POPPLETON Ousebank Primary school in York is among the nominees for the 2013 Community Pride awards for creating an archaeological dig to help teach history.

Staff hope it will help make lessons about the past more interactive, and help cultivate an interest in history. Teachers will bury historical objects and encourage children to find them and then make observations and ask questions.

Estelle O’Hara, head teacher at Poppleton Ousebank, said: “We want to develop children’s enthusiasm by creating what we call ‘curriculum wows’. We decided to build a dig. It’s been an idea in our minds for some time.

“We’re trying to make it so it’s more like a Disney-style thing. We’ve got some old wheels and an old chest, teachers will take in the artefacts and bury them and children will come in and dig for them and answer questions to get them thinking about the past. “We’ll put in red herrings to get them thinking. It’s about developing questioning skills as well.”

Work on the dig will finish this week, and it will be put into use immediately. Mrs O’Hara is sure the idea will be a hit with youngsters.

She said: “They’ll love it. Children like digging at the best of times and they have got inquisitive minds. If they are encouraged to ask about the objects they find it will establish those skills from a very early age.

“We have got our school site and it’s about filling that to give them fascinating things to help their learning. We have taken a bare piece of land and created this brilliant learning tool from it.”

Poppleton Ousebank School won the 2011 Community Pride Best Primary School Project Award for Bradley’s Place, a garden built and designed by volunteers in memory of 11-year-old Bradley Brough, who died after heart surgery in 2010.

Last year the school was runner-up for its animal centre, which is home to rabbits, ducks, pygmy goats, guinea pigs, gerbils, fish and a dog.

The Community Pride Awards are held in partnership with City of York Council. The principal sponsor is Benenden Health.

To make a nomination visit yorkpress.co.uk/pride