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School pupils turn back time at Morgan Sindall site

Pupils from Boxsted St. Peter's CEVC Primary School standing in a line and cheering, enjoying their day on site

Morgan Sindall welcomed pupils from Boxted St Peter’s CEVC Primary School to one of its key projects in the area, a park and ride facility in Colchester. Here, they learned about the site’s historical aspects and on-site safety.

Colchester is the oldest Roman town in Britain and a major historical site. Archaeologists were on site at the project’s outset to survey the area for anything of historical interest and discovered fire pits that would have been used by shepherds or new settlers to the area. The archaeologists also uncovered examples of pottery dating back to the Iron Age.

The budding historians had a chance to excavate sections of the site, with the help of the professionals, uncovering pre-buried tools, medals and trophies and learning how the site would have been used historically. The artefacts were then cleaned and a prize was awarded for the best archaeologist of the day.

The project was closed for the morning as the site team educated the pupils about safety procedures and the day even included a demonstration of the site’s digger as the children learned about the site’s machinery.

Gavin Napper, area director for Morgan Sindall, said: “The Morgan Sindall project team thoroughly enjoyed having the local pupils on site and it was a great way for the team to interact with them. The children all enjoyed an educational day learning about archaeology and the importance of safety on a building site. We also received lots of wonderful safety posters from the pupils, which are now being prepared to be placed on the site’s hoardings so all visitors can be educated in the importance of safety on site.”

Feedback from the day included the children sending the project team thank you cards with messages such as: “Thank you for the experience of the archaeology dig and for closing the whole site for us it was a great privilege. I have never been so dirty in my life. Not only did you give us the opportunity to dig up amazing artefacts you gave us a box of yummy chocolates, high visibility jackets and a trowel too!”

Morgan Sindall is currently on site at a number of projects in the area, including the UK’s greenest commercial building, the Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia, which is set to achieve Passivhaus and a BREEAM Outstanding rating. The building includes a number of innovative materials and processes. Its timber frame is constructed from Thetford Forest pine – local, carbon negative and a UK first.