From I Spy to iPods – History goes high tech at Fort Nelson - Thursday, 3 November 2011

Boy and girl holding phone showing the picture of an eye
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The Royal Armouries today launches its brand new state-of-the-art education facilities at Fort Nelson – using the latest interactive technology to make history come alive for Hampshire primary schoolchildren.

Pupils from Northern Junior School will become German spies for the day (November 2), using iPods to explore this fully-restored Victorian fort and to learn about its vital role in the Second World War.

The new education service is part of the £3.5m revamp of Fort Nelson, supported by a grant of over £2m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Armed with secret instruction documents, children from the Portchester School will infiltrate the Fort in a Key Stage 2 (KS2) Second World War history session – Spies Like Us.

Education officer Eileen Clegg said, “These exciting and innovative sessions give pupils a unique insight into Fort Nelson’s role during the Second World War. They will find out what went on at the Fort, its strengths and weaknesses, and how to formulate a plan of attack. They will also discover Fort Nelson’s role in protecting the South Coast from enemy air-raids, and about the lives of people who worked here during wartime.

“The children will use a mix of role play and the latest technology, to gather information from around the Fort. They will discover the areas that were vital to operations in 1940 as by following a special route – like a Treasure Hunt – with excitement building as they go.”

Once their mission is accomplished, they will then upload their work directly from iPods to Wizkid, the Hampshire County Council online learning platform. This will allow them to access their work once they are back in their school classrooms. Schools without Wizkid access will be provided with memory sticks.

The Spies Like Us sessions are just part of the new-look education service, launched in the Royal Armouries education centre.

The programme also includes:

Museum creative director Peter Armstrong said, “Where better than to learn about history than this stunning Victorian Fort, which has been fully refurbished in a sympathetic and meaningful way. Children can tread the paths of the Victorians, and First and Second World War soldiers, and see for themselves how they lived their lives.”

The education visits are available during term time. Visit www.royalarmouries.org for more details and teachers’ notes.

For more information about Fort Nelson:

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Notes to Editors

Download the PDF press release.