As a pre-cursor to this year’s Chester Heritage Festival, a free educational programme was offered to local KS2 children, kindly funded by the Earl of Chester’s Fund. Chester Grosvenor Museum, Chester Race Company and Roman Tours UK, culminating in the topical theme of “Romans, Rivers and Racing”.
The programme received much attention and many requests to sign up from local schools, but only a finite number of places were available. Held at Chester Race Course last week on Monday 10 June, the day proved to be a fantastic success. Over 100 children, from four local schools were lucky enough to be involved. Horrible history, practical maths, and artefact handling all featured in the informative lesson plans over the course of the day.
First on the timetable, Rivers, was hosted by Kate Harland of West Cheshire Museums. Children had a hands-on geo-historical session to explore the changing shape of the river and its importance during Roman, Medieval and Tudor periods using real and replica objects, games and maps.
Describing the day, Kate Harland of West Cheshire Museums said “It’s been great for all three organisations to work together on behalf of the Heritage Festival and we are really grateful to the Earl of Chester’s Fund who have helped make today possible.”
The students then took a step back in time with a fascinating and insightful Roman experience with thanks to Roman Tours UK. A Roman soldier took the eager participants on a tour of the old Roman harbour, demonstrating the popularity of racing as a principle form of Roman entertainment and then recreated a Roman chariot race.
Chris Clayton from Chester Race Company and Carrie Ford from Racing to School then took on the Racing lesson. Children headed to the newly developed changing rooms and dressed in their very own racing silks before learning behind the scene insights into a day’s racing featuring practical maths.
Carrie Ford, Racing to School said, “Racing to school are delighted to be involved in such a fantastic day at Chester Racecourse. It is great to get the local community involved and give them insight into the wonderful sport of racing.”
Both students and teachers went home with beaming smiles enthralled with additional learnings brought on by the day. Thank you to all involved, Tushingham-with-Grindley C of E Primary School, St. Oswald’s C.E. Aided Primary School, Mickle Trafford Village School and St Mary of the Angels.
Mrs, Hollins – St. Oswald’s C.E. Aided Primary School said, “I just wanted to say how much we all enjoyed the trip to the racecourse today, children and adults! All of the activities were very well planned and engaging for the children, and the links between each were very helpful. Please thank everyone involved from us all at St. Oswald’s – there was nothing but positive feedback when we arrived back at school!”
Mrs, Hunt – Tushingham-with-Grindley C of E Primary School summarised the today, “The students where engaged and inspired all day. It has been fantastic for them to be able to visualise the whole story in history. A brilliant day.”
Chester Heritage Festival will take place between 21 and 29 June with over 60 events taking place in and around Chester. The Festival tells the story of our city and its people, how the past shapes Chester today. The city is the stage as walks, talks, performances, exhibitions, storytelling and children’s activities bring Chester and its heritage to life. The Festival again coincides with the Midsummer Watch Parades on 22 and 23 June. Visit www.visitcheshire.com/chesterheritagefestival and look out full festival programme leaflets around the city and in libraries throughout Cheshire West when the festival programme is published in May.