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Hands-on History in Bicester

In 2008, Wessex Archaeology was commissioned by Countryside Properties to excavate at Whitelands Farm, the site of the new Kingsmere development in Bicester. The results of this excavation are being published in the local journal, Oxoniensia. This year we developed teaching resources and a display about the excavation for the local school, St Edburg’s. Katie Card and Nicolas Bigourdan recently visited St Edburg’s School in Bicester to talk to the pupils about their local history. Katie tells us all about it:

“In October, Nic and I visited the school to talk to the children about the archaeology at Kingsmere Development.

“During their morning assembly we started by asking the children what they thought an archaeologist did. I went on to explain how archaeologists use different methods, such as geophysical survey and excavation, to find out about the people who lived here in the past.

311 Katie Card explains what archaeologists do during St Edburg's school assembly

312 Handling real artefacts“In their class groups, the children became archaeologists for the day. They handled objects discovered during the excavations and tried to identify them. Nic and I were on hand to give them clues. The objects included a 250,000 year old stone tool, some Roman pottery and grave goods from a Beaker burial, including a flint blade and bone toggle which are over 4000 years old.

“The day was a great success and the children enjoyed being able to handle real artefacts found near their school. We even made it into the local newspaper.”

Finds from the excavation are currently on display at the St Edburg’s School along with a leaflet and display posters. A teacher’s pack full of activities suitable for KS1 and KS2 is also available to download.

313 Handling, identiying and talking about the artefacts brought into the classroom

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