Children at St. Joseph’s School in Port Talbot who are working on digitising the history of Tata Steelworks.
Pupils to bring history of works back to life
The rich history of Port Talbot’s steelworks will be brought to life with the help of school pupils.
St. Joseph’s School and Sixth Form Centre are working with the education technology company Aspire 2Be to create a digital resource which, once completed, can be used by schools across the country. The timeline will be created by pupils and will be fully interactive including videos, text and written work. The original timeline was crafted by Graham Rowlands, a long serving employee of Port Talbot Steelworks, where it is currently kept.
Mr Rowlands spent more than 1,000 hours putting the timeline together but it has not been seen by many people due to health and safety restrictions.
Upon completion, the digital resource will be housed in the steelworks’ visitor centre.
Mr Rowlands says he feels passionate about sharing the story of the steelworks with visitors.
“Steel is an important part of Wales’s history and I feel passionate about sharing this story with people in Wales and beyond” he said.
“It’s great to see local children getting involved with the project and I’m looking forward to seeing the timeline I worked hard to create brought to life.”
Simon Pridham, education and performance director at Aspire 2Be said: “We are delighted to be a part of this exciting project and to bring life to the extensive history of the steelworks. Children at St Jospeh’s will take an important role in the creation of the content for the eBook and this will give them a fantastic opportunity to strengthen a number of important skills including literacy, numeracy and history.
“Despite being integral to the lives of people living in Port Talbot and beyond, many have not had the opportunity to explore the history of the steelworks in full. We hope to change that with this project, and to preserve the heritage of the site for years to come.”
St. Joseph’s School were chosen to participate in the project following their involvement in the Pioneer Schools Network which aims to develop a new curriculum for Wales.
Head teacher Eugene Scourfield said “When Aspire 2Be contacted us and explained the project, we could see that it was highly innovative, creative and digitally driven – all of which made it a perfect match for our school’s key ambitions.
“As part of our My Square Mile programme we have already begun to look at cultural aspects of where this school came from and why it is here. A fundamental part of this is steelmaking and we are looking forward to exploring this further during the project.”
Gemma Parry (South Wales Evening Post)