During 2012 over 40 schools from South Wiltshire, North Dorset and West Hampshire have been helped to explore the history of their school and surroundings. What’s Under Your School? is a project funded by Dr Alistair Somerville Ford, through CBA Wessex and delivered by archaeologist, writer and broadcaster Julian Richards and Claire Ryley, formerly the education officer at Fishbourne Roman Palace.
The idea is to help schools and the communities that they are part of to investigate the past in a fun way, using maps and documents, aerial photographs, simple observation and even, in some cases, geophysical survey and excavation. The emphasis is on helping schools to bring their local history to life, teaching skills rather than just providing information.
Each school project has been different, tailored to the location, the individual school curriculum and the curiosity of the staff and children. The exhibition brings together the results of their findings, from 7000 year old flint tools to the site of a Victorian school and showcases the skills that have been acquired, from prehistoric pottery making to Roman cookery.