Bringing GCSE History to Life

TP 11b

DSCF3561GCSE History students from Mildenhall College of Technology, Suffolk, took part in the Cambridge Archaeology Project (CAP) for the second year running. CAP is an exciting learning programme bringing GCSE History alive in which pupils carry out their own original two-day archaeological excavations, organised and supervised by the University of Cambridge, into a local historic site which is the subject of pupils’ detailed study within and beyond the classroom.

Forty-five students were involved in the eleven test pit digs in Isleham last week, in preparation for writing their GCSE assessed coursework combining archaeological and historical evidence. They will compare the results of their excavations to theories and case studies of the development of medieval settlements in England.

TP 3cAll of last year’s cohort achieved at least their predicted grades, and the higher ability students exceeded expectations in their assessed coursework. The methodology and results of the programme were showcased at the Schools History Project (SHP) conference in Leeds earlier this year.

One student attending CAP in Isleham said that the digging experience would help her to engage in the coursework topic “because we have our own sources to work with” and a teammate said that handling real artefacts gave her “a better understanding”. Another student said that “doing practical work helps a lot” alongside traditional classroom-based learning and that he would recommend that other schools do this as well”.

For further details about CAP, and how to involve your students, please see our website here.

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