Children in school uniform undertake a exercise placing golden markers on a map.
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Learning About Local History at Woodhouse Eaves

In early November, two members of the Geopark team, Susan and Ali, headed over to St Paul’s Primary School in Woodhouse Eaves to lead a local history extravaganza! The day featured a number of education exercises created by Susan, Geopark Heritage Education Officer, that incorporated aspects of the area’s local history, meaning students had an even closer connection to the topics being discussed. Every single pupil at the school took part across the course of the day as we explored three different aspects of the local history of Woodhouse Eaves and its environs.

We kicked off by introducing years 1 and 2 to Rebecca Wakefield, the wife of a missionary preacher. Rebecca was born in nearby Mountsorrel in 1844, but left England with her husband to sail to Africa in 1870. She lived for a while on the island of Zanzibar before finally arriving in Kenya, where she helped her husband to teach the local children. Students learned about some of the exciting things Rebecca saw on her journey – from a nautilus to an oceanic whitetip shark; about what she ate when she arrived in Zanzibar, and about the fearsome creatures she encountered in Kenya, including goat-eating snakes, hyenas and leopards! We all enjoyed looking at tropical foods and spices, and making our own exercise books, just like Rebecca made for her African students.

Years 3 and 4 were studying the Romans, and in this session, we turned to archaeology to help us find evidence of the Romans in Woodhouse Eaves. Using gridded maps of the local area, students plotted Roman coin finds, examining where most of the coins were found, and then thinking about and discussing the core of Roman activity locally. We looked at a very special coin that was found in Woodhouse Eaves, featuring the twins Romulus and Remus, and students created their own coins for a St Paul’s coin hoard!

After lunch, years 5 and 6 headed out to the War Memorial and the churchyard to learn about men from Woodhouse Eaves who died during World War II. Using primary sources including war records, photographs, census data, newspaper articles and employment records, students were able to understand something of the experience of these men, why they are commemorated on the local War Memorial, and why it is important that we continue to remember them.

It was a very busy and exciting day, enjoyed by all. Head Teacher Lisa Gilchrist said “The children really enjoyed their Local History Day. The Geopark team had carried out meticulous research, matched closely to the historical themes the children were learning about. The activities planned and delivered corresponded well to the ages and abilities of the children and took account of aspects that would be interesting to them. The resources provided were excellent. I would recommend these workshops wholeheartedly.”

If you’re interested in a local history day for your school in Charnwood Forest, or any of the other educational offers provided by the Geopark, get in touch with Susan at

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