The 1805 Club's Education Programme

A memorial to Lily Lambert McCarthy, the Club's first President

The challenge for our education programme is to find what captures the imagination of children and young people, hook them in and interest them to go on and find out more information not only about Nelson but also the Georgian Navy and our all important work in conserving monuments.

To address this challenge our key aim is to develop a vibrant menu of appropriate curricular and extracurricular interactive and dynamic resources designed by teachers and students for use within schools and independently by children and young people.

Our initial target audience for resources development is the 8 to 13 age range where there is more flexibility in the school curriculum and the ideal age range as we are able to use a full range of resources and artifacts to capture our children's imagination. We do however intend to for the programme to develop resources to cover the full age range from 5 until 18. 

Knowing that the internet is the life blood for children and young people and also the source of much excellent material for teachers, that is where we have begun. The challenge for the Club is what, if anything, can we do that is different? We believe we are offering something unique. 

This year has seen the launch of our teaching programme 'The Wooden World'. which explores the life at sea of the Georgian navy together with the story of Horatio Lord Nelson.

Jerome Monahan a former teacher and journalist working with our chairman Peter Warwick have together developed a package of active learning resources to be used flexibly as a whole day or half day workshop or as a series of lessons. The resources are highly creative open-ended and liberating and are focused on literacy skills, providing a scaffold for children's speaking and listening, reading and writing. Delivery is interactive and borrows from a wide-range of sources including storytelling techniques, theatre and parlour games to create memorable learning experiences.

Designed to be cross-curricular they draw on literature, drama, history, geography, art and the mathematics associated with early 19th Century navigation, which means the outcomes of the learning are highly transferable.

These exiting and active history and literature resources are designed to enrich the students understanding of a key moment in British history: the Royal Navy in the lead up to the Battle of Trafalgar.  By studying contemporary accounts and personal writing, they learn more about the lives of the sailors and also the wives and sweethearts who accompanied them into battle.
Students explore ship-board life and lore two centuries ago through a range of writing, drama, film and still image.   The focus is on the nitty-gritty of such an existence: food and health, the daily routines and the types of job they would do and how they might spend their leisure time, the principles of navigation and to top it all the Battle of Trafalgar and the death of Nelson! Our sources are contemporary accounts both personal and official with plenty of scope for students to try their hands at capturing their learning in prose or poetry and even song.

This is an introduction to a rich moment in history and some of its broader themes, not least the issue of leadership as practiced by Horatio Nelson himself.

To date Jerome and Peter have delivered the workshop to a group of able students as part of the West Sussex gifted and talented programme. Our next step is to offer between 2 and 4 schools the opportunity to be pilot schools for these teaching resources to gain further feedback and refine the resources.

We then intend to seek funding to support the delivery of the Wooden World as a unique and exciting programme to enhance literacy and indeed numeracy skills as well as building self-confidence and enhancing personal resilience in the recognition that although these resources will be published on our website  the delivery of the Wooden World experience using 1805 expertise and our access to artifacts is a different and valuable experience particularly for students from more challenging circumstances

We have also begun an exciting new partnership with the Creative Technologies Faculty of Portsmouth University.  We are working with their students on the development of the student content for our web-site.  All students in the Faculty are required to work on a real brief from the outside world as part of their degree. This includes a range of degree courses including Animation, Games Technology Digital Media, Entertainment, Music and Sound, TV, Film and Broadcasting.Their clients include the Royal Navy where their cutting edge technology has produced games to support the training on ships to help reduce costs for the Royal Navy so we are delighted they have agreed for us to become one of their clients.

This year we are working with a final year Animation Student, Ricardo Catarino. The 1805 Club has commissioned him as the client to produce a 3-minute exciting and dynamic animation of the Battle of Trafalgar to capture the interest of our target audience and inspire them to find out more about Nelson and the Georgian Navy. With Peter and Jerome once again providing the expert knowledge through resources and writing the script for the animation Ricardo will use his expertise to produce the short animated film which will launch our education students' website to be launched this year.

We intend to commission at least one student a year across the range of their degree courses to build content of the student website and as we work with schools through our Wooden World programme we will encourage them to produces resources themselves for the site building on the earlier work we did with students from Admiral Lord Nelson School (ALNS).

The Club continues to maintain its links with ALNS and every year since 2005 has sponsored the annual Endeavour Award, which is presented to the student who each year achieves most through adversity. The school is also now the home of the Dr Colin White Memorial Library - all of Colin's books on Nelson, which he bequeathed to The 1805 Club. 

Dianne Smith 2012
Education Officer