Local History Month

Local History Month – a month dedicated to celebrating the history around us at all times – provided the boys at Davenies with a unique opportunity to delve deeper into local  history not often recognised, broadening their appreciation of the heritage of which they are apart of.

Each year, Local History Month is celebrated in May. Its aim is to increase awareness of local history and provides a unique opportunity for us at Davenies to celebrate the history around us and to make history even more relevant for the boys as they can connect with the past from areas they are familiar with. As such, the Junior School have started to plan a Beaconsfield Walk looking at the history on our doorstep.

Celebrating local history also gives the boys an improved sense of identity and place through engagement with the ‘real thing’. For instance, celebrating the history of our very own school. This was particularly true for those in Year 5 studying the Anglo-Saxons and boys in Year 6 when looking at the Normans as Wooburn Green, not far from Beaconsfield, holds many secrets to these periods.

Additionally, Year 7 have been studying the Dissolution of the Monasteries and as such have created a local history project on Bisham Abbey. Bisham Abbey was visited by Henry VIII himself and later gifted to one of his wives, Anne of Cleves.

Another interesting way to look at local history has been to base a local study around an individual because it is a great way to bring the heritage of your locality to life. Many of these individuals are part of larger national events and changes; and seeing these changes at local level through the eyes of a significant local individual has helped the boys to develop their understanding of change and continuity. The Middle School, therefore, took part in The Oratory History Competition looking at significant individuals. Their entries focussed on individuals from Buckinghamshire, which included Aneurin Bevan and Alan Turing. As such, some boys were successful and have been invited to the Winners’ Day, taking place at the start of June.

Studying local significant historical individuals can help to develop the boys’ sense of heritage, identity and belonging with the local area. It also feeds into their views of significance as they think about why these individuals are remembered locally and nationally. The scholars in Year 8 researched and presented on a significant local individual of their choice as they put together a project to incorporate the above.

Local History Month is another example of the diverse topics the boys at Davenies look at and follows on from previous months of celebration of inclusion and diversity that have included Black History Month in October, Disability History Month in November and Women’s History Month in March.

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