Pupils become teachers in takeover of Hartlepool's historic Heugh Battery Museum

Pupils became the teachers when they took over the running of Hartlepool’s historic Heugh Battery Museum for two days.

Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 5:45 pm
Pupils from Eldon Grove Academy pupils in the museum's First World War trench exhibit.

Children aged nine and ten from Eldon Grove Academy led talks, demonstrations and ran the museum’s cafe and shop as part of their learning about the First World War.

The Headland museum was the ideal place to boost their classroom studies having played a key part in defending the town during the 1914 bombardment and the fact it is the war’s only battlefied site in the whole of the UK.

Museum manager Diane Stephens came up with the idea after a regular visitor, who is a governor at Eldon Grove Academy, said her grandson could probably be a volunteer after learning so much on their visits.

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Pupils from Eldon Grove Academy took over the Heugh Battery Museum with the children giving all demonstrations and talks about the battery and the exhibits, to members of the public and their parents.

Teacher Jane Jobson said: “We obviously jumped at this fantastic, unique opportunity.

“This amazing opportunity cemented pupils learning; gave the children's learning purpose, created memories, increased confidence in speaking aloud and enabled them to work as a team not only with their peers but with the fabulous staff and volunteers at the Heugh Battery.”

Two classes of 30 children took over the museum in Moor Terrace for a different day after spending one day rehearsing on site.

They learned about and then took charge of nine different areas including its recreation of a First World War trench, magazine area where shells were kept, uniforms and weapons, trench art and, of course, the bombardment.

Ms Jobson added: “The children thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity and our pupils and staff salute the team at the Heugh Battery for their warm welcome, knowledge, patience, experience and the caring nature they all showed towards the pupils (and staff) of Eldon Grove Academy.

“What a wonderful end to our World War One topic.”

Diane said the confidence of the children changed visibly during the project and hopes other schools will enquire about doing it.

“I think it was such a worthwhile experience for the children to have,” she said.

“We are amazed at how much information they learned and how good they were.

“We were all redundant!”