Young Heritage Hunters spent the week with Brooklands Farm School exploring the history of Milton Keynes. Many of the students at the school live in the newly developed area of Broughton Gate and come from outside Milton Keynes. By exploring five different areas of Milton Keynes, the students get to explore an unfamiliar area of their city and discover history 'on their doorstep'. Each class looked at the history of a specific area.
The class visited the Cowper and Newton Museum in Olney. They explored the museum and tried weaving, crocheting and lace-making. They also found out about the life of John Newton, a slaver-turned-abolitionist who wrote the famous hymn 'Amazing Grace'.
"William Cowper was John Newton's friend. They wrote poems and hymns together. I remember John Newton was kidnapped and a became a slave for his bosses. A sailor rescued him. His dad told the sailor to rescue him. At the end William Cowper wrote a poem about lace-makers because he felt sorry for them."
Members of the Olney Lace Circle show a Year 1 student how to make lace
The students visited Stony Stratford and looked at the buildings for traces of history. They found 'The Cock' and 'The Bull' inns and other interesting landmarks. Inspired by the phrase 'Cock and Bull stories', the class invented their own tales and found out about the real-life story of John Hooton.
Year 2 students create their own 'Cock and Bull Story' with Anne-Marie Sandos, Learning Co-ordinator
St Lawrence's Church is in Broughton Village, very close to the school. However most of the children had never visited it before. The church was built in the medieval era and has some fascinating wall-paintings depicting religious scenes considered to be important at the time. After the visit, the students looked at a Mummers play, a popular form of entertainment in medieval times. The most popular Mummers plays were based on the story of St. George and the Dragon. The students also made medieval shields with the Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre.
"People in the middle ages would go to a pub to watch [Mummers plays]. They would spend some time making them up. They liked George and the Dragon."
Year 3 students perform a traditional Mummers play based on 'George and the Dragon' a wall painting in Broughton Village Church
As part of their work on Victorians and the Industrial revolution, the class visited Wolverton. They went on a walking tour of the town to find evidence of its industrial past. They saw the town's Victorian terraced houses; and they visited the Secret Garden which used to be the site of four villas owed by the London & Birmingham Railway Company. The visited the site of the former Royal Train Shed which has now been converted to houses. The class then looked at Victorian artefacts, old pictures of Wolverton and listened to songs by the Living Archive Band.
Year 4 students visit the former Royal Train Shed in Wolverton which has now been turned into housing
Don Hurst of Newport Pagnell Historical Society led a walking tour to Civil War battle sites and other important land marks. Students were inspired by the Tickford Bridge and built their own bridges out of art straws and then tested them to see which were the strongest.
Year 5 students take a walking tour of Newport Pagnell