From creating their own songs to delving into the archives to dig out hidden gems of history, children from a South Shields primary have loved learning more about local history.

Year 5 pupils from SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary School, which is part of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, worked with Hand Of charity’s Tyne and the Tide Project South for a week of hands-on activities at South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade Watch House Museum (SSVLB).

The children worked with a theatre practitioner, musician and artist, plus an archivist from the Houses of Parliament travelled from London to work with the children, who had the opportunity to view copies of original plans for South/North Shields piers and an Act of Parliament.

The project has enabled the children to explore history and the arts as well as political and environmental issues, and their fun week culminated in a performance for parents and carers at the Watch House.

Year 5 pupil Lilli-May Kennedy, 10, said: “We learned so much about our local area like that the North Pier wasn’t meant to be straight! The rocks kept breaking and so the plans changed to make it a straight pier. If you look at the top of it, you can see it is now a curve.”

Corah Given, 10, Year 5, said: “I learned about loads of different shipwrecks and we wrote our own song by matching the letters of the alphabet to items in the Watch House. I loved doing the performance and making the props.”

Ayma Behroozi, 10, Year 5, said: “My favourite things from my week at the Watch House were creating drama pieces and sketching the area. Also, someone from Parliament came to visit us!”

Year 5 class teacher, Rachael Purvis, said: “The Tyne and the Tide project was an amazing opportunity for our children to connect to their local heritage and create a performance based on our learning of maritime history, local geography and folk music tradition.

“Each child was able to bring their ideas to life in a creative space surrounded by our rich history. Hand Of and SSVLB created an invaluable and memorable experience for our children which I am sure they will remember for years to come.”

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