South Shields Roman fort praised for work with kids

MAKING HISTORY ... Hebburn Comprehensive School pupils Laurie-Leigh Smith, Natasha Conway and Michael Ayre at Arbeia.
MAKING HISTORY ... Hebburn Comprehensive School pupils Laurie-Leigh Smith, Natasha Conway and Michael Ayre at Arbeia.

SOUTH Tyneside’s oldest visitor attraction has been praised for the way it gets youngsters involved in history.

Arbeia Roman Fort in South Shields has been highlighted by independent charity Kids in Museums as an excellent example of the recent national ‘Takeover Day’ at museums by young people.

The national event, last month, was aimed at highlighting the role of school pupils at museums, galleries and heritage sites, where young people are given meaningful roles for the day with other staff and volunteers.

Students from Hebburn Comprehensive School joined the WallQuest archaeology team at Arbeia, which was built around AD160, to process historic finds – a key part of the post excavation process – cleaning and sorting pottery and bones unearthed at the site.

Geoff Woodward, manager of South Tyneside museums said: “The team had such a great day with the students on board and to be highlighted nationally as a shining example is something extra for both the young participants and the museum team to be very proud of.”

Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader with special responsibility for culture and leisure at South Tyneside Council, said: “Takeover Day is a great opportunity for organisations to open the eyes of young people to the world of work and showcase the range of future career opportunities.

“I am delighted that Arbeia has been highlighted as an example of good practice and am sure the young people who took part found the experience invaluable.”

Independent charity Kids in Museums teamed up with the Children’s Commissioner for England and Arts Council England to help place children and teenagers at the heart of museums.

Other Takeover Days in the region were held at South Shields Museum, with pupils from St Wilfred’s College who devised a new children’s workshop to be delivered to primary schools in the future.

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