This week, we were delighted that Rosie Sharkey, Outreach Officer from the Bodleian Library, visited some Year Eight History students to deliver the first session of a wider project involving the Library's forthcoming "From Sappho to Suffrage: Women Who Dared" Exhibition.
This year, the Rumble Museum is working with a Year Eight History class, exploring ways to introduce artefacts and Living History learning into the curriculum.
The Year Eights have been learning about the Industrial Revolution and life in the workhouses, and the Rumble Museum helped design a Living History lesson on the Victorian workhouses.
The Victorian workhouses were portrayed most famously and influentially by author Charles Dickens in his novel Oliver Twist. We began by placing the contents of a typical workhouse meal on each table. Everyone was given a spoon, and set in front of them was a bowl of gruel and some bread. In the rather ironic menu, butter was listed, but this was not on our menu list for Tuesday after all (and also not offered to men), so it was simply bread and gruel!
This year, the Rumble Museum at Cheney has been working with Cheney alumni, students and staff on exploring the long and fascinating history of Cheney School.
Cheney School's earliest roots stretch all the way to around 1797, when four Sunday Schools were started in Gloucester Green. One of these gradually grew, and went on to move into a purpose built site on New Inn Hall Street in 1901, becoming Oxford Central Girls School. Eventually, in 1959 it moved to the Cheney Lane site and became Cheney Girls Grammar School. However, this is only half the story! In 1934 John Henry Brookes created a junior day department of the Arts and Technical College, based in Church Street near st Ebbe's. This later become Cheney Technical School and moved to Cheney Lane in 1954. The two schools eventually merged in 1972 to become Cheney Comprehensive School.
We are delighted to be launching a new project, the Living Museum, which enables students to explore, introduce and display objects from their own lives at the Rumble Museum.
One of the most exciting new projects we are developing together with the classics centre this year involves the design and creation of a number of murals which will explore possible biographies for some of the many Roman artefacts we have on display at the centre.
Most of the items we have are pieces of much larger objects, and the idea behind these mural trails is to show the story of how some of these items would have been made and used, and eventually broken, and discovered centuries later as fragments. Each trail will consist of three murals which trace these stories; the artefact itself will then appear in small cabinet at the end of the mural trail. The trails will eventually appear all across the school campus, as well as in feeder schools.
During 2015, a group of Year Nine students had the opportunity to be involved in an exciting archaeological project run by Oxford Archaeology.The project involved two in-school workshops followed by a tour of the Westgate Centre site and excavation finds.
In the first session, Ben Ford (Project Manager of Westgate excavations at OA) used historic maps to show how the area has changed over time. Pupils used the maps to identify different land use, known buildings, road layouts, and rivers and they saw how the area around the Greyfriars and St Ebbes has changed. This showed how archaeologists learn about what is in an area before they start excavating.
In the second session, Jane Harrison (Oxford Castle Unlocked - Outreach and Education) looked at the historical background of the Greyfriars and the area. This gives archaeologists the background information about the type of site and remains that they could encounter.