Placement at David Livingstone Centre
As part of the RCAHMS Skills for the Future traineeship, we Education and Outreach trainees get the opportunity to work with partners in different locations for three months between April and June. I have just completed my first month working as Outdoor Learning Intern with the National Trust for Scotland based at The David Livingstone Centre, Blantyre.
I have been carrying out research into Livingstone’s life focussing on the themes of nature and exploration with the aim of identifying ways in which the outdoors can be used as a tool for interpreting the Livingstone story to visitors. I have also had the opportunity to shadow the delivery of educational sessions to school groups which has included their dressing up in lion costumes to fully embrace the story of the lion attack that David suffered in 1844 during his time in Mabotsa.
In addition, visiting school children have the opportunity to dress in Victorian clothing for a lesson in the old Victorian schoolroom where David himself used to study. African handling sessions are also held which involve the children using authentic African instruments and learning about traditional dress and jewellery.
During my time at DLC, I will be running several projects which will pilot outdoor learning on site and will feed in to the Outdoor Learning Strategy which I will be producing on completion of my placement. One such project will be working in conjunction with Liber8 (see more info here http://www.liber8.org.uk/index.php/services/youth-1038871841/streetbase-south-908120299) on the delivery of a John Muir Discovery Award with a group of young people. This will require them to meet several challenges including Discovering, Exploring and Conserving a place as well as Sharing their experiences with others.
I will also be involved in working with a group of young people from an organisation called Columba 1400 (see more info here http://www.columba1400.com/what-we-do/overview/overview) and I will be devising outdoor learning activities which will enable them to further develop their understanding of the Livingstone story.
We have an exciting archaeological project coming up at the centre which will entail excavating a section of ground close to where the mill manager’s house once stood. I will be particularly involved in the outreach aspect of this project, considering the way in which we can involve groups such as our Liber8 young people in this and how best to interpret the dig to the general public at Blantyre Gala Day in June.
It has been a very busy few weeks and I look forward to updating you on these projects over the next few weeks.