Ancient and Medieval Medicine Days

On Thursday 29th and Friday 30th June, over 500 local primary school children took part in our Ancient Medicine Days at Cheney. The first day involved a series of Ancient and Medieval Medicine Pantomime shows delivered by TV Presenter Simon Watt. These fun, lively and frequently grisly shows included ancient doctors and surgeons from the past, ranging from Hippocrates to Louis Pasteur, talking to the host about their discoveries and practices, a talking and singing rat, maggots, amputations, and many opportunities for lively audience participation!

"Reading the Romans" workshops

This term, the Rumble Museum, in partnership with Egizia-Maria Felice from the University of Oxford, has been holding a series of "Reading the Romans" workshops for primary and secondary school children.

We have been deeply privileged to have been loaned a beautiful fragment from the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus from the University of Oxford. The Temple of Artemis was an enormous and very famous building in classical times, and has been called one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The fragment, which dates to the first century AD, has an inscription in Greek which appears to be listing the names of temple wardens. Year 3s from Bayards Hill primary, Year 4s from St Michael's primary and Years 8, 12 and 13 Cheney students are being introduced to this fragment, and also to a range of other ways in which the Romans preserved writing, including papyri and wax tablets.

Buried Bones

This week, classics students in Years 8 and 9 have been experiencing what it is like to be an archaeologist uncovering Roman remains!

Students were given gloves and trowels, and asked to explore a site in the far corner of Cheney School, where several bones lay buried. The students uncovered the bones, filled out a "find sheet" to record the immediate details of the items - their location, what they looked like, what they had been buried with - and then discussed what they could learn from the bones themselves.

Trip to the Museum of the History of Science

On Friday 10th March, 61 Cheney School students from Year 11 spent the day in the Museum of the History of Science, exploring the development of penicillin. The day, which had been specially designed by the MHS education officers, was called "Back from the Dead", a title which referenced both how the discovery of antibiotics brought people back from the brink of death, but also, how bacteria are now making a worrying comeback, with the rise of drug resistant superbugs.

Student Curators trip to see Manuscripts at Merton

On Thursday 9th February, six students made history when they became the first ever students to view a collection of beautiful manuscripts from a collection owned by Merton College.

The students, who were selected to take part as they were volunteers for the new Rumble Museum at Cheney, made their way into town after school to Merton College, where they were met by Outreach officers, Medieval Historians, and the Librarian. 

Papyrology Artefact Workshops

We are very fortunate to have welcomed Dr Dirk Obbink, specialist in Papyrology from the University of Oxford, to deliver workshops in the past few weeks to Year 8 Latinists and Year 12 Classical Civilisation students. 
In his workshops, Dr Obbink began by introducing the papyrus plant and explaining how this is used to create papyrus. He then explained how papyri were used by Egyptians, Greeks and Romans to record texts, such as Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, scientific texts, such as Pliny the Elder's Natural Histories and the Egyptian Book of the Dead. 

World War One: Learning through Objects

As part of their learning about World War One, Year Eight History students at Cheney had a very special opportunity to engage with the real lives of soldiers in the British Army through original and replica artefacts in their lesson this week.

Mr Gimson brought in copies of very moving letters, written by his great grandfather, Alexander Ogilvie, to his very young daughter, Peggy, between 1915 and 1918. The letters reveal many details about daily life in the War, ranging from the noise of the guns and the cold which soldiers had to endure, to how evenings might be spent, and even including sketches of the officers’ huts and their surroundings.

Year 12 Museum Curators Trip to the Ashmolean

 On Wednesday 16th November,Year 12 Classical Civilisation students visited the Ashmolean Museum for a special afternoon workshop and tour put on by the Ashmolean Museum as part of our Museum School program. 

When the group arrived, they spent fifteen minutes exploring the sorts of roles and jobs in museums - ranging from archaeologists and curators to events managers and artefact cleaners with outreach officer Clare Corey. They were then able to spend some time in the Aegean World gallery. The students have been studying the fascinating civilisations of the Minoans and Mycenaeans, and were excited to be able to see the many artefacts they had been learning about in lessons.