Join our award-winning Shabtis in Schools programme

Imagine if your school could host a real ancient Egyptian museum artefact.

What could you do with this unique opportunity?

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…This experience with the shabti is something these children will tell their grandchildren.”

Our award-winning Shabtis in Schools programme places ancient Egyptian shabti funerary figures in primary and secondary schools across Manchester. The awe and wonder of this artefact is a powerful tool to inspire your pupils, staff and local community.

Manchester Museum is pleased to invite the next phase of schools to take part in this very special programme for 2021-22.

“A fantastic stimulus to hook the children”

“It has been a fantastic opportunity for us [teachers] to develop our subject knowledge”

“The kudos of actually housing a real artefact from a museum put a real positive focus on the school”

This project aims to:

  • raise aspiration and build skills in history for pupils
  • expand subject knowledge and build skills for teachers
  • provide a focus for your community engagement
  • promote cross-curricular collaboration between professionals, inside and outside of the school
  • build social and cultural capital for your pupils

We are offering:

  • professional installation of a genuine museum artefact in your school between January and April 2022 (no additional insurance or security required)
  • a collaborative planning and CPD event in September 2021, and a network of like-minded teachers
  • resources, activity suggestions and case studies to inspire your planning
  • access to museum professional educators, conservators and curators including Egyptologist Dr Campbell Price

The package in total is worth around £1500, but this year we are able to offer it free of charge in return for detailed evaluative feedback and active contribution to resource development.

What would you do with your shabti?

Schools from the first two cohorts have:

  • Invited families, communities and other schools to visit in-school museums, curated and guided by students themselves
  • Hosted both live and digital talks and debates with museum curators, for teachers, students and families
  • Used the shabti to develop teacher skills in teaching history using source material, and in coordinating whole-school projects
  • Held whole-school Shabti Days, which inspired artwork, food, games and more

Get more ideas from the pilot schools case study and blog post!

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Parrs Wood High School Shabti Display 

Who is eligible?

We are able to offer this opportunity to a limited number of state-funded schools inside the M60 motorway.

Want to know more?

Find out more abut what is entailed in the project, our commitment to you, and what we ask in return, by reading the draft project agreement before you apply. You can also contact us by email with any questions or to arrange a phone call.

What are we looking for?

This is a creative, innovative programme where the more you put in the more you will get out. Our first two cohorts of schools have shown that the hook of the artefact is a fantastic way to bring staff, pupils and the community together around a real point of pride and inspiration.

We have a very limited number of spaces on the project and expect demand to be high. Therefore we will prioritise schools who can demonstrate in their application that:

  • their teachers will benefit from the collaborative CPD and development opportunities
  • they will use their shabti creatively (e.g. across a broad curriculum, to teach history innovatively, or for parental engagement in learning)
  • the shabti would have a wide impact in their school community and build cultural capital (e.g. a high number of individuals will be in contact with it and/or plans will allow for deep and rich engagement)

Before you apply …

Please make sure you have read the draft project agreement of expected timescales, our commitment to you, and what we’d be asking your school to commit to. Please make sure your senior leadership team have also read this before you apply. A final project agreement will be sent to the successful schools, for return before the summer holidays.

Ready to go?

Tell us your plans by applying online by 5pm on Tuesday 13 July 2021.

What will happen next?

We will notify successful applicants by Wednesday 14 July. We will then ask for signed copies of the project agreement to be returned by Monday 19 July. More details of resources available will be sent over the summer to aid your long-term planning, which can be completed in full during the CPD event (essential) in September 2021.

“It’s a fantastic hook, and it offers so many opportunities to use as a stimulus for enquiry, not just in history, but there’s so many other options [like] philosophical debates, writing historical fiction about it. There’s all this discovery that children can have and I think that’s a really exciting thing”

“I think it has engaged all our pupils and it has created learning opportunities to develop those key skills, research, that analysis, that evaluation, which are skills they need in all subjects …This experience with the shabti is something these children will tell their grandchildren.”

Apply now

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