ACA returned to Acle, east of Norwich, last week for a fourth year of test pit digging with local students as part of the University of Cambridge’s Higher Education Field Academy programme. We enjoyed two days of bright sunshine and dodged the worst of the April showers, only to leave with the first sunburn of the 2013 field season!
Twenty-nine Year 9-11 students from Aylsham High School and Taverham High School dug nine test pits spread across the village, including a couple in the southern hamlet of Damgate, bringing the total now dug in the area to thirty-five. The distribution of pottery found this year seems to confirm some of the patterns we’ve previously observed, with further evidence of Roman occupation to the east near the aptly named ‘Roman Wood’ and several more sherds of Saxon pottery in the core of the current village along Bridewell Lane.
Staff said that they appreciated how “staff engaged well with pupils, valued their contributions and shared their knowledge”, and felt that their students had gained “a huge amount! Confidence in their abilities and in the development of new skills. It has also encouraged them to ask about and find out about university – what it is like and to study and experience. It has been fantastic for them.”
The participants visited Downing, St. John’s and Selwyn Colleges on the HEFA Day 3 visit to Cambridge University, and all of those who had previously said that they did not intend to apply to university, said in feedback that the course had made them reconsider. One student from Taverham said that he “would definitely recommend (HEFA) to other young people. THANK YOU!!”
Many thanks to Brian Grint, of Acle Community Archive Group, for hosting the HEFA again. Thanks also to Jack, a local resident now studying Archaeology at Bournemouth University, for his help supervising test pit groups.