We were very lucky recently to have the opportunity to work with members of the Geography department at Cambridge University. Dr Alice Reid and Sophy Arulanantham worked with 15 of our year 8 pupils to pull apart and analyse different elements of the census over time. We looked at how questions have changed from 1851 to present day and why that might be, education and children’s health between 1851-1911 as well as pulling apart some of the 2011 data on Swansea to establish different geographical patterns. We did this using 2 websites that Cambridge University themselves had created; www.populationspast.org and www.datashine.org.uk .
The pupils said;
‘It was an interesting experience as we went back through time learning about the past censuses as we uncovered parts of our history which I hadn’t known before. I loved the session and I am excited for more!’
‘I did learn a lot more about the census as before I didn’t really know much on the topic. I thought that the website- menti.com was very interesting because you could see other people’s opinions and thoughts displayed either on a graph or their answer spread across the presentation.’
After Easter, we will be doing further work with the university and the pupils will have the opportunity to work with a census expert creating podcasts and other resources that will be professionally edited and put on the Populations Past Website.