Birch Coppice Business Park has recently been the inspiration for a local school’s History project. Tamworth Enterprise College is a secondary school providing education for 600 young people aged 11-16 on the south side of Tamworth. As part of a wider initiative by the Academies Enterprise Trust, the school has been looking at ways of bringing classroom learning to life, including a History project in which year 8 students were learning about how Tamworth was affected by the Industrial Revolution.
The school is a 10-minute drive from the Birch Coppice Business Park and the site’s industrial heritage made it an ideal focus for the students’ studies. Students were set a project about the Industrial Revolution and how over the last 20 years, Birch Coppice has transformed to provide a fantastic employment park for the people of Tamworth and surrounding areas.
The school project set asked the students to ‘Study maps of the area in two time periods; to write a letter as a factory worker to your employer and to consider case studies of different key aspects of Tamworth and how industry grew in the area’. Classroom resources included a briefing sheet from Historic England about the history of coal mining at Birch Coppice and information about the current development by IM Properties, featuring a video tour of the modern business park and pictures of the memorial to the miners of Birch Coppice Colliery, which was installed by IM Properties after working closely with the local community.
Work on the project was badly disrupted by the Covid-19 crisis, which closed the school to all but a few students. With most trying to study at home, History teacher Cassie Dixon says,
“Students have been faced with all sorts of challenges and many have not all had easy access to technology that allows effective communication. So, we have been pleased that many have made a good start on the challenge, which we will complete when they return to school”.
“Not only has the project given a local context for the History topic, but students have also learned more about some of the exciting employment opportunities in their home town, and some of the fantastic modern businesses whom are now based at Birch Coppice Business Park”.
If you’d like to have a read of some of the students’ work, you can read them below – it’s great to see how Birch has inspired such a fantastic educational project, and we look forward to working more with the College once school resumes.