Community » Schools » Billericay School, Essex, UK

Billericay School, Essex, UK

12-13 year old boys plan their own workshop where they meet with 12 senior citizens from the local area.

Charlotte Berry, Assistant Headteacher, Billericay School, explains what they did at their school.

“The Historypin workshop came about as part of our work with a group of twelve boys (aged 12-13) and their mentors (aged 16-17). We’ve been working with them to help them explore their individual skills and abilities and to develop positive behavior, particularly in group work.

I needed an activity that they could plan themselves where they could demonstrate motivation, responsibility and a degree of altruism. I wanted something that would involve them with the local community as part of the school’s Community Cohesion work.

I showed to the boys and we explored the site, discussed photos we’d brought in, scanned them and pinned them to the site. The boys then had to plan an entire workshop themselves to which we’d invite 12 senior citizens from the local area.

On the day of the workshop, we provided tea and coffee for the senior citizens and the boys ran some warm-up and ‘getting to know you’ activities. All of our guests had brought in photos and willingly discussed their memories and the stories behind them. The boys were totally engaged and absolutely fascinated. I was incredibly proud of how easily they chatted with the senior citizens because of their genuine interest in the photos they had brought in.

I’ve never seen them write as much as they wrote on the Historypin prompt sheet

They then scanned and uploaded photos, pinning them onto and adding information. The site is designed so that this is very straightforward to do this. They also explored other photos on the site and travelled all over Historypin using the Google Street View feature.

Initial evaluations of the Historypin sessions show that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The project completely fulfilled some of the key aims of the Shift’s inter-generational work - the sharing of knowledge and skills, breaking down barriers and over-turning misconceptions between generations.

We will definitely run these sessions again. Historypin has so much potential to be used across the curriculum, especially in History and English, and is perfect for designing community projects. We also intend to work with our feeder primary schools to help them run Historypin workshops with their children, parents and grandparents.”

Read more about the project on their blog.

Video made by Billericay School for the day

Feature on Radio Essex about the Billericay Historypin project