Cadw’s Education Programme is a Hit with Wales’s School Children

Friday 21 June 2013

Historic sites across south east Wales have seen more than a 15% increase in the number of school visits over the past 12 months, as Cadw’s education programme continues to expand.

Childhood home of renowned Welsh author to be acquired by Cadw

Cadw’s education programme is a hit with Wales’s school children

Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, launched its programme of education activities in 2009 to deliver curriculum-linked, out of the classroom learning experiences for teachers and pupils.

Since April 2012, more than 94,400 school children have visited Cadw staffed sites across Wales under Cadw’s free education admissions scheme.

Tretower Court and Castle is the latest Cadw site to launch a Discovery Day as part of the education offer, which aims to enthuse pupils about history and their heritage in captivating environments.

Pupils from Llangattock Primary School were the first to take part in the activities at Tretower and helped mark the official launch of the education programme.

The year 3 and 4 pupils were greeted by a costumed steward and his wife, and treated as prospective servants. Pupils were given a guided tour of their workplace, and an overview of the tasks they would undertake in each location including the garden, pantry, buttery and servery.

Tour guides at the mid 12th-century house also gave demonstrations of how marchpane (marzipan) was moulded in the kitchen, and how the table would have been set in the serving hall. Pupils were then tasked with replicating the activity to test their suitability for the servant vacancies.

John Griffiths, Minister for Culture and Sports, said: 'I’m delighted to see a significant increase in school visits to our historical sites in south Wales which is proof that we are meeting our Programme for Government target to increase the number of educational visits to Cadw heritage sites. Cadw’s Discovery Days are an invaluable opportunity to engage young schoolchildren with their local heritage as well as meet national curriculum requirements by linking heritage, history and the arts.

'It’s important to enhance the next generation’s understanding of our heritage here in Wales, as they are the future custodians of our historical sites.'

Rhian Whittle, year 3 classroom teacher at Llangattock Primary School, said: 'The school trip to Tretower Court and Castle was fantastic. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed themselves and learnt an incredible amount about their local historical site.
'The variety of practical activities involved pupils in a fun and engaging way. The demonstrations in the kitchen and serving hall really helped the children to imagine life in Tudor times, and definitely brought Tretower to life for them.

'School trips to historical sites are hugely beneficial to pupils as they benefit from a change of environment and experience a different way of learning.'

Adrienne Wood, Cadw’s Lifelong Learning Manager, said: 'The new practical education activities at Tretower Court and Castle are the latest addition to our Discover Days available at five Cadw sites across south Wales, and the first of our programmes to focus on life in Tudor times.

'Tretower is within one hour’s drive from Cardiff and Newport, and less than an hour and a half’s drive from Swansea. The workshops are a great way of encouraging schools to visit this lesser known but spectacular historic site in its idyllic rural setting.

'The hands-on activities at Tretower offer the first link to exploring the Tudor period in south Wales, and the house is fully furnished as if the family who lived there have just gone out for a walk. The Discovery Day provides pupils and teachers with a brilliant opportunity to explore the past outside of the classroom and make learning fun.'

For any further enquiries about Cadw’s Discovery Days, please contact Adrienne Wood, Cadw’s Lifelong Learning Manager on 01443 336142.