Takeover day 2016 launches at Stonehenge

Young people take over social media, guided tours and more to get them engaged with heritage and culture.

Schoolchildren from the Stonehenge School came to Stonehenge on Monday 23rd May to launch a new season of Takeover Day events across the country. Takeover Day sees young people take over museums, galleries and heritage sites, from working as scientists to giving guided tours.

The main Takeover Day will take place on Friday 18 November, with over a hundred institutions expected to take part. Last year over 6,000 young people got involved across the country.

Caroline Marcus, Project Director at Kids in Museums, said: "It's very exciting to be here and share the positive impact takeover day has. We are delighted to partner with English Heritage this year and are excited at the possibilities to get more young people involved - particularly children who have never visited these places before."

Getting young people involved in heritage

Six Year 8 pupils who visited Stonehenge during the last Takeover Day in 2015 gave guided tours of the stones, explaining to visitors from around the world how the bluestones within the circle came from the Preseli Hills in south-west Wales, and the largest sarsen stone weighs over 30 tonnes.

Thirteen-year-old Jordan said, "Doing Takeover as a tour guide at Stonehenge really excites you whether you're interested in history or not. It's like work experience. It's like a proper job. It's a great way to get young people involved. It's giving something back to your community."

The students also helped the site volunteers show visitors how people would have lived in Neolithic houses. The replica houses by the visitor centre have axes, needles, and crafted flint arrows which would have been used to hunt wildlife. Visitors asked about local plants which people would have eaten or used to make twine. Brothers Calum and Sean took over the Twitter and Instagram accounts for the site.

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