Detecting Malvern's Past

Last week Katy Wade was invited to Dyson Perrins Church of England Academy to deliver heritage workshops to over 100 year ten students as part of their Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Day.

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The sessions were designed to promote responsible journalism by assessing and analysing historical sources. At the start students were briefed by an editor of a fake newspaper, who told them they were to investigate four potential news stories she wanted to run about Malvern in the next issue.

Students were then split into three groups and tasked with investigating various 'rooms' to find clues and evidence to support or disprove the potential news stories. Clues were strategically hidden amongst objects in the various rooms, from coat pockets and briefcases, to newspapers and photo frames, along with many false clues and red herrings. Once they had found all the evidence, they then had to decide what stories the sources supported, and whether the evidence was reliable and useful. The groups then had to pitch their selected story to the editor in a mini competition.

Most of the groups decided that based upon evidence they had found, the most interesting and reliable story was looking at the harsh treatment many donkeys faced over time. The series of letters exchanged between Charles Darwin and his wife about the death of their daughter Annie Darwin also interested many, but they felt there was not enough information to interest the reader.

Route to the Hills will be looking to further their relationship with Dyson Perrins over the next year to continue investigating Malvern's history together.