Bredgar Village Study

Schools across the SEGfL were invited recently to visit Bredgar (Kent) on the 27th April 2011, where they explored the skills required to investigate the lives of people in Edwardian times. By investigating the local history of Bredgar, with historian Ian Coulson, participating young people would develop their historical understanding of the village and be challenged at the end of a fruitful day, to return to their school and write a story about their own locality in 1911.

Years 5 and 6 pupils from thirteen primary schools in Kent, responded to the invitation and attended the “Census 1911 Activity Day” at Bredgar Primary school near Sittingbourne. They not only investigated archive film, photographs, historical maps, Edwardian objects and census data to learn about life in a typical Edwardian Kent Village, they also researched into the tragic story of Private George Bell and his wife.

The morning activities were led by Ian Coulson and education consultant Phil Bracegirdle and included a village walk, investigating the war Memorial, as well as working through clues from the census return to tell a story about the family who lived in Chantry Cottage.

Author Stewart Ross then held a writing workshop in the early afternoon, based around names found on the Bredgar 1911 census. Participants then had to imagine that they were Private George Bell, who was serving abroad during the First World War and write a letter to his wife, after being informed she was expecting a baby. Their one and only daughter was born in late 1914. Sadly George who was killed in action two years later never saw his wife and daughter before his death.

View images of the Bredgar Village Study undertaken by thirteen schools on the 27th April 2011. Just click on the link in every information box.

There are a number of exciting follow up activities on the following dates:

1. Wednesday 4th May 2011 – Flashmeeting Web-conferences. A chance for schools to discuss and debate their findings in real-time. Watch the replays here:




Watch the replay (9.30am – 10.30am):

Participants:Murston JuniorMinterne Junior



Watch the replay (11.00am – 11.30am):

Participants:Wickhambreaux PrimaryEdenbridge Primary



Watch the replay (11.30am – 12.00pm):

Participants:Reculver PrimaryBrunswick House



Watch the replay (14.00pm – 14.30pm):

Participants:Milton Court PrimaryBredgar Primary

Watch the replay (14.30pm – 15.00pm):

Participants:Milton Court PrimaryBredgar Primary

2. Monday 9th – Friday 20th May 2011 “The Project Writing Blog”. A week of opportunity for pupils to post extracts of their written work on the project blog, for author Stewart Ross to comment on.

3. Wednesday 25th May 2011 – Project Online Celebration. Join Phil Bracegirdle in Flashmeeting and see the pupils read extracts of their written work, posted online in the previous week.

Review the activities below for you to adapt for your own village study:

Adobe Reader Bredgar Village Study – Timetable of activities (pdf)
Adobe Reader Edwardian Folkestone – Activity Sheet (pdf)
Adobe Reader Looking at old and new in Bredgar – Activity Sheet (pdf)
Adobe Reader Bredgar War Memorial – Activity Sheet (pdf)