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6 September 2021

Charlie Trzeciak, our Community and Schools Learning Officer tells us more about an exciting new virtual workshop for primary schools in Hull.

Later this month we will be launching our new virtual workshop 'On Board the Arctic Corsair', which will be available to all Heritage Learning Magical Museums Member Schools to book.

The idea is that this live workshop can be streamed directly into the classroom using Microsoft Teams, to give KS1 and KS2 pupils the chance to find out about the lives of Hull’s trawlermen.

A virtual workshop is, of course, rather different from our usual activities. So, in this blog, we thought we’d give you a behind-the-scenes look at the decisions we made in order to make our On Board the Arctic Corsair session just as exciting!

Arctic Corsair
The Arctic Corsair is the last surviving member of Hull’s deep-water fishing fleet

Decision One: to pre-record or not to pre-record?

The first choice we had to make was whether we wanted to pre-record the workshop and send schools a video, or whether the session would be delivered live by a member of our learning team.

Whilst the first option may have been easier, we think that it is really important for pupils to get the chance to speak to an expert and ask them questions.

It also means that we can tailor the workshop to a school’s specific requirements. That said, we are making a pre-recorded version of the workshop, which we can then send to a school in the event that technology fails us on the day!

Trawlermen Gutting Fish On Deck
Trawlermen gutting fish on the deck

Decision Two: how to make it fun?

In our more traditional workshops, pupils are given the chance to handle historic artefacts and to explore museum galleries.

This, of course, is challenging to replicate in a virtual session, so we had to think long and hard about how we were going to make the workshop as interactive as possible.
In the end, we decided that pupils would have the chance to investigate a wide range of sources.

For example, during the session we we look at artefacts, photographs, audio recordings of trawlermen speaking about their experiences, archival films showing trawlers at sea, and even a virtual model of the Arctic Corsair! Such a mix of materials means that children are always looking at something new, and they also have plenty of chances to discuss and explore these sources for themselves.

A Virtual Model Of The Arctic Corsair
A virtual model of the Arctic Corsair

Decision Three: how to help schools prepare?

As we all know, preparation is everything! As such, we have given a lot of thought to how we can help teachers and pupils prepare for our On Board the Arctic Corsair workshop. For example, we have created two detailed Information for Schools documents, one for KS1 and another for KS2, which have all the details a school needs about the session.

We have also worked with local actor Gordon Meredith to create our Tales from a Trawlerman videos, which teachers can use to familiarise their pupils with some of the themes and topics that will be covered in the workshop.

In the videos, pupils will meet a Hull trawlerman on the Arctic Corsair, who will talk to them about the highs and lows of life at sea. The videos are also accompanied by a transcript and glossary of key vocabulary, as well as ideas for cross-curricular activities to do with a class.

Gordon Meredith In Character As A Hull Trawlerman
Gordon Meredith in character as a Hull trawlerman as part of our Tales from a Trawlerman resource

In conclusion…

So that concludes our behind-the-scenes look at our new virtual workshop! We have piloted the session with some local schools and have spent the summer making improvements so that we will be ready to set sail in September!

On Board the Arctic Corsair is available to be booked by all Heritage Learning Magical Museums Member Schools. If you are interested, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Heritage Learning at heritagelearning@hcandl.co.uk or 01482 318 733.

Thanks to generous funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, we are delighted to offer this workshop free of charge.