Visits to schools all over Yorkshire (and surrounding areas)

Sir William Petty

Exciting, motivational and real! Through my costumed, historical characters I offer interactive, experiential learning for Key Stages 1 and 2 history and literacy, 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. Some characters are specifically designed to give the children an compelling ‘reason to write‘. For Key Stage 3 and older audiences I can offer the chance to have a conversation with a well-researched historical character, to hear his stories, knowledge, jokes and beliefs, 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 an experienced re-enactor (currently with the Queen’s Regiment and Okey’s Dragoons).

About my visits

My characters range from two Elizabethan sea rovers (including one of Sir Francis Drake‘s sailors who circumnavigated the globe), through several seventeenth century manifestations, including Guy Fawkes, a variety of English Civil War characters, a famous gentleman who lived through the Great Plague of 1665 and the Great Fire of London and the infamous Yorkshire highwayman John Nevison (who convinces UKS2 children to write), and also my very popular early eighteenth century character Captain Burwash, the Pirate. The sessions are cross-curricular in nature, and involve storytelling, demonstration of artifacts, 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, liaising 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, but still accessible, honed over more than 20 years of working with primary age pupils. I explain any words crucial to their comprehension, but as most of the ‘old’ words I employ are used in conversational context, the children generally understand them.

As well as being costumed, I bring a variety of artifacts and possessions for demonstration, Q&A, and for supervised, careful handling by the children.

Paul Mackintosh, MA(Hons), PGCE

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