Billericay School’s Historypin Day
Billericay, Essex, UK
March 2013 – March2014
“I can’t believe I’ve met someone who’s met Elvis Presley and also carried Winston Churchill’s coffin.”
Why was it run?
Assistant Headteacher Charlotte Berry wanted her Year 8 students to deepen their ties with local older people and to bring history alive in her classroom.
Charlotte Berry, Assistant Headteacher, Billericay School
- 12 boys from year 8
- 12 local men aged 60+
The students were tasked with co-ordinating a Historypin workshop, planning everything themselves including learning how to use the Historypin website, inviting local people, organising the session and making sure enough tea and biscuits were on hand.
The following week in the workshop itself, they did a series of light-hearted introductory exercises, then each student was paired up with an older person who had brought in a selection of historical photographs. The students interviewed their partners, trying to tease out the stories behind the images.
Whilst the best photos were being scanned, the guests had a chance to explore Historypin – with the pupils showing off their expertise in how the site worked. Later, the photos and stories collected were uploaded to Historypin.org.
What was created?
- An inter-generational event
- Digital archive of 35 photos and memories on historypin.org
“I’ve found it absolutely fascinating. They are very keen these young people to know about my youth, for instance, things which I regarded as commonplace they seem to have absorbed and I suddenly realise I’m a child of history.”
— Older participant
Charlotte Berry, assistant headteacher and organiser said:
“The boys felt a huge sense of achievement having planned every aspect of this day for older members of our community… They genuinely enjoyed hearing all the stories behind the photographs and were bubbly and full of enthusiasm after our guests had left.” “Doing this workshop had really brought history alive for them [the pupils]. They surprised themselves in how interested they would be, and how interested they were in what the older boys had to say. They felt they learnt how to have proper conversations with people they’ve never met before.”
“There are so many ways we can use Historypin in schools. Obviously with the curriculum, but also literacy activities, creative writing activities… and there’s huge potential for engaging our local community by running similar sorts of workshops.”
— Charlotte Berry, assistant headteacher