Kingsland History project
As staff and pupils of Kingsland Primary school began planning the move to their new premises in October 2009 their thoughts turned to the generations of former pupils who had passed through the building since it was built in 1901. The P7 pupils decided to interview former pupils still in the town to capture stories from their schooldays. Pupils’ and teachers’ enthusiasm generated great co-operation with the former pupils, the oldest being 92.
Radio Borders became involved and provided support on interview techniques and even lent a professional microphone. The school and Tweeddale Museum worked productively together to create an exhibition of pictures and artefacts, with stations to listen to the recordings. Entitled “Kingsland From The Old To The New” it was open to the public from the end of September and was extended to the end of November by popular demand. Local people, organisations and politicians enjoyed pre-arranged visits with enthusiastic pupils as guides.
There was a great element of enjoyment and pleasure as former pupils came into their old school and shared stories with the interviewers and their classmates.
All pupils were involved in researching the history of Kinglands and contributed work and ideas to aspects of the project. Class photos dating back 100 years to the present were unearthed. Some pupils liaised with museum staff in setting up the displays and content and others were involved later as guides. In addition to the exhibits there were opportunities to step into the past using pen nib and ink, take a reading test and work on maths with pounds, shillings and pennies, as well as try an original weighing machine using stones, pounds and ounces. All classes visited the exhibition.
- The human factor of interviewing the former pupils brought the generations face to face.
- The project tapped into a huge pool of local support and interest.
- Pupils were enthused as they identified with their school’s former pupils and history.
“I enjoyed pointing out the changes – it was great fun. People liked using slates but didn’t like the idea of the belt for bad behaviour!” P7 guide Becky (photo left).
“We were really happy with the numbers who came and the exhibition seems to have been enjoyed by all.” Curator Rosemary Hannah.
“The exhibition has been a great success and has allowed the community to contribute, remember and celebrate the history of Kingsland and prepare for the move to our new building.” Head teacher Jacqueline Wilson.