Our week of archive related activities to celebrate the opening of Paganel Archives on Friday 28th June at 2pm has got off to a brilliant start with an intensive two days of interviewing friends of the school for the archive’s oral history collection.
Every class in the school has been involved in interviewing a past teacher, past pupil, dinner lady or local resident and we have learned amazing things from stories about bomb shelters in the school playground to open air classrooms. There have been some great questions about school life and changes in the area, and some more thought provoking questions like ‘what would you change’? and ‘how old were you when you were young?’
It has been a privilege to listen to these stories and a delight to witness the interest of the children, not only in finding out about stories about their school and area but also in sharing their own stories about how their life is now and how it compares to the past. More often than not the interviews ended in a bit of chat between interviewee and interviewers and a mutual reflection on school and everyday life.
For the rest of the week the children will be working with arts practitioners to bring to life the stories they have recorded and to present them in celebration of the archive opening on Friday afternoon. Whatever is produced by the children, it is part of taking ownership of their archive and the stories they are collecting in it and the celebration and recognition of their own history and the history of their community.