School, in Kingswinford both join just six other schools in England awarded Champion Heritage School status in recognition of their commitment to local heritage.
The Hall School, Leicestershire, has been part of the Heritage Schools programme for two years and, last year, they achieved the Heritage School Award. As part of the award, The Hall School will receive £1,000 to support this work. The school has embraced local heritage, embedding it across the curriculum, and use the local area to enhance learning in a variety of subjects.
They have delivered a variety of inspiring local heritage projects, such as taking part in a mock suffragette rally where they sang suffragette songs, marched with banners and delivered speeches to the crowd. The children have taken part in an archaeological dig with the University of Leicester at Bradgate Park.
As this is the first year of Champion Heritage Schools, teacher and pupils at Dawley Brook Primary School will play a key role in shaping the scheme’s activities and its future development. Such activities could include testing new local heritage education resources, developing a panel of young heritage ambassadors and sharing best practice in heritage teaching.
The Heritage Schools Programme was developed in 2012 by Historic England in response to the Government-commissioned review on Cultural Education in England, which identified the importance of a broad cultural education for schoolchildren. Funded by the Department for Education, the programme aims to help school children learn about their local heritage and its significance.
Through teacher training, resources and developing partnerships with local heritage organisations, the programme brings local heritage to life for children. Each year, the programme trains 3,000 teachers and trainee teachers. The Heritage Schools programme prioritises working with schools in areas of low social mobility with the goal of improving children’s life chances through exposure to heritage.
Research has shown that knowledge of local heritage gives children a sense of pride and identity about where they live and an understanding of how it fits into the history of the nation. Exposure to local heritage can also have a positive effect on mental and physical wellbeing.