‘Exploring Sligo, a Study of Sligo’s Heritage’ is a schools heritage and ICT project, which seeks to promote high levels of awareness and understanding of local heritage amongst participants. The project, initiated by Sligo Education Centre, originated as a result of consultations which took place between the centre and a number of teachers during which it became evident that local Sligo children were not aware of their local heritage and history. There then followed a discussion with a local archaeologist Joyce Enright, during which the possibility of doing some work with local schools was explored. The project ran in six County Sligo primary schools during 2010 and was co-ordinated by Joyce Enright and staff from the Sligo Education Centre. The project was supported by funding from the Centre and from the Heritage Council.
Each school involved had a workshop facilitated by Joyce, followed by visits to the local Heritage sites. Based on these visits the pupils documented their experiences in writing, photography, and art, and some in film and also collated stories about the sites. The website is designed using all the pupils own work based on their learning. It is hoped that it will be a resource to other local children, families and schools, but also that it will be a resource for any tourists who may wish to visit Sligo.
This website was only launched in the last two weeks and is a great example of how technology can be used to enhance pupils’ study and understanding of the curriculum, in this instance the SESE History curriculum. Rang V from my own school were involved and, although a huge amount of work went into the project both by the class teachers and by the pupils, there was a great sense of achievement when the final product was unveiled. The project also allowed the pupils to leave the confines of the classroom and explore at first hand the rich heritage that surrounds us in this beautiful part of the country. The pupils visited heritage sites such as Knocknarea Mountain, Culleenamore, Carrowmore Megalithic tombs, Parkes’ Castle, St. Attracta’s Well and Carrowkeel.
While this website could be seen to be solely of relevance to pupils in this area of the North-West, it could also be used as an invaluable resource for classes all around the country when doing a series of lessons on the comparative study of another area in the country. The website also shows the possibilities that can be achieved when marrying an area of the curriculum with technology. It provides a template for others to emulate, either on a larger or smaller scale. It also follows on the heels of other successful curriculum/technology projects in Sligo like the Seashore Project: “From Skerrydoo to Carrickfadda – A Study of Sligo’s Coastline” and the “Field Fences of County Sligo” project.