3 September 2019—17 July 2020

My School: A local history study

My school: A local history study is a learning package of workshops, in-school activities and online resources to help your class discover the history of their local community within the city of Bristol.

Join our team at Bristol Archives where your pupils can develop conservation skills, examine documents related to your schools’ local area and explore the fascinating home of Bristol’s most important historical records.

Discover how the digital archive Know Your Place can aid local history learning in the classroom when we come and visit teachers at your school. Children can document their learning and create a digital legacy for the use of future generations.

Children will:

  • See why and how we conserve records
  • Find out how we construct the past using different sources
  • Explore Bristol Archives to see rare and important Bristol records
  • Research the local history of their area using real archive documents, images and maps
  • Compare and contrast documents, images and maps from the past and today
  • Learn how to use a map to find information
  • Discover how to use the online archive Know Your Place and contribute records to it

Suitable for: Year 5-6

Package summary for My School: a local history study

  1. In-school teacher introduction to Know Your Place
    Museum staff visit your school after teaching hours to deliver a one hour introduction to digital resources. Teachers will be shown how to find out more about their school’s local history using new digital resources developed by Bristol City Council.
    Discover more about the Know Your Place project, how to use the digital resource to find historical maps, pictures or documents related to your local area and how your school can contribute to this amazing local archive. The resource can develop map skills and knowledge on how we use sources to construct the past.
  2. Loan box activities in school
    During the teacher session, museum staff will deliver a set of learning resources and activities which can be completed by pupils in school. The activities provided will prepare pupils for their forthcoming visit to Bristol Archives.
    Children can discover more about the work of an archivist, try out archivist skills and learn how we construct the past using historical records. This box of activities will be returned during your visit to Bristol Archives.
  3. School class visit to Bristol Archives
    Visit the place where Bristol’s city records are stored. During the two hour bespoke workshop children will:
    a) Explore the store room with city archivists to see some of the oldest and most important records in the city
    b) Take on the role of an archivist; use specialist equipment and tools to examine and handle genuine records relating to you school
    c) Discover what we can learn about your school’s history and local area using real documents and maps from the past
    d) Find out about how your school street has changed over time and who lived or worked in the area
  4. Post-visit activities
    Share what you have discovered about your school using our suggested activities. Read the archivists top tips on how to take your historical research further.

Session availability:

  • A one hour teachers’ introduction to Know Your Place is available weekdays after school hours between 3.30pm-5pm.
  • A two hour visit to Bristol Archives is available on a Tuesday or Friday at either 9.30am-11.30am or 12.15pm-2.15pm. One class can visit the archives at a time.

Package costs:

  • In school training, archivist kit, workshop and activities for one class – £250
  • In school training, archivist kit, workshop and activities for two classes – £400

Picnic: Planning on having a picnic as part of your visit? Free use of the M Shed lunch room is included with this visit. M Shed is located further along the Harbourside. You can also have a picnic at Underfall Yard nearby. We are sorry but no food or drink is allowed at the Archives.

Learning enquiry form

Please complete this form to start the booking process.

Your name
Providing a range of dates will help us find a suitable workshop as they book up quickly
Available at M Shed and Bristol Museum & Art Gallery only. Complimentary use when booking a workshop. Charged at £1 per child for independent visits.

Additional information

Children will work in three groups. To get the most from your visit, please organise children into groups before your workshop begins.

Each group will require support from at least one adult. Recommended ratio: one adult for every six children.

One class can visit the archives at a time. If you are bringing two classes to visit the archives, feel free to explore the nearby Underfall Yard or M Shed.

Eating and drinking is not permitted in the archives. Crumbs attract pests and our collections are far too precious to be attacked!

We encourage taking lots of photos but please don’t use a flash or tripod.