On the spot

25th February 2005 at 00:00
Richard Gallard is head of history at Diss High School, Norfolk

I have been bringing students to workshops here for more than seven years.

We were one of the first schools to experience a Jack the Ripper session.

Students find it a fascinating topic and it certainly wins over boys to history. I also have personal reasons for being keen on this coursework option, as my ancestors were traders in Whitechapel at the time of the murders.

We have to cover a great deal of ground in a short time and the visit provides students with an invaluable grounding in the realities of 1880s policing amid the highly mobile population of London's East End. The day gives students access to some very special documents and lots of insights with which to enrich their work.

We combine the morning in Kew with a visit to the "Whitechapel exhibit" at the London Dungeon. The story continues on the way home, since our route takes us along Whitechapel High Street past at least one of the murder sites.

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