From I Spy to iPods – History goes high tech at Fort Nelson - Thursday, 3 November 2011
The Royal Armouries today launches its brand new state-of-the-art education facilities at Fort Nelson – using the latest interactive technology to make history come alive for Hampshire primary schoolchildren.
Pupils from Northern Junior School will become German spies for the day (November 2), using iPods to explore this fully-restored Victorian fort and to learn about its vital role in the Second World War.
The new education service is part of the £3.5m revamp of Fort Nelson, supported by a grant of over £2m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Armed with secret instruction documents, children from the Portchester School will infiltrate the Fort in a Key Stage 2 (KS2) Second World War history session – Spies Like Us.
Education officer Eileen Clegg said, “These exciting and innovative sessions give pupils a unique insight into Fort Nelson’s role during the Second World War. They will find out what went on at the Fort, its strengths and weaknesses, and how to formulate a plan of attack. They will also discover Fort Nelson’s role in protecting the South Coast from enemy air-raids, and about the lives of people who worked here during wartime.
“The children will use a mix of role play and the latest technology, to gather information from around the Fort. They will discover the areas that were vital to operations in 1940 as by following a special route – like a Treasure Hunt – with excitement building as they go.”
Once their mission is accomplished, they will then upload their work directly from iPods to Wizkid, the Hampshire County Council online learning platform. This will allow them to access their work once they are back in their school classrooms. Schools without Wizkid access will be provided with memory sticks.
The Spies Like Us sessions are just part of the new-look education service, launched in the Royal Armouries education centre.
The programme also includes:
- First World Sessions, covering Trench Warfare, A Soldier’s Life at Fort Nelson and WWI Study Day (KS3 and 4).
- Science sessions*, covering Catapults and Trebuchets (KS3 and 4).
- Florence Nightingale – including sessions in the new hospital gallery (KS 1).
- Hog Tales and the Fort’s Furry Friends (KS1) – learn about materials science through the traditional children’s story, The Three Little Pigs, plus discover the animals and plants’ habitats on Portsdown Hill.
- Victorians (KS2) – learn about why Fort Nelson was built, and the lives and times of the people who lived there and built it.
- Science – Two sessions focusing on Catapults and Trebuchets, plus Eggstreme Armour (KS2).
Museum creative director Peter Armstrong said, “Where better than to learn about history than this stunning Victorian Fort, which has been fully refurbished in a sympathetic and meaningful way. Children can tread the paths of the Victorians, and First and Second World War soldiers, and see for themselves how they lived their lives.”
The education visits are available during term time. Visit www.royalarmouries.org for more details and teachers’ notes.
For more information about Fort Nelson:
Notes to Editors
- The Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson houses the national collection of historic cannon and big guns. The museum houses one of the world’s finest collections with over 350 cannon dating back over 600 years and from every corner of the earth. The collection originated at HM Tower of London and has been on display in Hampshire since 1995. Website: www.royalarmouries.org
- Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported more than 30,000 projects allocating £4.6billion across the UK. Website: www.hlf.org.uk
- Hampshire County Council has worked in partnership with the Royal Armouries since 1988 to provide a home for the national artillery collection. This has included leasing Fort Nelson to the Royal Armouries, maintaining the structure and providing ongoing support from the council’s property services team.
- The Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson also tells the story of the Palmerston Forts, built to protect Portsmouth from a feared French invasion in the 1860’s.
- Fort Nelson is open every day except 24-26 December. April to October 10am –5pm (Wed 11am-5pm), November – March 10.30am – 4pm (Wed 11.30-4pm).
- Admission to the Royal Armouries is FREE.
- Admission charges apply to some events.
- Information line: 01329 233734
- Website: www.royalarmouries.org
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Royal Armouries is the national museum of arms and armour with sites at Fort Nelson, Leeds, HM Tower of London and Louisville, Kentucky, USA.
- To support the work of the Royal armouries; make a donation at justgiving.com
- The Royal Armouries Museum should not be confused with Royal Armouries International plc, the private sector corporate hospitality business.