Midsummer Fair Credit: University of Cambridge
The University provided educational activities alongside the County Council’s Team for Traveller Education at Midsummer Fair in Cambridge last week.
The children always love the Education Tent. They call us the ’school tent,’ and they really look forward to coming every year."
—Iman Ibn Tahaikt
Now in its 801st
year, the Fair takes place on Midsummer Common, offering five days of stalls, rides and games to Cambridge residents and attracting thousands of visitors from around the country.
In recent years, the Fair has added an Education Tent as an annual base for travelling families to supplement their children’s schooling. Staff from the University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the Public Engagement team worked with County Council Team for Traveller Education staff to offer crafts, games, and a prehistory learning table using objects from the Museum’s collection.
"The children see the Midsummer Fair in Cambridge as their holiday. It’s the one time in the year when all of the families reunite; they reconnect with friends they don’t normally see," said Iman Ibn Tahaikt, Advisory Teacher at Cambridgeshire County Council’s Race, Equality & Diversity Service. †"The children always love the Education Tent. They call us the ’school tent,’ and they really look forward to coming every year."
The children visiting the Education Tent attend school during the autumn and spring terms, but in the summer, while most families are travelling, primary school-aged pupils keep up their studies using distance learning packs. The Education Tent provides tutoring support for distance-learning students, and also works with parents to help them communicate with school authorities and monitor their children’s progress. Throughout the year, staff from the Council’s Race, Equality & Diversity service work with schools, parents and young people to support attendance, parental involvement in school activities, and parent-teacher communication, and the Education Tent provides a special opportunity for travellers to connect with each other and access new learning resources.
The University has been involved in Midsummer Fair learning activities for three years. "The Education Tent gets more and more popular as the years go on, and music, science and history activities have all proved popular," said Sue Long, Festivals and Outreach Officer at the University of Cambridge.