Past to Present Archaeology is pleased to announce the development of a bespoke CAS programme for integration with IB students from around the globe, designed to offer a single CAS experience that is both enjoyable and significant.

The research projects we are involved in aim to benefit the heritage sector while providing training opportunities in a range of skills; excavation and recording techniques, environmental sampling strategies, anthropological studies, finds processing, curation, lithic analysis and cultural and periodic studies. As part of our West Suffolk Prehistoric Landscape Project, we can now offer CAS experiences to cover one or more weeks at this incredically rich archaeological site.

This site is situated at Hawstead, Suffolk, UK. After a successful community participated evaluation involving archaeological trenches in 2021, the Past to Present Archaeology team continued their site investigations by stripping an area measuring 542m², targeted over one of the sites many ring ditches. The aim of the 2022 field season was to better understand the nature, extent and function of the ring ditch. Furthermore, we undertook a programme of scientific dating to provide a more concrete chronology to the archaeology. Like the previous year the project was led by a team of professional archaeologists and community members as part of this growing crowd funded research project. During this latest season, multiple pits and postholes were found to be present within a ring ditch. The site was found to have multiple occupation layers spanning from the Late Mesolithic through to the Bronze Age, identified by hundreds of lithic artefacts and a small pottery assemblage. Two cremations were also discovered, one of which was excavated and is currently being analysed, and the other has been covered for a future excavation season. Dating of sediments from the 2021 evaluation suggest a date of 1300 BC for this ring ditch, which places this monument in the Middle Bronze Age. We are now preparing to increase our site investigations and want IB students to help.

Aerial view of one of the many Bronze Age ring ditches, on our Hawstead site. The function of the feature is not currently known, but we are hoping to determine this through further excavation of this and the other ring dicthes on the site.

The Hawstead CAS Experience

Students will undertake a range of activities including, but not limited to;

  • Archaeological excavation and recording of the prehsitoric site
  • Environmental processing
  • Finds washing, marking and recording
  • Archaeological walkover surveys
  • Woodland clearance and landscaping activities
  • Bench and picnic table construction
  • Kitchen duties assisting with preparation of meals
  • Production of marketing materials
  • Writing evening quizzes

A number of activities will be suitable for students with mobility issues.

All of our activities will be fully risk assessed, with health and safety briefings and toolbox talks provided on site before the commencement of any activities.

All required PPE (personal protective equipment) will be provided where necessary.

A typical day in the CAS programme at Hawstead. Groups will rotate throughout the week and the activities listed will vary also. We want everyone to have the opportunity to participate across many activities as possible.

Accommdation will be in tents which we will provide with a maximum of 3 students residing in a 6 person tent (accompanying staff will also have their own tent each). Staff and students should provide their own sleeping bag and we will provide air bed and pillow, and extra bankets (if it’s cold…. it is England after all).

There will be a communal tent for breaks, meals and shelter from the elements. A designated area will be made available for anyone with religious needs.

Toilets and showers will be available on site. We might even get the students to help expand these facilities further.

One of the group tasks throughout the day will be to plan evening entertainment, but we will provide campfire, board games and even a telescope for students to occupy themselves with.

How our CAS experience meets your requirements

We have designed this CAS experience with the IB criteria in mind: to offer students a variety of enjoyable and meaningful experiences outside their academic studies. We feel that the combination of activities meets the core values of Creativity Activity Service.

We are aware of the IB philosophy of encouraging students to be knowledgeable and inquiring, but also caring and compassionate. While at Hawstead students will take part in an internationally recognised project. They will have the opportunity to develop intercultural understanding, open-mindedness, and contribute to the development of the attitudes necessary for them to respect and evaluate a range of points of view by taking part in an array of activities provided by us. Furthermore, engagement in our projects where students explore new and unfamiliar challenges will promote increased self-awareness and provide a platform to develop their ability to communicate and collaborate with others in the local community and universities. Many of the IB learner profile attributes are also addressed

Specifically, involvement in our projects will enable students to satisfy:

Creativity—exploring and extending ideas leading to an interpretive product.

Activity—physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle

Service—collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic local development need as well as a national and global academic need.

Moreover, five of the seven learning outcomes can be satisfied. Whilst this is not a requirement of single CAS experiences, should they be required, we envisage that our projects can be mapped to:

LO 1 – Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth. Students are able to see themselves as individuals with various abilities and skills, of which some are more developed than others.

LO 2 – Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process. A new challenge may be an unfamiliar experience or an extension of an existing one. The newly acquired or developed skills may be shown through experiences that the student has not previously undertaken or through increased expertise in an established area.

LO 5 – Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively. Students are able to identify, demonstrate and critically discuss the benefits and challenges of collaboration gained through CAS experiences.

LO 6 – Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance. Students are able to identify and demonstrate their understanding of global issues, make responsible decisions, and take appropriate action in response to the issue either locally, nationally or internationally.

LO 7 – Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions. Students show awareness of the consequences of choices and actions in planning and carrying out CAS experiences.

Student supervision

Our responsibilities

Our staff are first aid trained and there will be first aid kits and accident books on all our activities. All our staff have driving licences, so would be able to take students off site to seek medical attention if required.

Each activity will have trained member of staff, who will carry out any training, safety briefings or toolbox talks and issue PPE if required.

Our staff will be on hand to resolve any site or accommodation issues.

Your responsibilities

We understand that not all students will be fluent in English, but we ask that attending supervising teachers are. If any students use sign language, we would expect a teacher to be proficient in sign language.

Although our staff have undertaken basic safeguarding training, safeguarding remains the responsibility of school and college staff.

With the exception of health and safety wellbeing, all other student wellbeing is the responsibility of the school and college staff.

There is no obligation for the attending college staff to participate in any of the activities, although they are welcome to if they want to.

Travel and Accommodation

There is a minimum 10 students per booking, although we can accommodate for smaller groups if necessary. For every 10 students 2 accompanying supervising school and college staff members goes for free. If travelling from outside the UK, flights to and from UK are not included and would need to be arranged by the school and college, we will however, if you are attending from outside the UK, we will collect you from your arrival point in the UK (expected to be one of the four main London Airports), and take you back ready for your departure.

UK based schools and colleges would be expected to make their own way to site.

Meals include breakfast, lunch and dinner. Fresh water is available at all times. Meals will be taken together to promote discussion, on the camp site. We cater for vegetarians, but if anyone has any further dietary requirements/allergies we would need to know at time of booking.

As previously stated tents, air mattresses and pillows are included.


All accommodation, subsistence and training is covered in one price of £950 per student, which covers 40 hours across a 5 day week.

Location of the Hawstead Archaeological site, in Suffolk, UK, and the location of the four main London International Airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton)

Booking and Availability

To inquire about the project further, please email Emma on Otherwise to provisionally make a school or college booking please use our calendar and form below form.

Once your booking has been confirmed we will direct you to a payment page, where a non-refundable deposit of £50 per attending student can be made to secure your booking. We normally ask that this is made within 14 days of the booking confirmation on our system. All remaining costs should be paid in full within 60 days from the payment of the deposit, or within 1 month of the start of the CAS experience, whichever is sooner.

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