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Hadrian's Wall learning project brings history to life

08/04/2015 Joanna
Schools in the north-east have the opportunity to enliven their history lessons thanks to a new learning resource based on Hadrian's Wall.

The Wall Face project, which is available online, is designed to be used in the classroom and encourages visits to Roman sites, ChronicleLive reports. It can be adapted to suit different age ranges.

It uses images of the archaeologists and antiquarians featured in the Wall Face exhibition, which was held last year at 11 Roman attractions along the World Heritage Site.

Wall Face education consultant Yvonne Conchie said: "Children are encouraged to consider their own identity and legacy by studying the people in the National Portrait Gallery Wall Face images and how they influenced our heritage and demonstrated the need for conservation."

The resource encourages youngsters to consider the meanings and legacies people have sought to convey through choosing what to include in their portraits.

It uses images of the archaeologists and antiquarians featured in the Wall Face exhibition, alongside Roman objects such as clay and stone sculptures, paintings, tombstones and coins. 

As well as evaluating the work of modern and historical artists, youngsters are encouraged to use their insights to create modern-day portraits of their own.

Anna Coulson, creativity lead teacher at Haydon Bridge High School, said: "It's fabulous to have a funded project that gives our students opportunities and experiences that they would not normally have."

Film maker Vicky Jones, who interviewed students for the Haltwhistle film project, which documented the school's visits to Roman sites, said one of the most interesting aspects of the project is its contemporary relevance, as it made pupils compare the impact of Hadrian's Wall on the UK with the Berlin Wall and the Gaza Strip.

The £124,000 Wall Face Project was funded through Arts Council England's Renaissance strategic support programme.

It is the result of a collaboration between a number of heritage organisations along the wall: Vindolanda Trust, English Heritage, National Trust, Senhouse Museum Trust, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust and the Hadrian's Wall Trust.

Posted by Harriet McGowanADNFCR-2164-ID-801782741-ADNFCR
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