Throughout June and July Keep Active have been working closely with 5 Sunderland schools to deliver a heritage programme teaching pupils about the history of Sunderland from the 1700s to present day.

The schools taking part were Willowfields Primary, Bexhill Academy, St Leonards RC Primary, Redby Primary Academy and Wessington Primary.  The programme lasted 1 week and was packed full of hands-on activities for pupils and staff to learn about Sunderland through the ages, from local hero Jack Crawford and his days on the HMS Venerable, through the World Wars and up to the days of ship building on the river Wear.

We worked with a number of partners in order to make the week a success.  These included:

  • John and Rosie from Time Bandits, who gave us a re-enactment of life during the Great War.
  • Aaron from Keep Active delivered a military style boot camp, putting the pupils and staff through their paces.
  • Sunderland Museum led the children through the ship building exhibition and the Lowry art exhibition, looking at work he did while visiting Sunderland.
  • The volunteers at Sunderland Maritime Heritage Museum gave the children some first hand experience of what life was like working in the ship yards, with John Sumner talking in role as Jack Crawford.
  • The staff at the Donnison School who gave the children a tour of the heroes and villains who have lived in the area.
  • Nicola, from Keep Active, who delivered a cookery session teaching the children about rationing during World War 2.

Without the volunteers and staff at these organisations, we would not have been able to make the week the success that it was.  Huge thanks to everyone involved!

The feedback from pupils and staff at each school has been fantastic.  We will work tirelessly to try and acquire further funding in order to allow more schools to benefit from this programme.

Watch this space!

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