Over the past year, our Education Team reached thousands of students across the country by quickly adapting to lockdown with their expanded online content. As students start to return to the classroom, we’re reflecting on the team’s achievements.  

Faced with the interruption of onsite classroom learning, the Education Team developed live online taught sessions, pre-recorded assemblies and a family events programme, reaching more students than ever before.  

In the autumn term of 2020, they taught 4,555 students, a 480 percent increase from the same period in 2019. These workshops enabled them to reach schools across the country, not only those who could travel to Kew. As a result, over 51 percent of students taught in the autumn term were from schools outside London.  

In addition, classes were specifically designed for special educational needs and disability (SEND) schools and delivered virtually to students both in school and at home, allowing a greater number of pupils to experience historic documents in an environment where they are most comfortable. 

Rachel Hillman, Education Operations Manager, said: “After working hard to turn our onsite taught sessions into online workshops delivered via Zoom, we have been overwhelmed by the positive response we have received. By adapting to the limitations set by the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to produce a bigger and better online programme with new content, while reaching more students than ever before.” 

From Tudor kings to rebellion in the Caribbean, the sessions span time periods and provide an introduction to the breadth of documents in our collection. For Black History Month, the team developed a brand new online workshop and assembly on The Mangrove Nine, which encouragestudents to examine different perspectives on this ground-breaking case. For LGBTQ+ History Month, an assembly called Hidden Love explorethe lives of the LGBTQ+ community in the 1930s. 

 Jess AngellHead of History at Cambourne Village College, said: “We are always trying to find new ways to engage our students in history and your sessions certainly did this! In a year when we cannot offer our usual extra-curricular opportunities your sessions have been even more powerful. The sessions really were a highlight for both staff and students.” 

Alongside bookable lessons, the team also uploaded a range of online sessions for Key Stages 1 to 5. To help with home-schooling, they launched Time Travel TV, a pre-recorded weekly broadcast examining documents in the archives aimed at children in Key Stage 2. They also introduced History Hook, which provides students with mini video clips to encourage greater engagement with Key Stage 3 resources. Combined, these free online videos reached over 20,400 views from April to December. 

As students begin their return to school, a host of educational resources can be found on our website. The team will continue to deliver workshops virtually, both to classrooms and students at home. For more information, please click here. 

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