S3 pupils from various Scottish Borders secondary schools had the fascinating opportunity of participating in an archaeological dig at Bedrule Castle back in November 2021. It was great to have an event that was practical and involved some STEM, tourism, history, and heritage activities. As well as this, pupils were taught about the potential careers available to them in this sector, for example, pupils were taught how to properly excavate the site and how to record the dig. They also got a look at other activities’ archaeologists may take part in such as building surveying and gravestone recording. On completion of their visit, pupils achieved their HERO archaeology award. The aims of the award scheme are:
To improve self-confidence and wellbeing through engagement with challenging heritage projects.
To inspire young people to develop a lifelong interest in Scotland’s past.
To increase awareness of how to access Scotland’s heritage in schools, youth groups and similar organisations.
To help foster links between heritage organisations, community groups and young people.
The visit to Bedrule Castle was so successful that they have been granted more funding to come back this year. The day was a great opportunity for our pupils to get a feel of what archaeology is about and was a great learning experience. Quotes Stacey Grieve, DYW School Coordinator: “A fantastic week and very successful. Pupils had a great time.” Hilary Mack, DYW School Coordinator: “Archaeology trip was a unique offer an interesting afternoon out. Amazing to discover what lays beneath our feet.” Nicola Shaw, DYW School Coordinator: “This was such a great opportunity for pupils to have a hands-on experience in this sector. A local dig where pupils learned so much, pupils were engaged and noticeably excited about the experience. Everyone could be involved, and the Heritage Hero Award which pupils received for their efforts was fantastic.”