Monday, 24 June 2013

Town Trail for Primary Schools

Kilmarnock & District History Group has been heavily involved in the production of a new resource for Primary schools.
A new education pack, prepared by local teachers working with ourselves, provides Primary pupils and teachers with the resources to investigate  sites of significant historical interest around the town of Kilmarnock.  It also highlights some fascinating information about some of the local landmarks  and about some colourful historic characters such as "Fiftywaistcoats".

The guide is packed with photos and illustrations of 12 key sites, as well as quizzes and flashcards for teachers to use. There are also follow-up activities for classroom projects.
The trail  makes good use of Robert Burns’ connections with Kilmarnock. The children are able to find out about his visits to the town and have the chance to match up some Scots words the poet would have used, with their English equivalents.

The Primary Town Trail project was initiated by Graham Boyd,our syllabus secretary.
Graham said,  “Kilmarnock has many historic buildings in a part of the town centre that has been designated an Outstanding Conservation Area. Sadly, some buildings were falling into disrepair, but the Council’s Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) has helped to fund the repair of these buildings in a sympathetic manner, acting as a catalyst for regeneration of the whole town centre”.
Shona Simpson, of Kilmarnock THI, approached Graham with the idea of developing a town trail specifically for primary pupils, with the innovative Scottish Curriculum for Excellence in mind.
Schools in and around Kilmarnock have all received the Town Trail pack and eventually other East Ayrshire schools will also get copies.

Graham Boyd believes the programme not only has educational benefits – but will also increase young people’s respect for their home town.
He said: “We asked children what their perceptions of Kilmarnock were and some were rather negative. We checked again after they’d been on the trail – and in almost every case they had a greater appreciation of the town and how it had been shaped.”
Alan Ward, East Ayrshire's  Acting Head of Schools, said: “This education pack represents the very best practice in collaboration between schools and their community partners.
Councillor Iain Linton, East Ayrshire's spokesman for Lifelong Learning, said: “This new Primary Town Trail leads you on a fascinating walk through Kilmarnock’s rich, colourful past.

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