• Sabine Little

100 Years of Literacy at Weston Park Museum

Updated: Jan 25, 2018

Sheffield families visited the wonderful Weston Park Museum to play games, solve riddles and have fun!

Over 400 visitors came to enjoy an event that was part of the University's Festival of Social Sciences, where staff members from the School of Education linked games, puzzles, riddles, and craft activities linked to 100 years of Literacy. Children explored the origins of communication by using an adapted Morse code ticker, which digitally displayed their efforts. Others put 10 literacy sources into order by decade - ranging from an old football programme over etiquette advice for young ladies, LP album covers, and a poster advertising the Titanic, to the first Harry Potter book. At the crafting table, children used loom bands to create letter bracelets, and families could try their hand at a smaller version of an Enigma machine and other codes and riddles, including their own. A great hit was the "Memories of Reading" tent, a pop-up tent cube which family visited together, and where children became researchers, quizzing their parents about what their memories of reading were like. Responses were recorded and formed part of the Memories of Reading project, which was blogged about by the British Library.

The event, organised by the School of Education staff, focused on disseminating research from a Booktrust-funded research project focusing on Attitudes to Reading and Writing and their Links with Social Mobility 1914-2014, including original, multi-generational family interviews with Indian and Pakistani families, and data from the Mass Observation Archive.

Relevant Publication

Little, S. (2017) 'A generational arc: early literacy practices among Pakistani and Indian heritage language families’. International Journal of Early Years Education, DOI: 10.1080/09669760.2017.1341302 (Gold Open Access = freely accessible)