Archive for the ‘Visiting Schools’ Category
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.
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!
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 email@example.com
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.
Our new Ancient Worlds gallery will be opening on 26th October and we will be developing a session for Y1 /2 which we hope to pilot February /March 2013. If you are interested in helping us to develop and pilot activities for the new session, we would like to hear from you!
we have a teacher preview evening for Ancient Worlds on November 14th 4.30-6.30
wine and nibbles will be provided.
Booking is essential as places are limited, so please RSVP by 24th October 2012 to our Bookings Coordinator on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0161 275 2630
Early year’s sessions …
There is still some availability for booking our early years sessions by contacting our bookings coordinator.
Nursery and Reception
Animal Explorers – Polar Bear Polar Bear
For up to 15 children, 90 minutes
£3.50 per child (minimum charge £50)
Nursery Reception and Y1
For up to 15 children, 90 minutes Y1 For up to 32 children, 90 minutes
£3.50 per child (minimum charge £50)
All the way back in January and February of this year the Museum was working with eight Year 8 students from Matthew Moss High School in order to create a Midden – so that we could research the decay and survival of a number of everyday objects. We called it our ‘Experiment in Archaeology’ and installed the midden in our Allotment with plans to excavate just before the opening of the new Ancient Worlds Galleries in late October.
Well, our Year 8′s were welcomed back to the Museum last week and were treated to a tour of the University of Manchester’s Chemistry labratory so that they could use the equipment to test a variety of materials. But first they had to identify the differences between organic and inorganic materials and determine which of these categories each of their samples placed in the midden belonged to. They used the Museum’s collection as a resource for discussion and to help them place their samples.
After examining some of the Museum’s collection they then went across to the meet Kristy Turner, RSC School Teacher Fellow at the School of Chemistry. Here is what she did with the students:
The students used FTIR spectroscopy to look at the materials in the objects they brought with them. This method fires an infrared beam (a bit like that coming from your TV remote) onto the surface of the sample and measures how the beam changes when it is bounced off the sample and returned to the machine. It can show us information about chemical bonds in materials, especially materials made from mainly carbon, like plastics. The students will return in September or October to reanalyse the materials they have dug out from the midden and see if anything has changed. This will let them see if being in the midden has made any changes to the chemical structure of the materials.
Tracey Martin, who accompanied the students on their visit, sent us an email to say: “a BIG thank you! Our Year 8 boys thoroughly enjoyed themselves with you all yesterday“. Below are a few of the photographs of the boys working hard in Chemistry.
They also placed some more items in the midden, mostly organic materials, to see what effect a shorter time period might have on such samples. We can’t wait to welcome them back as Year 9′s in September or October to dig up their midden and retrieve what’s left (if anything) of their objects in preparation for the Ancient Worlds Galleries opening!
On Friday 15th June The Manchester Museum became a hive of activity when Burnage Media Arts College brought 90 (yes, you read that right: Ninety!) of their Key Stage Three students to take part in our Enrichment Day activities.
It was an intense, yet immensely fun day. The students were split into six groups of fifteen students, each with a tutor to supervise, and they took part in four out of six Enrichment Day activities on offer throughout the day. These consisted of:
Creative Thinking: Using our anthropology collection as inspiration students created their own masks to celebrate the Jubilee and Olymipics
The Money Game: Students put their skills to the test in this fast-paced competition in our Money Gallery. First team to complete as many challanges correctly had the honour of being named ‘champion’!
Mystery Animals: Using the Living Worlds gallery students used their own investigative skills in order to identify a mystery animal in our collection.
Dinosaur Footprints: How long a stride does Stan, our T-Rex, have? Students answered this question, and more, by examining different dinosaur footprints and concluding if they were walking, trotting or running. They were also able to predict scenarios suggesting how the footprints were made all those millions of years ago.
Finding Frogs: With our fantastic live animal collection students were encouraged to find out more about frogs and their unique adaptations, in addition to discussing issues around habitat loss. Then, if they were lucky, they got to meet one of our residents!
Here at the Museum we really enjoyed it – it was great to see so many students taking part in various activites and engaging with so much of our collection all in one day. To close, I’ll let you read what two of the teachers concluded about the day:
Museum staff were amazing: really flexible and enthusiastic – could not do enough for us as staff and the boys. Thank you!
Educational: students taught about different ideas. Very enjoyable!
It’s always fantastic to hear that the Museum and its displays have provided inspiration for pupils in their classrooms – the range of things produced is always varied and creative and we really enjoy hearing about them. However, when Irlam Endowed Primary School contacted us, we couldn’t have imagined just how inspired they had been by their recent trip to the Museum!
On Friday 20th April, Debbie and David from the Museum Learning Team were delighted to join Year 4 pupils and class teacher Tracey Whittaker at the school, to open their very own museum in their classroom. They were enthralled by the accuracy and amount of effort that had gone into everything, from the design of displays to accurate labels and the pièce de résistance of a 5.5m long replica whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling – just like in our Living Worlds gallery!
It was a real honour for the Museum to be part of the school’s celebrations and to join them in their own museum. So thanks very much to Irlam Endowed Primary School and please do let us know if the Museum has inspired you.
Most of my time this month has been spent on reviewing our Secondary workshops in order to make the most of our upcoming Ancient Worlds development and the fantastic opportunities for Key Stage Three and Four students to engage with the collection here. Topics to explore include Archaeology, Empire and Identity with the chance to develop student’s interpretation and enquiry skills as well as utilising critical thinking whilst investigating objects as direct evidence of the past.
The new galleries are going to give visitors a great overview of Archaeology and the contributions that our diverse collection of objects can make to our understanding of the past, in addition to analysing the different techniques used to explore this past. We’ve also got a spotlight on ancient Egypt as an Empire with a focus on examining the daily lives of specific individuals such as pyramid builders and will even include Asru, our temple priestess. There will be a very different approach to interpreting Egypt presented in this gallery, with the museum exploring how the ancient Egyptians themselves viewed their country and also how Egypt is an African civilisation influenced by surrounding cultures. The final gallery, upstairs, will be possibly the most visually stunning and potentially the most likely to adapt over the coming years: visible storage areas will be created, current research will be presented and themes will be explored in addition to object biographies to make sense of various parts of the collection.
To follow the progress, or find out more, check out the Ancient Worlds blog for more details.
Right now, having worked through some of the workshops and identified the potential links for the Secondary sessions, I’m really excited about the possibilities and opportunities the Ancient Worlds galleries will present for students and their teachers. The galleries will, in conjuction with the other permenant exhibitions here at the Museum, engage students with their curriculum subjects and hopefully provide them with a memorable experience to help them learn about the past, the present and even influence their own future.
On Monday 26th March The Manchester Museum hosted a fun-tastic Enrichment day for Kearsley Academy students. These days are intended to challenge students, build on their skills and intoduce them to the fascinating topics and possibilities that cultural instituions like The Manchester Museum can offer.
As part of their Enrichment Day experience Key Stage 3 and 4 students took part in a carousel of workshops that included:
- Minerals and Me – An interactive activity investigating our use of minerals in everyday life.
- Living Worlds Performance – In partnership with the University of Manchester. Interact with a Theatre Studies student as she presents a short piece on our relationship to nature.
- Money Game – A fast-paced game in which teams race against the clock to discover facts about currency.
- Creative Thinking - Create masks for significant events like the Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee, using our Living Cultures Gallery as inspiration.
The day started at 10am and time sped by to the conclusion at 2.30pm. Students and teachers alike enjoyed the day, and we received some excellent feedback:
“It was a fun and educational day out with school!” – Student
“I enjoyed the visit. I learnt a lot of different information which I did not know and there were a lot of fascinating things to look at” – Student
“I like museums now and think they are interesting” – Student
“I now don’t think that history or modern facts are boring” – Student
“Throughout the Day the Educational package was great and the amount of time allocated each workshop was enough to keep the pupils on task” – Teacher
We’ll be offering more Enrichment Days throughout the Summer Term, so keep up to date with our offer through the website.