History in your hands: Year 7

Year 7 pupils have begun their study of History at Test Valley this week with an exploration of the artefacts that form the basis of all our shared past.

They were challenged to look at a broad selection of items from the past. This ranged from Roman coins, letters from an emigrant to Australia, pages from a book published during the reign of Elizabeth I to stamps celebrating the England Word Cup victory during the reign of Elizabeth II. They examined them to work out how old they were and put them into a chronological sequence. They then discovered how much they could learn about the past from each object.

Although there were lots of unusual items including Hundred Million Mark notes from Germany in 1923 and pamphlets from 1706/7 with dates on, the items that drew the pupils’ attention most were the ones that made a noise! In particular, the star of the lesson was a 1920s 78rpm gramophone complete with original records. Discovering music that could be played by winding up a machine and putting a needle on a flat disc, changing the volume by opening and closing the doors at the front, was a delight and a wonder to young people living in our iPhone generation!