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Project Title:St Patrick's Trian and Palace Stables Heritage Centre: Education Programme
Contact:Nigel Glenny/Rachel Cooper
Address:Armagh City and District Council
Council Offices
The Palace Demesne
BT60 4EL
Telephone:01861 521801/529629
Fax:01861 510810/529630


The development and the implementation of the education programme has been divided into three stages. Beginning in January 1994 with the commissioning of the Northern Ireland Centre of Learning Resources (NICLR) and a process of initial consultation with teachers and other educationalists, the first series of on site activities were in place by the summer of 1996, the final phase of programme development will be completed by June 1998.

The financial support from PSEPII has made possible the following:
* the purchase of classroom furniture and learning resources, computer equipment, costumes and artefacts,
* the creation of two Education Assistant posts (three year contracts),
* the production of educational activities and resources and the promotion of the same.

The following is an outline of the EMU activities developed by NICLR for the Palace Stables and St Patrick's Trian:

St Patrick's Trian

Key Stage One:
'A journey through Liliput' - Visit the Land of Liliput exhibition, explore giant artefacts and follow-up with a lively session of structured play activities.

Key Stage Two:
'A Journey Through Liliput' - Visit the Land of Liliput exhibition, build a giant jigsaw of Gulliver, explore a discovery map and assemble the Liliput storyboard. 'Visiting the Past' - Experience Early Christian Ireland through practical activity and investigation. Explore the work of the scribe and solve Viking riddles.

Key Stages Two and Three:
'Saint Patrick - man, myth and legend' - Investigate a range of evidence and make decisions - myth or reality in a quest to discover who Saint Patrick really was.
'Armagh - A city through time' - Use a range of evidence to trace the settlement influences from the first monastic settlement through to modern times. Activities are linked to active exploration of historic buildings and sites surrounding the Trian.

Key Stages Three and Four:
'Belief Through Time' and 'Windows on Belief' - Examine themes on belief in human experience and explore this theme as visualised in the Armagh story exhibition. Express personal and group beliefs through the design of stained glass windows.
'Armagh a City Through Time'.

Palace Stables

Key Stages One and Two:
'Boxes in the Attic' - Discover life in recent times through a variety of memory boxes with artefacts. Key Stage Two pupils delve deeper into Victorian times. Pupils use plans and clues, play a role and interpret the past.

'Tree Tales and Trails' - Pupils are encouraged to be aware of and value the natural environment. The activities combine story telling on human and environmental issues, with discovery, investigation and practical activities.

Key Stage Two:
'Woodland Trails' - Pupils are involved in a range of progressive activities during the active seasonal trails. Activities introduce ecological concepts, observation and recording techniques and environmental awareness.

Key Stages Two and Three:
'Time Trail' - An investigation of the development of a site through time. Pupils are engaged in a range of practical activities using maps, plans and an interactive database.

Key Stages Two, Three and Four:
'Past Times, Past Generations' - Activities focus on the architecture of the demesne site. Pupils interact with 'living history' characters and reconstruct past events.

Project Success:
The introduction of the educational activities supported by PSEPII has had a dramatic effect on the number of EMU schools participating in the project: EMU pupil visits at the Palace Stables increased by 39%, the number at St Patrick's Trian increased by 68% during the first school year in which the activities were available. Despite the wider political problems of the period, the number of EMU groups during the 96-97 school year was similar to that of the previous school year - the majority of visits being repeat visits. This sustainability of the product together with the very positive feedback received from school visit questionnaires indicates the educational resources developed to date are facilitating work in the areas of mutual understanding and cultural heritage in a way that is both relevant to the curriculum and also enjoyed by the children participating. Having produced a product which would appear to be successful, concentration is now being made on the promotion of the educational activities. PSEPII assistance is currently being used in the marketing of the programme through the part funding of the design and printing of promotional material specifically targeting EMU planners.

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