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Year 7s collaborate with museum on Dickens manuscript project

A group of Year 7 students are working with Wisbech and Fenland Museum on a research project based on Charles Dickens and one of his original manuscripts on display at the museum.

This year marks 160 years since the publication of Great Expectations in book form. The text was initially printed in instalments and the original manuscript, which Dickens dedicated to his friend Reverend Chauncy Hare Townshend, has been cared for by the museum since 1868. It was bequeathed to the museum by Townshend, who came from a family with estates near to Wisbech.

To mark the 160 years, a group of high-achieving Year 7 students, who have just finished studying Victorian life, will be working on a six-week project to find out more about Dickens and his books, including the manuscript of Great Expectations.

The students will meet after school every Monday with Mr Bronizewski, English lead for Key Stage 3, to carry out research and develop a timeline of Dickens' life and accomplishments. At the end of the project, their work will then be used to create a display at the museum, with parents invited to a virtual ceremony. The exhibition will also be online on the museum’s website.  

“While we can’t run school trips at the moment, a project like this is a good way to develop students’ cultural capital and further their learning outside the classroom,” said Mr Bronizewski. “It’s also about engaging in learning in a fun way and collaborating with organisations in our community.”