Outreach and Education
Over the past two years the HER, supported by the English Heritage Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF), has been targeting communities and individuals in an attempt to involve people with the interpretation and understanding of Warwickshire's heritage.
In 2006, the HER created and undertook the archaeological outreach project Extracting Warwickshire's Past. A key objective of the project was to create a strategy for delivering successful, exciting and effective outreach projects in Warwickshire based on the results of five pilots projects organised around the county. The pilots included the creation of two exhibitions, a guide to documentary research and an archaeological school pack for school pupils at Key Stage Three. In addition, various fieldwork events were organised around the county teaching people about local history research, fieldwalking and geophysical surveying.
Using the strategy developed during Extracting Warwickshire's Past, the HER created the one-year Buried Under Bidford project. As part of this project a series of training sessions were held to teach residents key skills in the research, interpretation and presentation of their local heritage. Workshops included sessions on how to use documentary sources to learn more about their local history and how they could create exhibitions, which would detail their findings. Weekend events were also organised in the village to give people the opportunity to learn more about archaeological fieldwork and undertake fieldwalking and finds processing.
In addition to the training sessions, HER staff in conjunction with inHeritage produced a comic based on archaeological sites found during quarrying in the Bidford area. The comic focused on the Roman period and was written to compliment the Key Stage Two National Curriculum. To accompany the comic, the HER ran a Roman day with History off the Page at Bidford Primary School giving the children an opportunity to become Romans and archaeologists for the day.