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South Asia TeachMeet – what we learnt

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On 7 December, we hosted our first South Asia-themed TeachMeet event, launching our future work on the South Asia gallery as part of the HLF Courtyard Project.

It was a fabulous evening with some amazing speakers, experts and creative practitioners sharing ideas and inspiration for teachers from across Greater Manchester. The teachers attending had some really great insights into what they would find valuable in a future learning programme linked to the new gallery, quote of the night being “It’s about time Manchester had a South Asia gallery!”

Below is a flavour of what we all learnt about … in alphabetical order by school/organisation (where applicable) for ease!

If you are a primary or early years teacher, and have not already completed our survey about our future programme, we’d be very grateful if you could do so here.

Anjum Anwar MBE

Anjum is an educator who has worked for many years in the fields of interfaith understanding for both the Lancashire Council of Mosques and Blackburn Cathedral. She presented a passionate argument for schools to not shy away from these difficult conversations. Website coming soon.

Bhangracise

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Our night finished with Bhangracise! Bhangracise have been teaching, performing and advancing the art form of Bhangra dancing for over 12 years. They provide performances, fitness classes and school workshops across the UK. Find them on Twitter @Bhangracise.

Blackburn Museum

Stephen Irwin from Blackburn Museum spoke about his fantastic film project  about the contribution of Indian soldiers in WW2. “We Also Served” records the journey of a group of young people from Blackburn in trying to uncover the forgotten story of the Indian Army. More information about Blackburn Museum, and contact details for Steve, can be found here.

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British Council

The British Council attended to share information with teachers about their ‘Connecting Classrooms’ programme: “Connecting Classrooms is a fully funded learning journey that includes face-to-face and online courses, international professional partnerships and visit funding opportunities based around the core skills.” See their poster, flyer and website for more information.

Chorlton High School

Chorlton High School is a Heritage School. Natalie Sanderson, Assistant Curriculum Leader at CHS, has spearheaded a fantastic project – ‘My Mancunium’ with their Year 7s, examining the many diffrent communities who have migrated to Manchester from Roman times onwards. The project is cross-curricular and enables pupils from this multicultural school to understand the push/pull factors in migration and feel pride in their city. Contact Natalie on twitter @historicalsando.

Computeam

Computeam create incredible virtual and augmented reality resources for schools and were speaking to teachers about how the Indus Valley might be incorporated into their amazing Active Worksheets series. See them on Twitter @computeam.

Equilibrium Dance Arts

Equilibrium Dance and Arts is a social enterprise whose objective is to integrate dance, arts, mental health & well-being and research. Gaya from EDA joined us from Dubai via Skype to share her PHD research on dance in education, and teach us a few moves! You can contact Gaya via Facebook  and Twitter.

Kingsway Community Trust

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Rumana Asif and the Kingsway Community Trust were presented at the TeachMeet with a first-of-its-kind award from the British Council for ‘outstanding development of the international dimension in the curriculum’. Amazing! They incorporate the British Council’s connecting classrooms in all areas of school life at every age.

Manchester Road Primary Academy

Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, Year 1 teacher Anthony Parker is piloting a new cross-curricular topic with his class on India. They will cover geography and history, a ‘significant individual’ and even cricket in PE! In the future he will be able to bring his class to the Museum to see real artefacts from Indian history. Contact him on twitter @Anthillel.

Rubbia Ullah

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Rubbia is an experienced art practitioner in museum, gallery, heritage and other settings. Her art is often inspired by South Asian techniques and practices. At the TeachMeet she shared with us techniques of basket weaving, printing and making clay pots.

Southern Voices

Southern Voices is a network of people committed to bringing the knowledge and understanding of Southern* and Black* people to the global issues that are central to education and to living in the world today. Kirit presented information about their fascinating HLF project about the impact of WW1 on colonised peoples. Southern Voices can offer ‘free’ sessions on this for schools by experienced practitioners. Email Kirit for more details.

St Marys RC Primary

The Indus Valley Civilisation – a bronze age civilisation in what is now Pakistan – is an often-overlooked alternative to ancient Egypt in the KS2 curriculum. Mark Chadwick teaches this as a fascinating (and messy!) contrast to both Egypt and prehistoric Britain to his Year 3 class.

The University of Manchester School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

Dr John Zavos and Dr Jacqueline Suthren Hirst are experts in South Asian history and religions, especially Hinduism. The TAROSA website is an excellent resource for challenging popular notions of Hinduism with older students, and the Museum of the South Asian Diaspora could support a topic on migration.

The University of Manchester School of Sociology

Professor Claire Alexander has received a University of Manchester award for ‘Outstanding benefit to society through research’. She spoke about the fantastic projects that won her this award: Banglastories, Making Histories and Our Migration Story. These are great resources and also give guidelines for teachers wanting their pupils to become oral historians.

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South Asia TeachMeet

tmsouthasialandscapeWe are very excited to announce that we will be hosting an after-hours TeachMeet on 7 December  at Manchester Museum. South Asia-inspired artists, teachers, speakers and organisations will be here in The Study to share a wealth of ideas and projects at this unique event.

Speakers and experts include:

  • Prof. Claire Alexander, University of Manchester – South Asian identity and migration; oral history with young people
  • Dr John Zavos and Dr Jacqueline Suthren Hirst, University of Manchester – experts in South Asian history and religions respectively
  • Mark Chadwick – St Mary’s Primary – the Indus Valley Civilisation
  • Anjum Anwar MBE – interfaith dialogue in schools
  • Dr Gayathri Ganapathy – storytelling and cognition through South Asian dance
  • British Council – ‘Connecting Classrooms’ global education programme
  • Blackburn Museum – film project on India’s role in WW2
  • Sophie Marshall – Irk Valley Primary – RE in the Early Years

The event is also your opportunity to learn more about how teachers can be involved in our upcoming capital redevelopment known as the Courtyard Project; in particular relating to the new South Asia gallery which is planned for 2020 in a landmark partnership with the British Museum.

Come and escape the festive madness and get fresh ideas and inspiration for the New Year and beyond!

Free refreshments will be provided.

Limited tickets are available here – book now to avoid disappointment! 

Please contact amy.mcdowall@manchester.ac.uk / 0161 2757357 with any questions or if you would like to speak at the event.

We look forward to seeing you then!

Spectacular Science: Manchester Museum Takeover!

Free event on Saturday, 29 October 2016 (10am-4pm) at the Manchester Museum

sci-spec-bThe University of Manchester will be running its Spectacular Science event on Saturday 29th October, offering a fun-filled family day of science challenges, live experiments, and hands-on demonstrations to delight children and adults alike.

Help us create a superhero, become a cell explorer, or build a world of fungus. Investigate our universe, make a mini robot dance, explore new wonder materials, and much, much more.

At the same time, our science buskers will be lining Oxford Road dishing out dazzling displays of scientific wizardry. So bring your mum and dad, your kids, and your friends to this free event.

Sheena Cruickshank, University of Manchester’s Academic Lead for Public Engagement with Research said: “this award winning event is a treasure of delights showcasing the variety of amazing and excellent science at The University of Manchester.”

What you have said:

“The whole event was such good fun and the hands on stuff was great. We all want to be scientists now!”

“I left having really enjoyed the day. I would definitely recommend others taking part.”

 

Manchester has a proud history of scientific discovery and by coming to the Science Spectacular you’ll be able to make some discoveries of your own!

So come on down to the Manchester Museum for some Spectacular Science!

Further information:

See our 2015 video

This event is part of the Manchester Science Festival (MSF). Part laboratory, part playground, MSF is a showcase for the most creative, surprising and hands-on science for people of all ages.

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Primary teachers: Manchester Museum Needs You! (for 2 minutes)

 

As you may have heard, Manchester Museum is embarking on an exciting capital redevelopment known as the Courtyard Project. We want to make sure the new galleries and display spaces – especially the South Asia gallery – meet the needs of primary teachers across Greater Manchester and beyond:

  • Have you always wanted to study a different Ancient Civilisation to Egypt?
  • Do you want to celebrate South Asian influence in your community?
  • Is there a new way of learning about world religions?
  • Is lunch space essential for your school trips?

Now is your chance to have your say!

If you are a primary or early years teacher, we would delighted if you could spare 2 minutes to complete our short survey here.

We are also looking for expressions of interest for a TeachMeet here on the evening of 7 December around the theme of South Asia. If you’ve had a great project, activity, topic or event linked to South Asia (early years, primary or secondary) and would like to be involved, please contact the Primary Learning Coordinator Amy McDowall.

THANK YOU!

 

Half Term Activities at Manchester Museum

img_3226Join us at Manchester Museum for lots of family friendly fun this half term.

 

October is an exciting month across the City with lots of family friendly events as part of Manchester Science Festival and the Family Arts Festival.

 

When the half term holidays arrive, the learning opportunities continue at Manchester Museum.  October half term is the perfect opportunity to visit and delve into the many hands on, fun and awe inspiring activities that we have taking place.

 

All week long you can drop in between 11am-4pm and create a print inspired by the objects you can see in our new ‘Extinct or Survival?’ exhibition which opened on Friday 21st October.

 

Discover more about the Solar System, speak to experts and see objects from space, on Tuesday 25th October with students and colleagues from the University of Manchester at the ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Solar System’ event.

 

 

On Thursday 27th October we will be joined by Stanley Grove’s Creative Crew who will be encouraging our family visitors to join in with their Big Draw project and create paper moths to share or keep and treasure.

 

Don’t miss our ‘Science Spectacular’ event on Saturday 29th October for a fun filled day of science challenges, live experiments, and interactive demonstrations and much, much more.

I Spy Nature at Manchester Museum

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During the summer holidays we were able to run an additional programme for under 5’s and their families (alongside our core family programme) with funding from The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust . This allowed us to offer FREE  drop–in activities and  small group bookable activities both inside the Museum and outside on The Museum Allotment.

We had already raised this funding for the development of a Nature Discovery garden, to sit alongside our Nature Discovery gallery. This will now be developed as part of our major capital redevelopment at the museum over the next few years, during which time we will have a new South Asia gallery and a new temporary exhibition gallery.

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We worked in partnership with Hulme Community Garden Centre, RSPB, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Groundwork, Barrow-in-Furness Owl Sanctuary, 24/7 Theatre Company and De Capo Duo to pilot new practice which will inform future developments at the Museum. This…

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Using Collections to Write Poems: a Museum Staff Workshop by Helen Clare

Our Poet-in-Residence, Helen Clare, invited Museum staff to engage in a workshop to help them to create their own poem.  She shared with us the techniques she has used in creating her own poetry, which included the creation of ‘poemlets’ that we blogged about earlier this year. The activity also demonstrates that these techniques can be shared with visitors to facilitate using the collection as inspiration for creative writing.

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Helen on Manchester Gallery sharing her poem writing techniques with staff

Using this poemlet technique as a starting point staff were asked to find 3 or 4 objects that inspired them on from our Manchester Gallery and then use a line from their resulting poemlets to develop a longer rhyming poem. In the spirit of sharing, here’s three of my poemlets and the resulting poem I developed using various lines from each.

Once upon a time in Manchester,
Sharp and clean but only now;
A giant cat sauntered here.  – Lion’s Tooth

Illegal, bad and guilty,
A thing of beauty: look at me!
Some things were not made for blood. – Dagger

Spices, smells, so many options built over time.
Fill me, use me, breathe in my tangy scent.
Cultures clashing: a pinch of spice for everyone. – Spice Rack

Poem: Culture Clash
Some things are not made for blood,
Sharp and clean, now used for good.
The owner, once a feared man, lost in history, all but gone.
Cultures clashing: a pinch of spice for everyone.

A thing of beauty: look at me.
Come slowly closer, what might you see?
A forgotten daughter, parents and abandoned son,
Cultures clashing: a pinch of spice for everyone.

I have to say, for a Monday morning activity I am surprisingly pleased with my effort given that we only had around 40 minutes to spend on our poems. The techniques are easy enough to suggest to visitors as an activity, and we got to hear some of Helen’s Museum-inspired poetry, which is always a treat.

It can be daunting [to write poetry] but actually it was quite inspiring. It was a safe environment and Helen was very encouraging. To start out the week creating something was lovely.” – feedback from staff member.

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Staff share some of their poemlets on Living Cultures

The instructions for the staff workshop can be found on Helen’s blog, but you don’t have to be a member of staff to have a go yourself. And if you can’t make it to the Museum, check out our Flickr account to see pictures of many of our objects and galleries for inspiration.

Feel free to share your work in our comments section below.


Helen will be showcasing her new schools workshop developed from this Arts Council funded project during the October Half Term.

Juice from Oranges, Rocks from Space
Wed 26 Oct
11.30am – 12.15pm & 1.30-2.15pm
A new poetry performance from Helen Clare, about exhibits from around the museum; where they came from and the journey they’ve made. There will be happy poems, sad poems, gory poems and fun poems – and opportunities for children to join in and create too.

Find out about the giant carved tusk, a moth, bloodworms, a man who was murdered and left to rot in a bog, a Greek God, Stan the T. Rex, and an ancient rock from out of space.

For children aged 8-12 and their parents/carers
Free, book on mcrmuseum.eventbrite.com or 0161 275 2648

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A Placement Hello

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Me saying hello to Stan the T-Rex

Hello, my name is Luke and I’ve just started my placement year with the Learning Team at the Museum. When I am not on my placement year I study Animal Behaviour at Manchester Metropolitan University, which believe me is more than watching cat videos. Having just finished my second year I thought it would be a great time to go on placement and get experience in the real world.

I have been really looking forward to starting this placement and now that I am here, I haven’t been  disappointed. So I thought I would share with you my top 3 favourite things about the Museum from my first week of working here.

The fact that I’ve learnt a lot about ancient Egypt has been great. This is from being an extra pair of hands during the Egyptian Worlds primary school session, which was on the second day of term! I wish my school did field trips that early after school started. I was especially jealous of the children as I never got to study ancient Egypt at school, let alone go to a museum and have a private lesson on it! It was obivious from how much the children enjoyed it that I clearly missed out of something.

The Vivarium has to be my favourite place in the Museum so far, as it is home to the Museum’s live animals! I will say I spent too much time in there on my first day just looking at all the different animals. My personal favourite (at the moment) is the Golden poison dart frog, as they are so beautiful but also so dangerous.

Lastly my third favourite thing about the Museum is that I get to work in a place full of passionate people and I get to help to educate and inspire people who are younger then me to take up science and history and discover all the amazing things that both science and history have to offer.

That is all I can fit in to one blog post, but this won’t be the last you will hear from me as I am at the Museum for the next 9 months. So don’t worry you will get an update on how I am getting on throughout the year.

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The baby sperm whale wishing me luck

 

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Ancient Egyptian Deep Clean!

It has been a busy summer at the Museum with a huge number of exciting activities linked to our latest temporary exhibition, Climate Control.

Here in the Learning Team, we are now beavering away getting ready to welcome lots more schools in September.

As part of this preparation, we check that all the Museum objects that are handled by children are safe and in good condition.

These photos show Matt (from the Learning Team) and Irit (a Conservator) checking out the ancient Egyptian objects. Although all our school visitors are wonderfully careful with the artefacts, the ancient Egyptian items do have a particularly hard time as they are handled by tens of thousands of small hands every term!

Have a good look at the ‘before’ picture of the fish votive (temple offering) that Irit is holding. Can you see what colour it is? What do you think it is made from? Is it patterned or plain? We’ll come back to the fish later!

Over the last few weeks, Irit has examined all the objects carefully and cleaned them where needed with swabs, water and rubbing alcohol.

Irit was really pleased with the condition of the objects and commented on how carefully the children must have been handling them on the Egyptian Worlds visits. Just one item (a wooden ear from a coffin) is going to go back into storage, to be replaced with a different possible tomb item.

 

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Remember that fish votive? Can you see the difference? It’s actually patterned and made of bronze! Irit’s careful cleaning has revealed the beautiful scaled pattern again. It is still mostly brown as it is slightly rusty, but we expect that the acid in the children’s hands this term will naturally polish it up again soon. We’ll let you know!

Handling real objects is such an important part of the ‘wow factor’ of visiting a museum, so we are really looking forward to sharing these exciting artefacts with many more schools this year.

We get booked up quite far in advance, but we do still have a few slots available for later in the autumn term so get your bookings in quickly by filling in our enquiry form to avoid disappointment! See here for our information about our schools programme. We hope to welcome you in the Museum soon.

Campbell and Amy

Lovely to meet you!

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Amy meeting Campbell Price, Curator of Egypt and Sudan at Manchester Museum

My name is Amy and I’m the new Primary Learning Coordinator here at Manchester Museum. I have so far spent two weeks getting to know the building, the collection, the fantastic team here and – mostly importantly – the awesome schools programme! It’s a great time of year to start as we are all gearing up ready for the return of schools in September.

You’ll hear more from me in the coming weeks, but for now I thought I’d share the top 5 things I’ve learnt about Manchester Museum so far …

  • It’s a very smiley place!! Everyone here clearly loves their jobs and is delighted to work in such an inspiring place. Even the frogs seem to grin!

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  • There’s LOADS going on here – far too much for one blog post! To give you a flavour, in the next year the Learning Team will be consulting with schools on our planned building extension; taking part in activities relating to the UK/India Year of Culture; planning TeachMeets and CPD for teachers … the list goes on!

 

  • Ancient Egypt is REALLY popular! Asru, one of the ancient Egyptian mummies on display in our Ancient Worlds gallery, is the star of our most popular primary school session, ‘Egyptian Worlds’. And rightly so – she gives kids a fascinating insight into a key feature of this amazing civilisation. (However, if any schools out there cover the Indus Valley as their ancient civilisation in KS2 History, instead of Egypt, we would love to hear from you!)
  • This team is pretty good at what it does: the stack of letters we receive from inspired children really shows how memorable museum learning can be, and last year well over 90% of our visiting teachers rated us as having “excellent” quality of delivery. Not bad across 30,000 annual school visitors!

 

  • The Museum is a BIG building with LOTS of stairs – wish me luck in finding my way around!!

That’s all from me for now. If you’d like to get in touch to discuss any aspect of our primary schools programme, please do so on 0161 275 7357 or amy.mcdowall@manchester.ac.uk. I look forward to meeting lots of you soon!