Update 20 November – items are now all reserved, thanks for checking in!

You’ll have heard by now that Manchester Museum is embarking on a huge HLF-supported building and redevelopment project known as hello futureExcitingly, contractors have started some enabling works on-site, which you can follow via our project blog and twitter.

This means we’ve taken the opportunity for a HUGE clear-out of resources collected over a hundred years of Learning Programmes at the Museum.

We’ve got some stuff that we know we won’t be using during our reduced on-site programme during part-closure, and wanted to give local schools the opportunity to get their hands on some *free* learning resources!

Take a look below, and if you’d like to collect anything between 19 and 23 November, please email First come, first served!


A box of assorted clipboards (plastic and wood)


Set of 4 answer buzzers


Huge roll of corrugated cardboard … maybe for a display or craft corner?


5 green pin boards



2 x magnetic whiteboards


HUGE ancient Egypt timeline, created by an artist for our primary learning programmes


Dinosaur floor mat


Box of dressing up cothes, including ancient Egyptian collars


Box of assorted old coins. Great for creating an archaeological dig in your school garden!


TTS Easi-View visualiser (we think like this one


Early year light box furniture


Assorted replica African artefacts and musical instruments


Animal stamps and play doh!


Assorted children’s garden tools


Bits of model bones!


Felt and foam cylindrical cushions


Home Educating Families’ Afternoon at Manchester Museum, Thursday 6 December 2018: Investigating Nature

5/11/18: THIS EVENT IS NOW FULL. We received many more enquiries than expected for this event! If you have submitted an enquiry form we will be in touch before the end of November to confirm your place or whether we’ll need to add you to a wait list.

Please follow us on twitter @MM_Connects for details of the next event.


Explore the museum collections, meet experts, get your hands on real museum specimens and have fun with other families in this unique environment.


This is a pilot event as part of our HLF-funded ‘hello future’ building and redevelopment project, based on consultation with home educating families. The event will explore themes of extinction, adaptation and how we can all protect the natural world.

Activities will include:

– Object handling
– Curator Q&A
– Hands on activities
– Under 5s sensory play

Suitable for all ages. Sign in and registration 1-1.30pm. Activities until 4pm. Booking in advance by 29 November 2018 via this link is essential. Places are limited and the link will go down once we’re full!

As this is a pilot event, we are able to offer it *free of charge* in return for your comments and feedback, to help shape our future programmes.

Please note that adults will remain in supervisory capacity at all times for the children that they bring, and children must not be left unaccompanied; museum staff and volunteers are facilitators only.

Inside Out: Working Scientifically at the Museum

Primary schools in Manchester are invited to express their interest in the project here by Friday 2 November.

DSC_0424What is it?

Through first-hand and behind-the-scenes explorations of how the core elements of ‘working scientifically’ in the real-life setting of Manchester Museum, this project will place the role of science communicator into the hands of the children themselves. Pupils will author, storyboard – and some will star in and edit – short films demonstrating their scientific understanding, which will be showcased at the SEERIH Great Science Share in summer 2019.

Participating teachers will co-plan with project with other local education and science professionals, informed by training in the autumn term and supported by an advisory group including a Primary Science Teaching Trust Fellow, SEERIH and the Museum.

This is a great opportunity for an NQT or RQT looking to enhance their science teaching, or for a more experienced teacher looking to develop their practice beyond the classroom.

What are the benefits for my school?

Pupils will:

  • Develop their understanding of real-world ‘working scientifically’ and into careers in Science, Culture and Higher Education.
  • Learn how to storyboard and write dialogue for non-fiction films.
  • Gain an insight into the professional processes involved in

Teachers will:

  • Advance their pedagogical understanding of real-world ‘working scientifically’ through collaboration with a Primary Science Teaching Trust Fellow.
  • Develop digital literacy skills for teaching and learning, including how to teach storyboarding, scripting, and editing.
  • Connect and collaborate with education and science specialists from the University of Manchester and beyond.

Your school will:

  • Benefit from a fully-funded, unique, behind-the-scenes visit to Manchester Museum for pupils, and CPD for the project teacher.
  • Be credited as co-authors of films that will be available to Manchester Museum’s 30,000+ annual school visitors.
  • Receive priority bookings for the Great Science Share.
  • Engage with parents and other pupils by hosting a Science Week event showcasing the pupils’ work (with the option of doing this through the Inflatable Museum)
  • Receive a £250 bursary to cover some of the costs associated with the project.

Who is it for?

Primary schools in Manchester, particularly those in neighbouring Council wards to the University, are invited to express their interest in the project here by Friday 2 November. The project is aimed at Years 3-4 but interest from Year 5-6 will be considered. Between 6 and 32 pupils may take part per school, and we expect to be able to work with five different schools.

What does my school commit to?

  • Release for the lead teacher (as a minimum) on 19 November 2019 for a CPD and project planning day at the museum.
  • Some classroom activity led by your teachers (expected minimum 3 lessons – to be discussed at the CPD day)

Project timescales (draft)

19 November 2018: Teacher CPD and project planning (including a half day from SEERIH on ‘working scientifically’ in primary science, and interactive, behind-the-scenes activity at the museum)

January-February 2019: Discovery (Half) Days for pupils at the Museum

February-March 2019: Storyboarding and scripting in school

March 2019: Science Week

April-May 2019: Production days at the Museum

June 2019: Great Science Share Premier Event / Optional School Premier Events


For more information please contact Amy McDowall, Primary Learning Coordinator at Manchester Museum, on / 0161 275 7357.

Delving into Manchester’s Islamic Collections

Islamic Worlds

hello future

A guest blog from Amy McDowall, our Primary Learning Coordinator

Manchester Museum’s new South Asia gallery will touch on the many religions and faiths of modern and historic South Asia: Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Islam to name a few.

Many of the children living in communities local to the museum belong to one of these faiths, and this adds a really interesting dimension to our thoughts on how we would use the new gallery and the Museum’s collection to talk about both historic and modern religion.

It’s really important that we understand the importance of artefacts relating to religion and how to treat them respectfully. So when a teacher from St Margaret’s Primary in Whalley Range got in touch to ask if we could support her Year 6 pupils’ historical study of Early Islamic Civilisation, we jumped at the chance.

Together with the Jenny, the Ellerman-funded project curator who has…

View original post 282 more words

‘Discover India’ Music Day

Musical times at the Museum!

hello future

A guest post from Amy, our Primary Learning Coordinator

One element of the Courtyard Project that we are particularly excited about is the creation of a performance space in the new South Asia gallery. Building on the rich tradition of performance and storytelling, this space will provide a platform for sharing and celebrating South Asia’s diverse cultural heritage.

We recently had a bit of a ‘preview’ of the potential for this space, thanks to the New North and South programme and funding from the Arts Council. In collaboration with Band on the Wall and Milapfest, Manchester Museum hosted a ‘Discover India’ music event for pupils from three of our local schools. Over the course of a day, children aged 3-10 learnt new skills in drumming, traditional dance (Kathak and Bharatanatyam), and storytelling.

India music day 1

Pupils spent the morning with Milapfest’s fantastic tutors, learning the basics and practicing a piece of either…

View original post 135 more words

‘Museum of Me’ project

A project from our fabulous Inflatable Museum

hello future

A guest post by Amy, our Primary Learning Coordinator.

During our hello future redevelopment, the Inflatable Museum will be bringing the wonder and curiosity of a museum experience to school halls and community venues across the region. A big part of this will be helping to help keep the magic of ancient Egypt – and the importance of learning from the ‘real thing’ – alive in primary schools whilst our Ancient Worlds galleries are closed for a couple of years. But as an inclusive museum we’ll also be using it to find new ways of helping different people from all walks of life to feel like a part of the museum …without even needing to visit it.

So far this year, the Inflatable Museum has popped up at festivals and community arts days, at libraries and civic spaces, and even hosted a branch of the University of Manchester’s kid-on-kid conference…

View original post 589 more words

Around the World to Manchester: Clarendon Sixth Form College Photography Exhibit

Each year Manchester Museum sets a brief for BTEC National Diploma Photography students from Clarendon Sixth Form College with instruction to take inspiration from our collection and create images linked to a particular theme. This year the theme was ‘journeys’ and the seven students who produced images discovered numerous ways to expand on what they saw when they visited the Museum back in February 2018.


Clarendon Sixth Form College’s Exhibit: Around the World to Manchester – in The Study at Manchester Museum until July 2018

During their visit students were introduced to the collection through a gallery tour, led by one of our fantastic visitor team members, and had the unique opportunity to get a peek behind the scenes with our curators. Hearing about all the ways various cultural artefacts arrived at the Museum and the journeys our insect specimens made during their lifetimes started the students on their creative process. After the visit, they took their knowledge and impressions about the Museum’s collection and applied it to their own experience; with some of them creating personal pieces of work that link directly into who they are and where they have come from.

Each student started this brief at the Museum, exploring our collection and discovering new things, but as their ideas progressed they have all forged their own path to very different creative outputs and they should be very proud of the resulting images.

If you can, drop by Manchester Museum and see their work in person. The exhibit is located in The Study on the 3rd floor and will be on display until the end of July 2018.

Also see: Photography Students’ work exhibited at Museum – from Clarendon Sixth Form College website

All in a Twitter!

You might have noticed some changes to our Twitter account recently.

twitter feb 2018

“McrMuseum” Learning (@LearningMM) is now “Manchester Museum Learning & Engagement” (@MM_Connects).

A small change, you might think! But for us its the first of many changes that will be happening at Manchester Museum in the next few years.

Reflecting our ongoing plans for the exciting Courtyard Project building and development work, our Learning and Engagement teams will be working much more closely together in the future. ‘Birds of a feather’, you might say …

We’re really excited for the collaborative opportunities that our ambition to become a “Museum for Life” will afford.

But what will schools crossed with volunteering crossed with communities crossed with families crossed with adult events look like?

Don’t settle for a bird’s eye view! Follow our blogs and Twitter to follow our journey to get involved.


The Courtyard Project blog

Learning Team blog



Expressions of interest invited: ‘Discover India’ Music Day at Manchester Museum

Milapfest, in partnership with Manchester Museum and Band on the Wall, are inviting expressions of interest in a day of Indian Arts Workshops on 19 March 2018 10am-2.30pm at Manchester Museum.


Classes will spend the day learning one of four art forms, culminating in a final performance for other students and the public at the end of the day.

Workshops may include:

  • Tabla (North Indian Classical Percussion)
  • Bharatnatyam (South Indian Classical Dance)
  • Storytelling with hand and facial gestures (mudras)
  • Rangoli Art
  • Kathak (North Indian Classical dance)

These workshops will be delivered to suit the ages and abilities of the class, and are designed to be fully inclusive and interactive. The tutors for these workshops are sourced by Milapfest based on their expertise and experience in their field, several of whom are world-renowned artists and tutors.

The day is arranged through New North and South and is kindly funded by Arts Council England. It is also supporting development of Manchester Museum’s new South Asia Gallery as part of the Courtyard Project.

We have space for a limited number of students, from Reception to KS4.

Please click here to express your interest in the event before 5pm on Friday 16 February 2018.

Selected classes will be notified by 2 March. Priority will be given to schools who can explain how this day would enrich their wider curriculum.

The day’s activities are fully-funded, though schools will need to provide their own transport. For questions please contact


Environmental Sustainability in Primary Science … and at the Museum!

Many thousands of people enjoy visiting the frogs, snakes, and chameleons in our Vivarium each year, but did you know a key part of the Vivarium’s work is conservation and research into endangered species? Our herpetologist, Andrew Gray, has even rediscovered a rare tree frog once considered extinct whilst on a research trip!


The Museum as a whole is dedicated promoting public debate about environmental sustainability issues. “Developing a sustainable world” is a key part of our strategic vision, and through our collections we aim to engage people in some of the major issues facing our planet such as climate change and habitat loss.

You might for instance have marvelled at the panda and dodo in our recent exhibition about extinct and endangered species or been inspired by our ‘Climate Control‘ events.

These debates are now reaching our youngest visitors through our learning programme; you may have already read about our new KS2 workshop, Rainforest Investigators: Extinction and Survival.

We love sharing ideas with like-minded people, so we were delighted to be invited to chat to teachers about our environmental sustainability work at the Association for Science Educators annual conference in Liverpool last week. We even brought a snake, lemur leaf frog and panther chameleon to share!

Even though the primary science curriculum doesn’t mention environmental sustainability specifically, as a group we found dozens of opportunities to integrate these issues into teaching. For example, when we learn about electricity, do the children consider where it comes from? When we learn about materials and changes, do we know whether the materials are sustainable or recyclable? And when we learn about fossils of extinct animals, do we consider modern endangered species?

If those ideas have sparked your imagination, check out the collection of our ideas in this document: Linking Sustainability issues to the Primary Science Curriculum.

I’ve also included a number of useful links below.

Let us know in the comments what you do to promote sustainability with young children, and any other resources you can recommend! 

Useful links: