Medieval Days: UWE Bristol helps recreate the past

Issue date: 11 June 2014

On Wednesday 11 June and Thursday 12 June 2014 medieval men and women will descend on Chepstow Castle to engage school pupils and the general public in activities, tasks and learning opportunities inspired by life in the castle in the 11th century.

School pupils from across the South West will be able to take part in activities such as; making medieval pendants and bracelets, felt rolling for medieval crafting, (supervised) trebuchet firing on the target range and historical gaming at the medieval games table. Pupils will also be able to interact with a host of historical characters, ranging from the humble peasant to Lord FitzOsbern, who will give valuable insight into life in, and the history of, the castle.

Over the last ten years, the Department of Education at UWE Bristol has been the initial base for the groups of trainee teachers preparing to take part in the educational activity. The trainees are divided into activity and subject groups and given the chance to interact with each other ahead of the event itself. Across the two days, 70 postgraduate secondary trainee teachers and their tutors will create a rich themed medieval activity, working with partner schools.

Dr Dean Smart, Senior Lecturer Senior Lecturer in History and Citizenship Education, says,

“All of the UWE 'team' spend the two days in an approximation of period costume, with some demonstrating medieval arts and crafts and helping the visiting school children complete simple activities outside of the castle. Eight other trainees are placed at set locations within the castle and act in role as named historical characters so that small accompanied groups can ask them questions about the castle and can learn about medieval life. It is one of the most photogenic events UWE runs!”

To view a gallery of last year's event, please visit the UWE Bristol Flickr pages.

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