Archaeology at Castlefields Primary School

Year Four pupils at Castlefields Primary School in Bridgnorth got their hands dirty on Tuesday, September 29, as they dug for buried treasure.

LAST COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR JAMIE RICKETTS 29/09/2021 - Year 4 of Castlefields Primary School in Bridgnorth have been doing a mock "archaeological dig"..
LAST COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR JAMIE RICKETTS 29/09/2021 - Year 4 of Castlefields Primary School in Bridgnorth have been doing a mock "archaeological dig"..

Their teacher, Ian Smith, was keen that his class of 30 eight and nine year olds learn about history, and came up with a unique way to spark their interest.

"It was fantastic, absolutely fantastic. The weather was on our side, the kids were engaged from start to finish, it was brilliant," he said.

Ian had prepared the ground at the school ahead of the day-long lesson on Tuesday, making sure that the kids were searching an area full of artefacts.

Employing some parent helpers and some tools of the archaeological trade like metal detectors, Ian led the kids through the painstaking process of uncovering historical items that have been buried in time.

"We took them through how to use the metal detectors, how to remove the turf safely, how to uncover what they've found, how to measure it before they lift it out of the ground," Ian explained.

Among their finds were an Anglo-Saxon broach and a siege coin from 1646.

Ian added: "They would talk to the helpers about what they thought they had found and when it might be from. Then they would take it to a wash station and clean it carefully, before bagging it and bringing it inside."

Under Ian's direction, the kids also took extensive notes throughout the process, and then researched their finds on line and fully catalogued their treasure.

Ian added: "At the end of the day when the rest of the parents had arrived, we held a mini-museum and the kids talked the parents through all of their finds.

"They were fully engaged, we never had one single moan or gripe or 'I'm bored' or anything. They took it very seriously.

"We actually all had our flu jabs that morning, and I couldn't think of a better way to take their minds of it than this."

This is not the first time Ian has got kids in his charge interested in history and archaeology, but this is the first time he has done it on this scale.

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