Atching Tan: an educational journey into the world of Gypsies, Romanies, and Travellers

Posted on Thursday, February 17th, 2011 by CJ

After two years, weeks spent writing, days spent listening to audio material, hours spent in meetings, and nights spent worrying, Atching Tan: an educational journey into the world of Gypsies, Romanies, and Travellers, our education pack for use at Key Stages 2 and 3, has seen the light of day.  It was officially launched at the Meadows Community Centre on 10 February 2011 with dancing from a young traveller and live music from Cristofe Sors.  Representatives from the County Councils, Travellers Education and Menter were there together with Actors Candice Nergaard and Damian Le Bas from Romany Theatre Companies Local BBC Radio Drama Series, Atching Tan.

The Education Pack has been developed in conjunction with Travellers resident across East Anglia, as well as the expertise of the Traveller Education teams in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. We think that this means it offers the best of both worlds: it covers issues that are important to Travellers, but they are presented in a way that ties into the school curriculum.

There are nine key themes covered by the pack: identity; homes; travelling; education; work; entertainment; Romani; discrimination; and changes, hopes, and fears. Each theme has extensive teacher’s notes as well as suggested lesson activities, and supporting resources that range from audio recordings to photographs and poetry.

The lesson activities have been designed to be both fun and challenging with clear cross-curricular links. They include a mystery-solving task, a role-playing activity, and a story-telling project. The pack can be used to form a discrete scheme of work for citizenship, or be used to support individual lessons in subjects including drama, English, geography, and history.

Daniela Bowker who produced the education pack said “I’m immensely proud of the pack and I hope that it makes a difference, for teachers, for learners, and for the Gypsy, Romany, Traveller community. We’ve all a long way to go towards creating a more tolerant, more accepting community; this is one step along that road.

It was really important to me that the pack worked to educate children and young people about Gypsies, Romanies, and Travellers, but at the same time developed their skills in other areas; consequently, it has been designed so that it can form a discrete scheme of work or so that individual elements of it can support different elements of the curriculum.

Teachers also spend enough time doing paperwork, so we tried to make the pack as easy to use as possible. Any sheets that are designed to be photocopied are loose-leaf; different themes are colour-coded; and different activities have easy-to-spot logos on them indicating if they are about speaking, listening, or doing.

I’ve reached the end of my journey with it; I hope that it is the beginning for many other people.”

If you’d like a copy, please drop Daniela an email – and one will be sent to you. Alternatively, it is available as a download by visiting our web-site – However you get it, it’s free.