I asked Daisy Ashton, a 16 year old who had just started volunteering in the King’s College Archive Centre, to answer the questions in the Grantchester section in note form. She had limited time but the answers she gave showed an excellent understanding of the connection between the documents in that section and the context in which they were created (read her answers). I am sure she could have written an essay and cited her sources had she been asked to.
During school visits and ‘residentials’, students were given activity packs based on the sections in the Rupert Brooke Case Study part of this website. These packs included background information and copies of archival documents. The attendees were split into groups and then there was a feedback session during which they could share their views and when their interpretations differed they could have mature debates. Notes taken by two groups during the ‘Grantchester’ activity can be seen using the links below:
You can also read one group’s notes on the activity based on the poem ‘The Soldier’. In these notes, the group drew comparisons between ‘The Soldier’ and ‘The Old Vicarage, Grantchester’, despite the fact these poems were in separate activities, suggesting that they knew the context in which these were written extended beyond the records they were given on any one subject.
All of these notes link the documents they were given to the context in which they were written. They also demonstrate an understanding of the subjectivity of research and the idea that reading is never ‘innocent’. In some cases, the students even linked the vocabulary and style of Rupert Brooke’s poems with the historical context in which they were written.