The Hirst Park Videos
It was always a feature of the Rescued from the Sea excavations that local schools would play in important part in the project. However it was thought that this would involve groups of students actually taking part in the dig.
When Hirst Park Middle School arrived with a team of young investigative journalists and their plan to make a series of video features, we took the educational role of the project in a slightly different direction!
The original idea was to create a single video report about the Hauxley project as part of our involvement with BBC News School Report. The infectious enthusiasm of Dr Clive Waddington combined with a forward thinking leadership team at Hirst Park quickly expanded our media project into a series of short videos charting the entire progress of the excavations.
The student crew were there from day one, as the excavators began removing the sand from the site, and filmed at regular intervals (including one shoot during the school summer break) until the excavations were complete. Six months after the original excavations finished, storms and tidal surges battered the coast and the erosion revealed some new and exciting archaeology. Clive and his team returned for an investigation which lasted a few days. We were delighted to be asked to make a follow up film covering this. It was a great opportunity for our Year 8 students to pass on their media skills to our new Year 7 crew.
Of course this isn't just an exercise in pointing a camera! The research, the questions, analysing the interviews and the thread of the edit is all the work of the media crew which makes the process a valuable educational tool. And I must stress that the videos you see here are very much the work of the students. We even include shots of the crew at work in the videos as proof!
The videos have been a tremendous success. The Nortumberland Wildlife Trust as well as Clive Waddington's Archaeological Research Services have been delighted with the response. So far we have managed to exceed 350,000 hits worldwide.
The videos were a fantastic tool for community engagement during the progress of the excavations and have become a fascinating and fresh record of the Rescued from the Sea project to date.
Our original Rescued from the Sea media team were proud to have been invited to the Great North Museum to attend the talk and book signing given by archaeologist Dr. Clive Waddington and his team. The event marks the end of this phase of the project, though the Ashington Learning Partnership media students have been invited in to document any subsequent excavations along the coast.
The picture here shows the media crew being presented with signed copies of his book by Dr. Waddington.