March 2021 Successful Launch of ‘Titanic Survivor, Mary Davis – Virtual Visits’
A second class survivor, Mary’s Titanic experiences are split into five mini tales; taking the audience through her survivor’s story. The tales are interspaced with linked activities – looking at developing historical empathy, sequencing and knowledge. The virtual session, interleaving tales and activities is designed to take 60 minutes; with a 30 -45 minute follow-up. Potentially creating a half day experience for a learning group.
Challenge of COVID-19 Impacted Teaching
Exploring the Plague and the Great Fire of London has abruptly become a very timely topic. Wearing a 17th century Physic’s long nosed mask currently has a certain appeal, and the challenge of teaching without learner’s seeing my face would be a new experience! Thankfully, 21st century technology offers the chance to make a virtual visit.
So for 2020 – 2021 visits can either be in person with a condensed form of stories, object analysis and interactive activities where learners stay on their places. Or, for an hour over the internet. A new technique for a 30 year teaching career.
Background to Creative History
Creative History was founded in 2003, by Patricia Silver – Warner MA(Ed), for the purpose of providing history visits that promote the development of historical skills and knowledge through active learning; whilst looking to save class teachers time. The School visits started in Nov 2004.
Initially there were five characters – Cara – the Celt, Flavia – an ‘annoyed’ Roman, Isabella – a Tudor merchant’s wife , Jane the Baker – homeless after the 1666 Fire of London, and Cecilia, friend of Florence Nightingale.
As a historian, Patricia, wanted learners to enter a world where what they saw, touched, commented on and experienced was as close to stepping back in time as possible. So each character’s background, costume and set of objects were carefully researched using primary and secondary sources. Care was been taken to use textures, colours, materials, fabrics and techniques pertinent to the time they related to. Research included visiting museum exhibits, studying collections, experimenting with techniques, reading archaeology reports, exploring papers at the National archives, recreating clothing and objects.
So much time was spent in the British Museum looking at and recording early Egyptian jewellery that security were convinced a heist was being planned! Somewhat bemused, they were relieved to discover the copious notes were diagrams and explanations of how the intricate beads were wired to create the piece rather than notes on the cabinet locking mechanism.
Most of the character costumes have then been hand made by Patricia using the research findings – so it is possible to show how things were done at that time and have a conversation about the difference between ‘Hollywood’ and ‘Life at the time’ versions.
As a teacher, Patricia, wanted all the ‘bells and whistles’ she looked for when taking her class on a trip, or having a visitor in. Willingness to talk with those interested, share where information came from, activities where all the learners were used rather than just one or two and an experience with something to appeal to kinaesthetic, auditory and visual higher and lower order learners over the visit.
Based near Southampton, the last 16 years have seen Creative History regularly working around Gloucester, London, Kent and East Sussex. Over a year, Creative History is likely to work with about 3,900 children across 65 schools. Some visits are for a specific year group only. Others are designed across the school so year on year children develop their object handling and historical argument skills. As well as school visits leading professional development days, advisory work, sourcing resources and museum work are undertaken. Curriculum 2014 was a challenge removing most requests for Tudors, Victorians and WWII so Marvellous Maya, Strenuous Stone Age and Fossil hunting were added to the repertoire.
Favourite moments from visits include:
▪ “Tricia, where are the logbooks & Historian stickers ? We need to record ideas”. Yr 6 boy, during an introductory session, 4th visit.
▪ “Thank you for today – come again tomorrow” 1st visit, Yr 6 boy, Tudor day.
▪ Parents wanting my ‘Fire of London’ workshop for their Yr.1 as the sibling had spent breakfast describing my visit from 2 years ago.
▪ “This is the year I learnt about chocolate.” Yr 2’s end of year comment after an Autumn visit.
▪ “ I remember when …” conversations with children on later visits.
2020 – 2021 is presenting it’s own challenge with socially distanced interactions. Resulting in the introduction of virtual visits; whilst revamping visit structures. (Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a PDF of the COVID-19 Revamp report).
For a visit, choose between chronological or focused topics. Then opt for a period costumed character, historian or archaeologist for your visitor. Finally, select the type of visit to suit your budget:
Type 1: An interactive presentation with object handling,
Type 2: Add deeper object analysis to the presentation and handling to extend historical skills,
Type 3: Include experience workshops to deepen and widen understanding of the topics.
What does a day cost? Please click here.
We provide a wide range of visits offering some topics in overview and others in depth for both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Our visits are divided into categories as outlined below. Alternatively, please explore the web site through the menus and search tool.
Chronology days span several historical periods and cover one or more themes. Topics include: Toys & Games, Fashion, Food, Homes and Packaging & Textiles. For example, “The Toy Factory” includes comparisons between Egyptian, Tudor, Victorian and 20th Century toys. These days are also fantastic for supporting other curriculum areas. For example we can look at the topics from Design and Technology, Art or Science perspectives.
Explore the lives and achievements of famous historical individuals. Topics include: Comparing the Queens (Elizabeth I and II, Victoria), Guy Fawkes (gunpowder plot), Mary Anning (fossils), Mary Seacole (nursing), Florence Nightingale (nursing), Captain Arthur Rostron (the Captain of the Carpathia), Mary Davis (Titanic survivor) and Neil Armstrong (first man on the moon).
Bring history to life when a period costumed character visits with a range of interesting objects and a story to tell. We offer characters from the following British eras: Iron Age, Roman Britain, Anglo-Saxon, Viking, Medieval, Tudor, Stuart, Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian. In addition, an archaeologist or historian can bring the The Stone Age or Bronze Age to life.
Local Events and People
We cover significant historical events, people and places around Creative History’s base in Hampshire. Topics include Florence Nightingale, Sinking of the RMS Titanic (Mary Davis or Captain Arthur Rostron), Romsey Remount Depot (WWI).
A visit from a paleontologist character can resurrect Dinosaurs and Fossils in the minds of the children. Enjoy a visit from a period costumed character from Ancient Egypt or Ancient Greece. An Archaeologist or Historian can bring the The Maya to life.
Nursery Rhymes are often a commemoration of historical events and people. The visit looks at what nursery rhymes mean and explores them through reading, making, enacting and playing games.
Have you ever wondered just how archaeology works, or fancied an archaeological ‘hook’ to kick start a history topic? Then a visit from an archaeologist is the visit for you.
Historical Experience Days at King John’s House
Creative History has teamed up with King John’s House & Tudor Cottage Trust Ltd to create unique fact-based role-play and activity mornings set in a complex of Medieval, Tudor and Victorian buildings. Experience a hands-on, interactive, fun-packed, teacher-led, museum-based morning. Optionally add your own activities to create a full day’s visit.