Visits to schools all over Yorkshire (and surrounding areas)
Motivational, vivid and real! Through these costumed, historical characters I present exciting, interactive and creative ways to learn history and practice a wide range of Key Stages 1 and 2 literacy skills, all bound up with a large dose of imagination. I describe historical people and events, demonstrate my possessions, answer lots of questions and tell stories in many different ways – allowing the children to participate by either acting out the parts or by joining in the discussion. For KS3 and older audiences I offer the chance to have a conversation with a well-researched historical character, to hear his stories, jokes, beliefs and attitudes, as well as to learn some social, religious and political history.
I am a qualified History teacher, insured for third party liability (with Simply Business/Maltings) and DBS certificated. As well as my work in schools, I have been employed to deliver ‘in-character’ talks to a wide variety of audiences and am also a very experienced re-enactor (with the Queen’s Regiment, Okey’s Dragoons and other groups).
About my visits
My characters range from Elizabethan sea rovers (including one of Sir Francis Drake‘s sailors who circumnavigated the globe with him), through several seventeenth century manifestations – Guy Fawkes, a variety of English Civil War characters, a gentleman who lived through the Great Plague of 1665 and the Great Fire of London a year later and the famous Yorkshire highwayman John Nevison – to an early eighteenth century pirate. The sessions are cross-curricular in nature, and can involve storytelling, demonstration of artefacts, class or group activities and written literacy work, with different characters focusing on particular elements. See here for information on all the available characters.
I adopt a flexible approach, endeavouring to liaise with teachers in advance to take into account factors such as the children’s existing knowledge and ability level, school resources/spaces, groupings, timings, etc. I strive to interact with as many individual children as possible in each group and to ensure that all have the best possible experience. My language is convincingly old fashioned enough to draw children in, honed over more than 20 years of working with primary age pupils. I explain any words crucial to their comprehension, but as many of the words I employ are used in context most children understand them anyway.
As well as being costumed, I bring a variety of artefacts and possessions for demonstration, Q&A, and for supervised, careful handling by the children.
Paul Mackintosh, MA(Hons), PGCE