How children can experience Colchester Castle from home
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You might not be able to see it in person during the lockdown - but now Colchester Castle is educating children about their town’s past online, with new activities and virtual learning.
Colchester Museums hold artefacts of national importance telling the story of Britain’s oldest recorded town, with thousands of schoolchildren usually visiting locations like Colchester Castle to see history firsthand.
Now the museum’s new distance-learning platform, Museums From Home, has partnered with in the Children’s University, a charity promoting extra-curricular activities – so they can bring the history of the town to life during lockdown.
Deputy leader Julie Young, cabinet member for culture and performance, said: “I am thrilled the team at Colchester Museums has joined forces with the Children’s University to ensure children don’t miss out on the learning-based activities the Museums usually offer.
“Through simple and fun tasks, families can complement any home learning they are doing, and children can earn stamps for their passports.
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“It’s hoped that these small activities will help maintain a degree of normality for children during this uncertain time.”
Colchester was the first Roman capital of Britain and the site of Queen Boudica’s rebellion, with the castle built on the foundations of the Roman Temple of Claudius.
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That history has inspired the home activities included in the new programme, with children encouraged to try and make Roman mosaics, dressing up as Roman soldiers and trying to crack the cypher the Children’s University have devised.
All children who complete the activities labelled with the Children’s University badge will be eligible for an activity stamp in their Children’s University Passport to Learning, which will count towards their ‘graduations’ once lockdown is lifted and children can visit these exhibits again.
Debbie Bennett, manager of Essex Children’s University and Suffolk Children’s University, added: “Learning happens all around us, in different ways, every day.
“Home learning challenges and activities are part of our general offer and we’ve been working hard to make sure that children and families have an extended variety of suggestions and ideas and we are delighted that our partnership with Colchester Museums goes from strength to strength.”
Children can find the first activity on the Museums From Home website.