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In September 2012 The Cabot Project set-up a group to introduce the project's research to Bristol school children. Its aim is to stimulate interest in Bristol's Tudor maritime history and to engage local school children in historical research. The group is led by one former and two current Bristol University PhD students: Dr Richard Stone, Harriett Webster and Paul Seage, under the overall direction of Dr Evan Jones. They are leading a team of twenty undergraduate volunteers from the University. Funding is being provided by Gretchen Bauta, the patron of the Cabot Project, with further inputs by the Department of Historical Studies.
Three forms of engagement have taken place thus far.
First, 'enrichment sessions' aimed at Year 4-6 pupils have been provided free-of-charge to local primary schools. These sessions last about two hours, at which the pupils are introduced to 'Cabot's Bristol' through drama, creative writing and exercises in Tudor maths and geography.
Second, a group of fifty Year 7-8 secondary school students, from Redland Green School, Cotham High School, Bristol Grammar School and St Mary Redcliffe undertook research projects in February-March 2013. These projects were all on aspects Bristol's maritime history (1400-1800), undertaken under the supervision of 14 undergraduate history students. The school students presented their research findings at a conference on 20 March 2013 in the School of Geographical Sciences.
Third, Dr Jones offers one-off talks about the Cabot Project to 'A' level history students in Bristol - either at their school or in the University.
If you are a teacher at a Bristol school, primary or secondary, and are interested in engaging with our schools group in future, please contact us using the email address above.
'A' Level talk: 'mission accomplished - students fascinated by history! It was particularly nice to hear about the historical process as this is the bit we never get to cover at A-level properly': Richard Kennett, Redland Green School, Oct. 2012.