We were delighted to present our Local Voices project to educators at the second Annual School Leadership Conference at the Culloden Estate and Spa in Belfast yesterday, 30 November.

In the evolving landscape of education, fostering a sense of curiosity and empowering students to take ownership of their learning experiences is crucial. Our  ‘Local Voices’ project embodies this ethos, a new initiative that transforms pupils into researchers, interviewers, and authors of their own historical book, focusing on student-led historical exploration.

‘Local Voices’ goes beyond the conventional classroom setting, encouraging students to venture into the community and explore its untold stories. The project is designed to empower pupils, providing them with the tools and guidance to delve into the past, engage with local residents, and document the narratives that often go unnoticed.

At the heart of ‘Local Voices’ is the research process, where students transform into historians. Armed with curiosity and guided by their teachers, pupils embark on a journey of exploration; conducting interviews with community members, and uncovering hidden gems that contribute to the cultural tapestry of their surroundings.

One of the most impactful aspects of ‘Local Voices’ is the interviewing process. Students develop essential communication and interpersonal skills as they engage with community members, asking thought-provoking questions that unearth stories and memories. These interviews become the foundation for the historical narratives woven into the fabric of the final book.

Through Local Voices, pupils develop a deeper appreciation for their local history, honing critical thinking skills and fostering a sense of civic responsibility. Meanwhile, the community benefits from the newfound connections forged between generations, as stories are shared and celebrated.

The culmination of the project is the authoring of a historical book by the students themselves. From drafting compelling narratives to curating captivating visuals, pupils take charge of every aspect of the book creation process. This hands-on experience not only hones their writing skills but also instils a sense of pride and accomplishment as they become published authors at a young age.

By Ciara Gannon
Senior Marketing Executive
Emu Ink Publishing