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Forgotten Wrecks of the First World War

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School Sessions

The Maritime Archaeology Trust has over 10 years of experience creating and delivering archaeological education and outreach activites and resources for a diverse range of audiences. The Forgotten Wrecks of the First World War project has a strong Education and Outreach programme which includes sessions for schools and groups.

We can deliver sessions for small groups such as after school clubs or for entire year groups or schools. Three basic sessions that have been successfuly delivered within schools are detailed below, but we can be very flexible in length, format and target age range in order to suit your needs, so if you have something else in mind, please let us know. All Forgotten Wrecks and First World War themed sessions are free of charge, being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. There are also downloadable resources available such as PowerPoints and teaching packs if you would like to run a session yourself.

We can also offer sessions on board SS Shieldhall providing excellent opportunities for Learning Outside the Classroom in an environment entirely appropriate to the subject matter. Check out our leaflet for more information.

If you would like to discuss your requirements, find out more information or book a session, please email Jasmine at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We also offer school sessions on other maritime archaeology topics. Please see our main schools and educators website for more information.

Session Length Description
Introduction to Maritime Archaeology and the First World War 45 mins - 1 hr

Students will be able to discover more about Maritime Archaeology and the First World War through a short ten minute talk and 3 hands-on activities: try-on dive kit, mini-ROVs and mini-airlifts, and archaeological artefact handling.

Suitable for all ages. 

Maritime Archaeology and the First World War: Extended. 2 hrs

Students are introduced to Maritime archaeology and the First World War and will get the chance to try on dive kit, control the mini-ROVs and mini-Airlifts and handle real archaeological artefacts. They will then, by working through the evidence, challenged with discovering the identity of a mystery shipwreck.

Suitable for all ages.

Introduction to Historic Research 4 x 30 min -1 hr sessions

Spread over the course of four sessions, this series will teach students the process of researching a historical shipwreck.

Session 1: Introduction to Maritime Archaeology and the Forgotten Wrecks Project.
Session 2: How to research a shipwreck.
Session 3: Research Session on an assigned wreck (without MAT staff)
Session 4: Feedback and reporting session.

Suitable for upper primary and above.

Requires access to a computer suite. 

Maritime Archaeology, Forgotten Wrecks and the National Curriculum

The Forgotten Wrecks Project's education programme ties closely with the new National Curriculum (2014), not only in history but across other subjects as well. From maths to art, the maritime archaeology of the First World War can be applied across the breadth of the curriculum and, through its exploration, help develop soft skills alongside academic skills.

Maths: while not often associated with maths, Maritime Archaeology involves the use of trigonometry and measurement systems for archaeological survey. Interrogation and analysis of data is also essential and we can provide real-life examples for pupils to work through.

Geography: the First World War was a global conflict, and its study offers students the opportunity to examine human and physical geography, international links, and world-wide contrasts and comparisons between now and 100 years ago.

Science: from understanding how buoyancy works to radiocarbon dating, Maritime Archaeology employs a myriad of scientific techniques. Exploring them in context allows students to see their real-world applications, which in turn can aid understanding.

History: Maritime Archaeology and the First World War ties into the history curriculum, not only by covering one of the curriculum's suggested eras, but also by offering the opportunity to investigate local history, another aspect of the curriculum that was particularly spotlighted in the 2014 changes. With thousands of shipwrecks around the British Isles, there are many amazing local stories with links to local communities. With our sessions, students are also encouraged to understand and practice methods of historical enquiry and explore abstract concepts.

English: engagement with Maritime Archaeology in English can help improve comprehension, vocabulary and writing skills. Complex ideas can be explored in the context of history and the subject lends itself well to creative and factual writing tasks based on historic and contemporary accounts relating to the First World War's forgotten wrecks.

Soft Skills: our sessions are also a great way to develop soft skills such as teamwork, critical thinking and communication. By working together to share information, evaluate evidence and try something new, we aim to promote confidence and engagement with learning.