and Field Trips
for Children of All Ages
In association with the Heritage in Schools Scheme, administered by the Heritage Council
Taking Children on a Magic Time-Travel Carpet Ride through the Archaeological History of their Local Area.
My mission is to create and deepen a sense of pride of place and belonging for children of all ages and backgrounds. Through workshops and field trips children experience our island nation as a place of vivid encounter and exchange, where different cultures have brought in new technologies and ideas, enriching the lives of all people living here from the Stone Age to the present.
Who built that dolmen? Who lived in this fort? These are some of the questions children get to have fun answering. They also learn to make their own inquiries about their local area from their Elders, collecting stories from their own communities, which always helps in their developing a sense of appreciation and pride of their own place.
I am an archaeologist on the panel of specialists with the Heritage in Schools Scheme run by the Heritage Council. I have been offering workshops in both national and secondary schools since 2004 (I have Garda vetting). My workshops are always tailored to suit the school I’m visiting, and based on the size of the school, number of classrooms, and particular interests of the teachers and pupils.
A Focus on Experiential Learning
As the Heritage in Schools Scheme is very much geared towards outdoor learning it is ideal to follow up a workshop with a field trip, taking children out into the countryside to see, feel and smell these places in the real! A morning workshop can be followed by an afternoon excursion. Working with several smaller workshop groups one day can also lead to a communal field trip on a second day.
Children get to see, feel and
smell these sites in the real
In general workshops consist of an introduction where I get a feeling for what the children already know. I then elaborate the discussion on what an archaeologist does, how we gather our evidence, and why some artifacts survive the test of time. We then explore how this ‘evidence’ paints the picture of what we know about how people lived long ago. We journey through the timeline, starting with Ireland’s first arrivals in the Stone Age, then continuing on to the present day or focusing on a particular era if the children want to do a project on something specific that inspires them.
Alternatively a workshop can be focused on the school itself in its environment, investigating what archaeological or historical monuments are in the area using the archaeological survey database, an interactive website. These monuments will then be investigated and put into their place on the timeline, or used to create a mini survey of the area.
I bring along archaeological artefacts to show the children and include activities such as exercises in creative writing and drama, which I mix through the session.
What Schools Say About My Workshops
Offered as Single Day, Two Day or Five Day Visits.
The 5 Day series offers a greater opportunity to take the children deeper into the experience of pride of place, with the possibility of creating a mini survey as mentioned above. Other activities include giving the children some hands-on experience creating models of megaliths or writing their name in Ogham on a pendant, using air drying clay and other materials.