Since its inception in 2005 Access Cambridge Archaeology has been running interactive field schools for secondary school pupils, aiming to raise their aspirations to Higher Education. This work takes up the majority of our year, and has changed and evolved accordingly over time. We’re always trying to improve the field schools to make them more and more beneficial and worthwhile for pupils, something that is increasingly important as teachers and pupils alike struggle to find time for such activities in the already-packed curriculum. With that in mind, we felt the time was right for a name change. This marks the conscious re-alignment of the programme to respond to the needs of pupils considering their future learning in the current state of Higher Education.
To mark this, we are changing the name of our current three-day field schools from Higher Education Field Academy (HEFA) to Independent Learning Archaeology Field School (ILAFS). We feel the name ILAFS (we’re going with pronouncing it “eye-laffs”) better reflects our aims of raising the aspirations, enthusiasm and attainment of 14-17 year-olds with regard to Higher Education. The greatest benefits of the field school is that we are able to specifically supporting independent learning, demonstrate methods of historical enquiry, and most of all showcase the different methods of learning which are the particular speciality of universities.
This isn’t just a change of name for the sake of it; we’re also achieving these aims by improving the 2017 programme of field schools. The same basic structure of a two-day excavation and third day of university experience will remain. Improvements include extending the University experience to include a visit to the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, more tightly directed lectures, together with wider discussion and debate of research. Altogether the ILAFS programme will showcase to pupils the benefits of university education, get them engaging at this level, and leave them with the skills to achieve this goal.