Archive for the ‘About the Learning Programme’ Category
Here at the Manchester Museum we absolutely love projects that get pupils involved in real life science that matters – they are, after all, the researchers of tomorrow.
So we were really pleased to get information on the ‘Crowdsourcing4Climate: Community Rainfalls Collections’ pilot project, which hopes to get the public and schools collecting rainfall data to add to the data we can use in all sorts of scientific research. It’s simple but could be a brilliant and effective school project and will support research at Manchester, Birmingham and Leicester Universities.
We’ve attached some information on how you can get involved and would love to see local schools contributing – so do take a look and let us know if you need any further information C4C_TeacherGuide-1.
An exciting freelance opportunity has arisen at Manchester Museum to develop and facilitate part of the Museum’s ‘Magic Carpet’ programme for under 5’s and their parents and carers. A total of six themed and resourced sessions will be developed and delivered twice throughout the year. We are looking to recruit a group of practitioners who will be asked to develop up to a minimum of two sessions each and deliver each session twice in the first year (July 2013 – June 2014).
We are looking for creative practitioners who have experience of delivering engagement programmes for children aged 0-5 years and their families in a museum, gallery or cultural venue and who have specialist practice in drama/storytelling, art practice, music, singing or dance and movement.
Please see this document Freelance Opportunity Magic Carpet for further details and how to make expressions of interest by 20th May, 5pm. Looking forward to hearing from you!
We’ve been really lucky this year to be able to work with Tameside College‘s Photography students again this year, creating an exhibition that is inspired by the Museum’s collection.
On the 1st March the students were invited into the Museum, given tours of the galleries and collection stores and encouraged to document their visit with photographs. This then formed the basis of their brief:
“Students will be working with Manchester Museum to produce work for an exhibition, in response to the Museum’s collection. They will be utilizing the techniques in the darkroom and the studio to produce a body of work shot on film on either Large or Medium Format cameras, in the studio and printed in the darkroom”
They had until the 27th March to create three final images each, with at least one of each going into the exhibition.
On the 19th March I was asked to go into the College and ‘critique’ the work done so far; to identify the final images for the exhibition and encouraging the students to write labels to accompany their pieces. I was amazed by the thought and detail that had gone into every example of the work done by each student. They had taken elements from the collection and considered them from multiple angles, linking very complex concepts with inspiring ideas and creative input.
Some of the aspects the students were using in their work included using the Zoology specimens to examine the protective layer that animals have – including humans – and metaphorically demonstrating this through masks. There were numerous reflections on the Egyptology collection, scrutinising the means of communication – hieroglyphic script – and translating that into imagery associated with the way we communicate today – via clothing or graffiti, in addition to the mummification process and the preservation of memory and stories.
Some students were intrigued by the idea of what occurs behind the scenes at the Museum – the specimens we keep hidden in stores, and the means by which we classify the collection. This led to responses associated with the food chain, – linking in with the recent horse-meat scandal – dominance in the natural world and the issue of domestic violence (represented by bruised fruit), change over time – as evidenced by Darwin – and how we label not just things, but people.
The exhibition opened on Friday 29th March and has been in place for two weeks, with the closing date on Sunday 14th April. It looks fantastic in our Alhambra space between the Egyptian World gallery and Living Worlds, and there have even been interactive elements for our visitors to become part of the legacy of the project.
All in all, it’s been a fantastic exhibition and the students have done brilliantly as part of the project; they should all be very proud.
We were very excited to work with our colleagues from Widening Participating, and one of our Partnership institutions, Whitworth Art Gallery, on creating two, one day workshops for Secondary students concentrating on Manchester’s History.
This followed on from our successful model last year, as part of the Manchester Histories Festival, where various schools brought students to participate in workshops at the Whitworth and the Museum. They were also treated to an introductory lecture on Manchester’s history – this year – by Professor John Pickstone.
As part of the Museum’s workshop, called Collecting the World, students were asked to investigate the collection and determine how, and why, it ended up in Manchester. They identified objects of interest on the Manchester Gallery and their links to the city. Then they were allocated objects from the collection not on display and asked to research them using online resources to find their link to Manchester. They were encouraged to consider sources of their information and the relevance any connected individuals had to their home city.
All in all it was really wonderful to be able to focus on Manchester’s history and how the Museum’s collection links to the city and illustrious indviduals – such as William Boyd Dawkins, Jesse Haworth, Joseph Whitworth and Lydia Becker – not to mention highlight historical Manchester events such as the Exhibition of Art Treasures, the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal and the Peterloo Massacre.
Questioned at the end of the session on which object they felt best represented Manchester’s History, the majority of students chose the Ship Canal Medal due to it’s links with trade and economy that helped make Manchester the hub of industry in the North and contributed to it becoming known as ‘Cottonopolis’!
Many thanks to all those invovled on the day: Stockport School, Parrs Wood HS, Manchester Health Academy, Manchester Enterprise Academy, Alder Community School, Cardinal Langley RC HS, Loreto High School.
We’ll be repeating these fantastic local history focused days next year during the Manchester Histories Festival celebrations.
Here at the Manchester Museum we’ve had a couple of busy half term weeks, there’s been lots of very exciting activities going on. This has given the team in the Education Department a chance to plan and prepare for future projects however.
Coming up in March we have a big focus on Primary Science with an Interactive Science day with undergraduate students from the Faculty of Life Sciences here at the University. The students will be delivering a range of interactive Science sessions to spark the imaginations of future scientists.
We also have a Sustainability day in March where primary school children will be looking at the way we live in the modern world and working out the carbon footprint created from the food we eat.
Look out for what the school groups get up to in future blog posts!
Recently Boothstown Methodist Primary school came to the Museum on a visit and brought with them a very valuable find!
They presented to us a T.rex egg, over 65 million years old, that was originally from the USA. According to the pupils the egg had mysteriously dropped from the sky and landed in their classroom.
However, using their skills of deduction they were able to reason that the egg had most likely fallen from an overhead plane on its way to Manchester so that it could be safely deposited in our collection.
Therefore, they kept it safe and returned it to us in perfect condition. Our thanks goes out to the school for rescuing this very important find and delivering it to our door!
Just been to the Staff Forum where members of the Education Team talked about the brilliant work they do with schools and other groups. Some 29,000 schoolchildren visit the Museum every year and 80% of the classes have a taught session. The evaluation feedback is invariably 'good' and 'excellent' and the vast majority say they would visit the Museum again.
These past few weeks we have been really excited at the museum to begin the pilot sessions for our new Archaeology primary school session, ‘Dig Stories; Bringing the Past to Life’
This session explores the hands on practical skills of what it’s like being an archaeologist by way of a sand box dig, unearthing real objects!
The group then identifies their finds and graduates to handling real objects from our collection and debating methods of conservation.
At the end of the session children create their own ‘Cabinet of Curiosity’ filled with objects they choose themselves for a particular theme of cabinet.
We have been really impressed by the groups that have tasted this session so far, they have all passed their archaeological training and we can’t wait to see them in the future as experts of archaeology themselves!
If you are interested in booking a school group on to our new Archaeology session, ‘Dig Stories; Bringing the Past to Life’ please don’t hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve been busy with bookings at the start of this term and fortunately we had some help in the form of Rebecca Smith, who was working with us during the week of the 14th January to 18th January. We arranged for her to experience a selection of our offers that included Visitor Services, our Post 16 Learning Programme and our Volunteer Handling tables.
But, I’ll let Rebecca tell you about her time here in her own words:
I am a PGCE student training to be a secondary school teacher, teaching Leisure and Tourism. During my one year course I am required to complete a one week alternative placement setting. I chose to complete mine at Manchester Museum. I have worked in all different aspects of the tourism industry but I have very limited knowledge of visitor attractions and Museums in particular.
My reasoning behind choosing the Museum was to gain more knowledge and understanding of how the Museum operates as a tourist attraction; however I have come away after only one week with so much more!
I was welcomed as part of the team and I was given the opportunity to get involved in all aspects of the museum from working with reception class on a Dinosaur Explorer session to working with the volunteers on the handling tables.
I particularly enjoyed planning and delivering the Travel and Tourism Master Class for a group of local college students. The Master Class was based on customer service. I was allowed the opportunity to walk around all the galleries and evaluate the provisions offered to different customer types. The students were then set a customer service critique task and gave presentations of their findings to myself, Cat Lumb and the Deputy Head of Visitor Services. The students really enjoyed their day and gave positive feedback. It was amazing to see the extent to which the educational team goes to ensure they give a positive experience to the school groups. All of the sessions are planned to challenge and stretch the students and allowing them the confidence to create their own response from the exhibitions. I had no idea how much work went on behind the scenes when putting together an educational visit.
I have gained a greater knowledge and appreciation for how the Museum operates and interacts with its visitors. One thing that has stood out during my time here is how all the staff members go above and beyond for their visitors. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff and they do everything they can to ensure the visitors go away happy.
All of the staff members are enthusiastic and passionate about their job roles and about the Museum itself. There is a positive atmosphere within the building and that was a pleasure to be around.
I have certainly achieved what I set out too and so much more. My love for teaching has been intensified as a result from my time at the Museum.
I look forward to returning to the Museum with my new students in the future!
Rebecca was fantastic at thinking on her feet and delivered an excellent tour for our Travel and Tourism students. Many comments were made by my colleagues on how approachable and friendly she was and therefore we would welcome her back anytime!
We wish her all the best with her future, and certainly would love to have her bring her future students to the Museum.
Here at the Manchester Museum we are always looking to develop and improve our practice and part of this includes asking students that visit what THEY think of any workshops they have participated in.
In November we had a two week hot-spot for evaluation where we asked for student feedback on any sessions that took place during that time. Within the Humanities and Arts programme we had a number of different workshops take place – ArteFACT, Patterns in Nature and our brand NEW session Empire Explained.
Here’s a snapshot of what particpating students had to say about their experiences at the Museum:
ArteFACT session – Trinity High School, Year 7 pupils
When they were asked which part of the session they enjoyed the most, their responses were:
“I enjoyed writing labels for each of the objects”
I enjoyed classifying the objects because it was fun”
I enjoyed seeing interesting things and working together as a team”
I enjoyed labelling the objects and creating a history for it!”
When they were asked what they would tell friends and family about their expeience at the Museum they said:
“How to organise a part of a museum and how to investigate what an object is by looking at it”
“I would tell my family that I enjoyed the trip and I got a chance to enhance my knowledge in History”
“I really enjoyed looking at the different items and artefacts about history. I will be telling loads fo people about this memorable experience at the Manchester Museum”
Patterns in Nature Session – Sidall Moor Sports College, Yr 10 students
For this art session in observation drawing students were asked what they would take away from the workshop. Here are some of their quick-fire responses:
“Don’t use lines as much”
“Use different pens, pencils and other things like that differently”
“Using different types of shade”
“You can use tone instead of line”
Empire Explained – Trial Sessions with Yr 7, Newall Green High School students and the Home Educators Network
Here are some things that the groups said they learned about Egyptian, Roman and British Empire:
They all had armies and military awards
The Empire increased trade opportunities
They had different titles for their ruler – Pharaoh, Emperor and King/Queen
They all became expensive to defend and relied upon different technologies to expand
Things they said they really liked about the workshop included:
- The use of I-pads
- Interaction with objects
- Lots of different activites
- Comparison of the empires
Overall we collected a huge range of evaluative material that allows us a glimpse into understanding what it is that students get from participating in a museum session as part of their education. We’ll be examining all of our material over the coming weeks and have planned in more hotspots weeks over the year so that we can ensure that all students attending our workshops get a quality, educational and fun visit.