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Session plan

Outline

Working in teams, students will have the opportunity to explore the Basing House site and investigate objects and stories that will help them build up a picture of life in England in the early 17th century and the role that Basing House played during the Civil War.

Suggested Timetable

  • 10am - 10.30am Arrival on site. You will be met in the car park and escorted to site, where there will be a general introduction and a briefing about how the day will run
  • 10.30am - 12.15pm Groups complete morning session (see below for details) 
  • 12.15pm - 12.45pm Lunch 
  • 12.45pm - 14.15pm Groups complete afternoon session (see below for details) 
  • 14.15pm - 14.30pm Groups walk from site to coach park – Departure from site

Four groups will do the morning session at Basing Grange while the other four groups do the GPS activity, which is carried out around the ruins of Basing House. After lunch the groups will swap over and will do the session they have not yet done.

Basing Grange Session

Each activity will last approximately 20 minutes, with each group moving from one activity to the next in turn.

Digging Up the Past (fully led)

The chance to handle archaeological evidence, examining 16th and 17th century objects that have been recovered from the site. What can we learn about Basing House from the material that was left behind?

For King or Parliament? (self led)

Listen to a short audio presentation in the Great Barn about a specific incident during the Civil War and then discuss a few key questions. What would you have done and can you put yourselves into the minds of a Royalist or Parliamentarian supporter?

Recreating the Past (self led)

Examine replica equipment that might have been carried by a soldier during the Civil War. Can you work out what the objects are and who they would have been used by? What does this tell us about the life of fighting men during this period?

Talking to the Past (fully led)

Meet a character who was living at Basing House during the Civil War and find out what life was really like for ordinary people at the time. What did they eat, how did they cope with life under siege and what did they think of the events taking place around them?

GPS Session

This will take place around the ruins of Basing House and the surrounding site. Four groups will take part in this activity at the same time, working in small teams of 4-5. They will be fully briefed by Basing House staff, who will also be on hand to help out and answer questions as the activity progresses. As the site is so large, we ask teachers to patrol the site during the course of the activity to make sure that no-one gets into any difficulties.

Each team of 4-5 students will be given a pre-programmed GPS device, full instructions on how to use it and a quiz sheet relating to specific points around the site. They have to find each point using the GPS device and answer a question at each, so that they build up a picture of what happened here during the three sieges of the Civil War. The teams will have about 45 minutes to complete the course before the answers are given out and the scores added up!