Since the GCSEs finished, many of our Year 11 students have been encouraged to do a week's work experience. Here Emily (11 Omega) describes her excellent placement with the Rural Life Centre near Tilford.
"The Rural Life Centre is an open-air museum of rural and village life established in 1973. Distributed over 10 acres, the museum has the largest countryside collection in the south of England with over 40 000 artefacts housed in 30 buildings relating to the history of rural and village life between 1750 and 1950.
"Having a key interest in both History and Journalism, I wanted my experience to link to these subjects. The Rural Life Centre, and more specifically the director, Emma Midgley, kindly offered me an amazing opportunity.
"On both Wednesday and Thursday, I was lucky enough to write multiple press releases for their upcoming events, including their ‘All Hallows Eve’ event, their ‘Ford MK11 Rally’ and ‘Vintage Film Nights’. I also sat in on two meetings about possible future partnerships and experiences. Wednesday is the Museum’s busiest day with over 40 volunteers in, who were all lovely and made me feel very welcome. On Friday, I had the privilege of joining the education team (who were all dressed up) to hold a school trip for a group of Year 2s, who had been studying the Victorians. I helped with Victorian ‘Monday Washday’, traditional farming with the most basic tools and a lesson in the Victorian school. At lunchtime, we watched the children play with old fashioned toys including skipping ropes and stilts, much like their grandparents and great grandparents used to do. After this, I wrote up a review (which can be read) of the day to become part of a publicity campaign to promote more schools to visit.
"For the past couple of weeks, the Rural Life Centre had been preparing for their annual Polish Day on 2nd July. On Saturday, after sending my Press Releases to several newspaper publishers across Hampshire and Surrey, I helped those involved set up for the exciting event. The event was organised by Wies Rogalski, who, when he was younger along with his older brother Zen, lived in Tweedsmuir Military Camp at Thursley, where Poles and their dependents displaced by the War were housed between 1947 and 1960. The Museum has a replica barracks on site, housing the Tweedsmuir Exhibition, set up in 2012. Their story can be found on the Rural Life Centre’s website. On Sunday, I oversaw taking photos for a write-up I wrote afterwards. The day involved traditional Polish songs, food and an outstanding talent show from the Polish school that visited. A complete overview of the day can be read in my write up.
"I would like to thank everyone at the Rural Life Centre for making my work experience such a memorable one, and it has fuelled my love of History and Journalism even more. I highly suggest that everyone visits the Rural Life Centre to experience the wonderful atmosphere there and meet the brilliant volunteers who spend so much of their time helping and improving the museum even more.
"The award-winning Rural Life Centre can be found on the Reeds Road, midway between Tilford and Frensham, three miles south of Farnham off the A272. It is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 10am to 5pm. For further information, check the website at www.rural-life.org.uk or phone 01252 795571."