Bardsey Primary School celebrates past with new Stone Age and Saxon homes at Leeds grounds

History has come alive at a Leeds primary school which unveiled new features created by children to recall bygone periods.

Saturday, 20th October 2018, 7:00 am
Olivia Dodsworth and Jacob Emmett pictured in the new Saxon Longhouse Bardsey School, Bardsey19th October 2018 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

A full sized Stone Age Roundhouse, a Saxon Longhouse, an Anderson shelter and two Nomadic structures have been built in the grounds of Bardsey Primary School over the past 18 months.

Pupils and staff dressed up in period costume for the openings yesterday, when school supporter Coun Matthew Robinson cut the ribbon.

After the history curriculum was amended to include education about new time periods, former school governor Donna Harrison in January 2016 suggested the school build its own roundhouse.

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Charlotte Drummond and Seb Stacey are pictured by the Anderson Shelter at Bardsey School, Bardsey19th October 2018 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Headteacher Sally Clark said: “I looked at her as if she was mad. And then thought, actually, why not?”

The Woodacre Lane school has worked with a company called Eden’s Forest to create the Journey Through Time feature in its grounds after the conservation buffs suggested even more structures could be built.

Speaking about the Saxon Longhouse, a space capable of hosting a full class, Mrs Clark said: “It’s beautiful. We were having a laugh before, saying we could rent it out on Airbnb, it’s so lovely.”

Every Monday a different class of children has been involved in creating the buildings.

Henry Ingham aged 8 pictured in the Iron Age Roundhouse, Bardsey School, Bardsey19th October 2018 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

The project, which has cost more than £25,000, has been mostly funded by the school’s Parent-Teacher Association.

Mrs Clark said: “This project not only enriches the history curriculum but also impacts on children’s creative writing, drama and maths. In fact, pretty much all of the primary curriculum to be honest.

“Not only that, but the children have loved every minute of building the structures – for example the measuring out of each one and the preparation of the areas, together with the physical activity of cutting, sawing, hammering, digging etc. It has certainly helped develop greater teamwork and communication skills.”

She added: “This has come from the children as much as anything – they’ve put so much enthusiasm into it and they’re going to get a lot of benefit from it.

The new settlements at Bardsey School, Bardsey19th October 2018 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

“Every child in school can point to a bit and say, ‘I did that’.”