Claire Griffiths was working at Keith Primary when the 1930s building was due to be replaced, and decided to collect memories of the place before it was demolished. The Keith Primary School Memory Blog was the result and a lovely site it is too, with the sound of the old school bell and images from both recent and deeper past.
This led to the Moray Heritage Memory Project, funded by the RVS, collecting memories from anyone over the age of 65 living in Moray. The beauty of the project is the way it brings younger and older people together, and provides loads of opportunities for additional research, photography, literacy, ICT and craft activities, and a gift to interdisciplinary learning. And it’s a great resource for any school, because the information comes from across Scotland: the latest memory is about working in the Lanarkshire steel industry! I recommend the site to anyone working in learning and teaching.
This was one of those seminars when the idea was just so blindingly obviously wonderful and pleasing to the brain just from the opening slide that my notes were full of a dozen ideas for how our school community could build something similar before the speaker finishing introducing herself.
However, a few years ago, I was at a training day with the (since retired) James Herring. At the end he asked us to write down which, if any, of the wonderful ideas we’d been discussing, were we intending to take on.
And then he asked us to write down which piece of work we were abandoning in order to have the time to take on something new? That stopped me in my tracks that day, and I’ve not forgotten it.
And while I would argue that it’s not always about abandonment, and that reorganisation can create a similar effect, nevertheless, there is only a certain amount of time available. So before I launch into yet another project, I’m hauling myself to a stop with a screech of the keyboard, and making sure I complete what I’ve already signed up for. The idea of a memory blog is still sitting there all snug and cosy, but it’ll just have to wait its turn.