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.
Our Baby Explorer sessions at Manchester Museum are designed to engage babies (who are not yet walking) and their parents and carers using our unique spaces and collections. It’s a great opportunity for babies and parents to meet and make new friends and to experience something new. At the beginning of the session we offer interactive storytelling based on the themes of our collections (animals in woodlands, meadows and under the sea!) devised especially for babies, using sensory props, hand puppets music, song and bubbles! Babies and parents also have opportunity to explore the collections using real objects and a range of sensory resources which mirror our collections in form, texture, colour and sound.
Some comments from our parents….
‘A wonderful adventurous environment ‘
‘I love bringing my baby to the play sessions and have got lots of tips and ideas for playing at home with her’
‘Wonderful! A fantastic mix of story, sensory, sounds and interesting things to touch and see. My baby was enthralled!’
Our sessions are held every other Tuesday @ 10.30am, 12.30 and 1.30pm and last for 45 minutes.
We will be inviting parents to come to a special session of Baby Explorers at our Babies in Museums workshop on 18th March. Take a look at our Culturebabies blog and check out our film to see Baby Explorers in action….
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 email@example.com
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.