Opportunity for Practical Training on Running Community Heritage Courses

28 December 2023

ARCH has a long history in providing good quality, exciting and productive community heritage courses. Over the years we have gained expertise in knowing what works, and what doesn’t, in public courses. The skills needed to design and deliver a good community course are different from those which universities or schools might use, with more emphasis on student-centred learning. We have learned to be facilitators of heritage activity, thereby involving all members of a group, enthusing participants and allowing everyone to contribute.

There is currently no training programme for people to learn how to develop and facilitate such community archaeology courses. In 2022 ARCH rolled out the FACET (Facilitated Community Engagement Training) project where six trainees learned how to develop and facilitate community heritage courses, mainly by on job training at Community Timeline courses held in Ardross and Kirkhill. More about the courses and training can be found on the ARCH website.

The Dornoch Community Timeline course, for members of the community, will run from 22nd Feb to 9th May inclusive, providing three successive activity modules: oral history, research, and creating a display.  Each of these modules will last for four weeks, the whole community programme running on Thursday mornings, 10:30am-1pm at the Dornoch Social Club.

We will be offering around this a free training programme for people wishing to learn how to facilitate such courses. There will be half day training workshops in Dornoch at the start of each module, currently timetabled as follows (although there may be flexibility for re-arranging):

  • Thursday 15 Feb, 10:30-1
  • Thursday 14th March 2-5
  • Thursday 11th April 2-5.

Trainees would be expected to make the three training sessions and the first session of each module, ie 22nd February, 21st March and 18th April. However, the more of the subsequent Thursday morning sessions they can also attend, the more they will learn. There will also be an opportunity to lead a full or half day session for those who wish it. Note that these are all in-person.

Thanks to the generosity of Professor Janet (Jinty) Nelson, emerita of King’s College London History Dept, there will be two bursaries of £500 each, prioritised for two history students who wish to attend the training. Jinty has Scottish roots and a long-time interest in interdisciplinary projects. She has always had a keen interest in ARCH courses and the approaches involving community learning.

If you would like to attend the training sessions, and be considered for a bursary, please send an email to archhighland@googlemail.com which

  • confirms that you are available on the training days and the first sessions of each module
  • states availability for other Thursday morning sessions
  • states your current academic status if applicable,
  • explains why you believe that training in community learning would be valuable.

Closing deadline is 8th February 2024. If you have questions or would like more information, please email Susan Kruse at archhighland@googlemail.com, and we can arrange a time to discuss further.

Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands (ARCH), The Goods Shed, The Old Station, Strathpeffer, Ross-Shire, Scotland IV14 9DH
Tel: +44 (0)77888 35466 Email: