History at our school was given a huge boost when we decided to make more use of our wall space: we installed a giant timeline. It covers three corridors - about 115 metres. Starting with the "Big Bang" and featuring many world events up to the present, the timeline reflects the diversity of cultural backgrounds among our pupils and provides a vibrant, stimulating display.
A company called Quality Educational Design did all the physical work, providing everything except some school artefacts that we added to the display. We worked with QED to decide on the aspects of history to be included, incorporating the topics which the children learn about so that pupils could use the timeline for their own research. At the end of the timeline is a wipeable board for the children to write on directly.
QED painted the walls and put up picture frames. They then worked with children from Year 1 on dinosaur pictures, to use at the early end of the timeline.
The work was displayed next to a big dinosaur painted on the wall, with the children's names printed underneath. Along its length the timeline includes artefacts, newspaper articles, art work, plenty of empty boards to fill and even some music from cassette players.
The displays are easy to change because as classes do different history topics new work by the pupils can be inserted into the frames. Children take a great interest in the timeline, even outside their history lessons, and visitors to the school spend a lot of time looking at it.
The timeline proved to be a special attraction during the recent local History Roadshow held at our school, when children and staff dressed up and took part in workshops that included making stained-glass windows using acetate and pens, and Victorian PE lessons.
Headteacher, Great Barr Primary School, Birmingham
QED Ltd, tel: 0121 359 0500