It’s been a busy year so far for Mrs History, two history buffs who bring the past alive for schoolchildren. They have worked with over 500 pupils across Solihull and Birmingham and devise engaging and creative learning resources to bring the past to life. They use real objects and real places to show pupils that history is something you can hold in your hand, or experience on your street – wherever you live! Knucklebones from sheep are used to demonstrate Old Toys, animal sinew and bone to show how our prehistoric ancestors hunted, and ground spices and herbs to discover the world of Mary Seacole. Children dress up as characters from the past in order to “walk in their shoes”.
Recently, the new National Curriculum has required schools to teach Local History to pupils between 7-11 years of age. Mrs History have assisted a local Primary School by piecing together a history of the school’s neighbourhood and the wider borough. The result is pack of stories, pictures, discussion topics and ideas which can be used in the classroom. The children themselves become Street Detectives and Mrs History leads the children on a walk of their locality to discover clues and uncover secrets of the past!
“History is on our doorsteps, on our street corners and in the memories of family members” enthuses Mrs History’s Rachel “once you know what to look for you can discover tales from the past all around us!”
Mrs History’s guided walks for schools use nearby buildings, landscape features and even post boxes!
They build up a picture of life in the past and guide the children to explore the history of their locality. “Suddenly things we pass every day took on a new meaning!” reports a school governor joining the walk.
From ancient arrowheads to little known histories of Solihull, from street names to shrapnel, Mrs History is igniting interest for a new generation of eager historians on our doorsteps.
Notes to Editors:
- Mrs History is Rachel Hunter-Rowe and Jane McArdle, Museum Curators and Heritage Managers with over 40 years of combined experience in presenting historic properties to the public. They are now focused on schools and are passionate about making the past relevant, fun and fascinating to today’s schoolchildren and giving pupils the tools to discover their own histories.
- Jane McArdle Jane@mrshistory.org.uk
- Rachel Hunter-Rowe Rachel@mrshistory.org.uk