School children are to become investigative journalists as part of a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Year 6 pupils from Cherry Fold Community Primary School in Cog Lane and Worsthorne Primary in Brownside Road will be researching the blue plaque scheme in town as part of the “Sharing Heritage” initiative.
The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £9,500 to Community News Academy to fund the project.
The 60 children will complete a heritage trail around Burnley looking at commemorative plaques in the area. There are 33 blue plaques in town which commemorate important people, places and events in Burnley’s history.
They will then take part in a research training session at the main library with Lancashire County Council’s Community Heritage team, where the children will learn how to use resources such as maps, books and the newspaper archive to look up information.
All the information about the history of the blue plaque scheme, operated by Burnley Civic Society, together with a downloadable heritage trail leaflet, will be uploaded to a new website for the community and other schools to access.
The children will also be trained as “reporters” back in their classroom by journalists from the Community News Academy, a company which runs newspaper-related projects in schools.
They will learn how a newsroom works, how to write a newspaper article and will then design their own newspaper which will be featured in an exhibition.
Finally, as a celebration event, the children will visit Queen Street Mill Textile Museum, the last commercial steam powered textile mill in the world, to learn about the life of the workers and the jobs children had – and see its blue plaque.
Jack Snape, Director from the News Academy, said: “The students are excited about researching and learning about the history of their town, its people and important buildings they pass every day. The children will also learn real heritage skills such as research and evaluating information. And their work will be shared with the community and other schools so they too can learn about the town’s blue plaques and what they commemorate.”