Outreach work at Hinton St Mary, Dorset (awarded 2023)

The 2023 season of the Hinton St Mary excavations welcomed 143 pupils with a range of learning difficulties and special educational needs from Yewstock School in Sturminster Newton, who came along for afternoons of hands-on archaeology (opportunities to take part in archaeological excavations are very rare for children such as those attending Yewstock School). Our aim was to provide an enriching learning experience for the schoolchildren to understand how archaeologists uncover the past, as well as developing an appreciation of this unique local archaeological site. Pupils took part in various practical activities and they greatly enjoyed themselves during their time on the excavation. Archaeology is physical work and the activities were very tactile, involving finding, holding, identifying and cleaning objects of different materials, sizes and shapes. The outreach programme accommodated a wide range of needs and, although not all of the children could take part in every activity, those that were unable to actively join in enjoyed watching their classmates, while colouring sheets of the famous mosaic were provided for students that could not, or did not want to, work on the main activities. More information about the previous and on-going work at Hinton St Mary is at: Hinton St Mary project