It is the time of year when S2 History pupils are thinking about starting the Fereday Project based on local studies. Orkney’s rich history and culture forms the background to the Fereday Prize run by the Orkney Heritage Society. Set up by former principal teacher of History at KirkwallGrammar school, Ray Fereday, the prize is awarded annually to S2 pupils for an historical investigation on local history with a view to the best projects being placed in the Orkney Library & Archive. The winners are usually those who have researched and written about original topics that have seldom been documented elsewhere.
To help our pupils, here is a guide to using the local studies section in the school library.
The document is also availble via the Stromness Academy Library Glow group in the documents under ‘History’ for those who have access.
Currently, there are two new displays in the library.
During January S1 pupils carried out their Ancient Civilisations investigation for History. There is now a display of 1M’s work in the library along with some photographs of them hard at work in the library.
The Health & Wellbeing leaflet display (formerly Health Information Centre) has undergone a small revamp with leaflets recently being checked for accuracy and generally been given a tidy up. Books on Health & Wellbeing are also displayed next to the leaflet rack.
Since the February break, S1 pupils in History have been carrying out investigations into ancient civilisations. Prior to starting their research, pupils did a one period information skills course, which introduced them to some of the resources available in the library and to the internet hotlist on The Ancient World. They were also shown the planning process which would enable them to produce a good investigation.
Four classes have been coming to the library twice a week to carry out their research. The pupils have used the library very effectively, showing a good working knowledge of how to find information both in the library and on the internet. The extensive collection of books on this vast topic have been well used, as have the books borrowed from The Orkney Library. The pupils are encouraged to spend 1 – 2 periods using the book resources only, not going anywhere near the internet. This means that by the time they come to search the vastness of the information superhighway, they will have some understanding of the topic they are researching and the keywords they will need to use.
The current info skills and subsequent investigation is a far cry from 15 or so years ago when the pupils only investigated Romans, Greece or Egypt. Pupils are given a fairly wide remit in terms of the topics they choose to research include: Ancient Rome, Vikings, Ancient Greece (with one pupil focussing on Sparta), Ancient Egypt, Aztec, Inca, Maya and Ancient China. Several pupils are also looking at the history of the Australian Aborigines, New Zealand Maori and Canadian Inuit.
It is a real delight to see the pupils getting on with their work independentaly with little input from myself or the History Teachers. Part of the success of this particular department / library liaison is down to the fact that over the years, the info skills booklet has been tweeked and developed until it is now at the stage that it provides an effective short course / introduction to the research and that the teachers have been supportive of the role the library has in such work.