MMU trainee teachers begin their own learning journey here…

This week and next we are introducing all 210 Manchester Metropolitan University first year BE’d students to the wonderful ways  museums are engaging primary and early years children with history, science and the natural world.

The students have been discovering how learning outside the classroom works and what the benefits are to the children’s learning and development.

The students have been fantastic and very enthusiastic.

Here’s a taster of their creative flare and a snapshot of the amazing artefacts that caught their eyes.

We can’t wait for the group to be NQT’s and bring their own classes to experience the awe and wonder a trip to the museum can inspire!

Creative sketches for a new creature!

Today a wonderful group of Year 2’s from Saint Willibrords Primary School came to visit us and learn all about animals and their habitats.

The group were really focussed, asking some wonderful questions when meeting the live animals in our Nature Discovery Gallery.

Later in the day the children began to come up with ideas for the sorts of features their very own creature designs will have. I think you’ll agree they look like they will be impressive creatures for sure.

We can’t wait to see the end designs!

Well done to all the children and thank you for a great day.


Outstanding Haveley Hey’s Year 6!

What a fantastic school Haveley Hey Primary school is, and what a credit to the school the Year 6 children were. The classes who took part in fossil handling and investigative work this morning and they were remarkable! The children were very clued up; so many of the class knew how to recognise, and knew the name for, ammonites! Vanessa, Mason and Leo, well done! I was very impressed by the extensive knowledge of how fossils were formed, words like ‘deterioration’ used by Harrison and ‘disintegration’ by Olivia really impressed me.IMG_2101

The children were all impeccably behaved and handled the precious objects with care and attention at all times.Lewis was the quickest to identity the shark’s tooth and Casey even counted the numbers of incisions along the edge of tooth, 180!!! I wouldn’t like to be under attack from that shark!IMG_2103

I was taken very accurately through how a fossil is formed by Charlotte and loved hearing about the different types of shark from Callum. Marley gave me a wonderful description of the differences between Carnivores and Herbivores which was really articulate and full of fascinating facts.

What a brilliant group, certainly a few future paleontologists and museum experts of the future!IMG_2100

Well done to everyone and thank you to Ms Straker for inviting us along.


First ‘TeachMeet’ at the Museum, inspiring stuff!

Last night saw the first, of hopefully many, ‘TeachMeet’ events launched in our brand new exciting space ‘The Study’

Fabulous and inspiring presentations full of heaps of ideas to take away.

Thank you to everyone who gave up their time and offered such energy, enthusiasm and creativity.

Hope to see you all again soon!

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Primary School Artists – bring the story of the Hiroshima gingko tree and the wider atomic bombings to a new young audience.

Here at Manchester Museum there is a wonderful exhibition of primary school children’s artwork reflecting the powerful symbol trees played in the lives of people affected by atomic bombs.

Have a look through these images and see the thought-provoking work that helps to broaden the awareness of how life is and how the fight for hope continues after an atomic bomb has destroyed everything.

Truly inspiring work, well done to all the children at:

Birchfield Primary School, St Bernard’s Primary School, Heald Place Primary School, St Margaret Mary’s Primary School, Webster Primary School and Manley Park Primary School.

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Talented Young Museum Explorers; we thank you!

It’s been another very colourful, creative, fun and learning rich year again here in the Manchester Museum Learning Team.

I had to show you a sample of some of the work the children have sent us over the years from Primary Schools across the North West.

It’s so lovely to see what you produce back at school using the museum as inspiration. Please don’t stop sending your work to us.

Thank you,


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Primary school choirs sing their hearts out on our Living Worlds Gallery!

What an amazing achievement! The network choir group have just performed on our Living Worlds Gallery and they were super impressive! The group consists of children from Birchfields, Oswald Road, Crab Lane, Barlow Hall and Claremont primary schools. They have already performed at People’s History Museum this morning and are next off to the Whitworth Art gallery for their grand finale!

A lovely collection of songs about friendship sang with huge hearts and some clever dramatic poses!

We can’t wait to welcome you back here next time. A huge well done to everyone for all the hard work and dedication in making these performances so strong and beautiful.

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‘Top Secret’ case begins its transformation…

Over the past few months we have been lucky enough to have several visits from a wonderful group of cultural ambassadors from Medlock Primary School. The children range from Year 1-6 and have been curating one of the museum’s more hidden cases in the school and family picnic area in the basement.

The children studied the style of display cases around the museum, thinking about colour, structure, object positioning as well as themes that are illustrated within the displays.

The fantastic group then selected 10 objects that they were most intrigued by and went about developing themes and making big decisions about how the case would actually look; from the colour of paint used to the way objects were to be positioned.

Here’s a little look behind the scenes of what’s been happening so far. Watch this space as the case enters the final stages of installation…

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Well done to all the cultural ambassadors at Medlock Primary School and keep up the good work! We can’t wait to see the next stages of all your hard work!

Future Young Paleontologists get hands on with our Dinosaur Fossils…

On Monday 11th May 8 wonderful children and their teacher Laura Simpson from St John’s Primary School in Leigh came to visit and get hands on with some of our oldest artefacts.

The fabulous group, some of whom had never been to the museum before, were very excited and had a particular interest in all things dinosaur!!! This dedicated young group of explorers had even managed to track down a dinosaur in their school grounds and had written to me to tell me all about it. I just had to meet them!

The group knew so much about fossils and what skills you need to be a good paleontologist that I could definitely see some future scientists in the making in this group.

Here’s what the group got up to on their day being Dinosaur Detectives.

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We hope to see you all again soon at the Manchester Museum and keep up all the really good paleontological work.

Debbie Doran.

Medlock Primary School begin to curate a case in the school and public lunch area.

Over the past few months Medlock Primary School have been working with a member of the  Museum’s Learning Team, Curatorial Team and the Museum’s Workshop team to help redesign a forgotten display case situated in the school and public lunch area.

The fabulous group of children from Medlock Primary have been investigating a selection of objects and have come up with a list of 8 objects they would most like to see displayed in the case. The group are really inspiring, creative thinkers as they then set about linking storybook themes to the case design.

Here’s a taster of what the case looked like before the group got their creative hands on it and a little taster of what’s in store for the case over the next few weeks.

The empty case awaits its revamp!

The empty case awaits its revamp!

Habitat hints for the specimens that may go into the case... Examples of  the labels selected to match the design ideas...

Habitat hints for the specimens that may go into the case…
Examples of the labels selected to match the design ideas…

One little ladybird has made it's way into the case! What else will follow?

One little ladybird has made it’s way into the case! What else will follow?

Watch this space for future instalments and eventually the grand opening of this very special case.

Well done to Medlock’s Cultural Ambassadors for all your hard work so far!

Debbie Doran, Primary Learning Coordinator.