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The CBA's Community Archaeology Resource
The benefits to schools of involvement in community archaeology projects

1) A first hand learning experience – Involvement in activities linked to an on-going community project allows children to experience at first hand a ‘real’ project that is taking place in their locality.

2) A free school visit – The funding of schools visits is a major issue for many schools and one which has tended to result in fewer school visits. The situating of a community archaeology project close to population centres means that school groups can frequently walk to a project site. Moreover, should some level of transport be required, fund providing bodies are frequently very supportive of funding claims in respect of transport costs for school visits.

3) An opportunity to advance local history study units - In England and Wales the study of Local History is a component of the National Curriculum at Key Stage Two. The opportunity to develop a programme of study around a local community project is one that many schools, and especially primary schools, would welcome.

4) Learning outside the classroom – A desire to take learning outside the classroom is currently a significant issue within educational thinking and associated initiatives. The Department for Children, Schools and Families has introduced a manifesto for ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’. (http://www.lotc.org.uk )

5) Involvement with local community groups – Many schools are actively seeking to develop links with local community groups. A community archaeology project can provide an opportunity for school groups to participate alongside members of the wider community.Fort Cumberland

6) Extending and developing the curriculum – Curriculum development is an on-going process in all schools. The opportunities provided by the presence of a local community archaeology project are significant. Broad aims such as extending working outside the classroom coupled with desires to develop, for example, a relevant and meaningful Citizenship curriculum can readily be approached through the medium of a community archaeology project.

7) Access to experts – Community archaeology projects will typically include professional archaeologists alongside knowledgeable local historians and amateur archaeologists. Such individuals will be accessible to school teachers as project partners. Their knowledge and skill base can readily be exploited as a means to developing new learning activities as part of a developing curriculum.


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