Help us shape the future of learning

hello future

Manchester Museum has an exciting career opportunity and invites applications for the post of Learning Programme Assistant – Outreach and Museum, providing full time employment for the next two years, throughout the final year of our hello future redevelopment and into the first year of reopening.

Girl looks at a natural history display with a magnifying glass
Investigating specimens on display in Nature’s Library

The Learning Programme Assistant will play a key role in keeping Manchester Museum’s incredible collection alive during our closure period, ensuring – through your amazing engagement skills – that we continue to inspire young people across the region throughout this time.

Boy looks at ancient Egyptian artefact in a case
Ancient Egyptian artefacts installed in schools through the Shabtis in Schools programme

You will also provide creative ideas and support testing of brand new programmes ready for our reopening late in 2022, in line with our values and mission and in collaboration with the Primary Learning Coordinator and other team members. If this sounds like…

View original post 321 more words

Inside Out

What we’ve been up to recently …

hello future

A guest post from Amy, our Primary Learning Co-ordinator, about her recent work with primary pupils to bring the ‘working scientifically’ topic to life by exploring some of the different ways in which the Museum does this behind the scenes.

This year, thanks to the University of Manchester’s Faculty of Science and Engineering Widening Participation funding, we are running a scientific enquiry and communication project for local primary schools in partnership with our colleagues in SEERIH – the Science and Engineering Education Research and Innovation Hub. Through hands-on and unique explorations of the Museum’s inner workings – across departments ranging from Archaeology to Herpetology (frogs!), and Entomology (bugs!) to Collections Care – children have been discovering for themselves how these real-life environments work in a scientific way.

‘Working scientifically’ has been a core element of the Primary Science curriculum since 2014 and refers to: “Develop[ing] understanding of the nature, processes…

View original post 410 more words

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

Stories Found Under the Ground: Big Sat 15 July 2017

Guest blog by Sadiya Fern, Archaeology and Anthropology student at The University of Manchester.

Hi there! I’m a second year Archaeology & Anthropology student here on placement at the Manchester Museum for two weeks. I’ve had an insightful experience here at the Museum and was lucky enough to take part in a Big Saturday on Sat 15 July.  The theme for the most recent ‘Big Saturday’ was ‘Stories Found under the Ground’ as part of the Festival of Archaeology 2017. The event attracted all kinds of visitors; I had interacted with a family from Rome and a family from France as well as many local families eager to participate in the activities. Spread across the three Discovery Centre rooms were various object handling ‘zones’: the Ancient Roman Zone displayed Ancient Warfare Replicas, visitors enjoyed trying the helmet on, particularly parents. The Ancient Egypt Zone also displayed Ancient Warfare Replicas and was just as popular, particularly as the objects could be handled by visitors bringing a lot of amazement to the visitors.

The Stone Age Zone had visitors attempting to decipher which of the items were from the Stone Age and which were not. The Stone Painting Zone which was inspired by 11,000 year old Stone Age stones found in a French cave, Le Mas d’Azil with mysterious patterns on them. Visitors of all ages had fun creating their own painted stones and small works of art, there were many happy little faces upon collection of their now dry painted stones at the end of the day.

I helped with the Dig Box activity, where children were encouraged to roll up their sleeves and fine tune their archaeology skills which proved to be quite popular and not just because of the sand! This activity discovered many young archaeologists who were very keen and eager to have a little dig to see what they could find. Once they had found some objects and brushed them clean, the little explorers went on to examine the objects to figure out what they could be and how old they were. I heard many children shout in excitement “Look mummy! Look what I found!” and most children over the age of around 5 were just as excited about discovering what the objects they found were and where they came from.

Manchester Libraries were promoting their free summer reading challenge, encouraging children to read 6 books over the summer to be able to win stickers, certificates and prizes highlighting free access to libraries across the city. There was a wonderful reading area where many parents read with their children, a colouring area, and a little craft area too.

In the Victorian Objects Zone visitors were piecing together Victorian Manchester through 19th century pottery found in an excavation on Deansgate. Broken plates, teacups and much more were being taped together almost like a jigsaw, although slightly trickier as the pieces could have sharp edges requiring much more patience!

Some comments from the day include:
“I absolutely love this place, it is adventurous!” – Macey
“I discovered different stones and how an archaeologist digs for fossils. I had fun doing the activities.”
“Fantastic! Good to learn a bit about history, thank you.”
“I loved it!”
“Great day out, very informative and your staff are fantastic!” – O, J, F, R

The Museum’s next Big Saturday: Modelling Nature is on Sat 19 Aug: 11am-4pm.


The end of my museum placement

Luke_Placement_final dayGuest blog by Luke Jarrett, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) Animal Behaviour undergraduate student

Hello it’s Luke again I know it’s been a while since my last blog, but I have been on placement with the Learning Team here at Manchester Museum for the past nine months. I thought I would share some of my highlights and some of the things I have learnt whilst being here at Manchester Museum.

I will start off with one of the things I am most proud about that I have done since being here at the Museum, which is the fact that I created a self-guided resource from scratch for one of the Museum’s Enrichment days. The brief I was given was to create a self-guided resource for year 7 based on biomimicry in the Living Worlds gallery. The most fun and also the hardest part of making this activity was my idea of creating three riddles for the three animals which the pupils had to find on gallery. Within each riddle there was a clue to what the animal was and where you could find it within the Museum gallery. My favourite was the riddle “I spend my life swimming in the sea but it makes me very tired so now I just hang out in the gallery. What am I?” – can you guess which specimen on the Living Worlds gallery this relates to? After the Enrichment day the feedback I got from this activity was more than I could have hoped for from both students and teachers alike, it was all positive with some students and teachers saying it was their favourite activity from the whole Enrichment day.

Inflatable MuseumAnother thing I have been involved in during my nine months here at the Museum which I have loved has been the outreach visits to local schools. The main form of outreach I have experienced is the Inflatable Museum which is exactly what it sounds like. It is a big pop-up museum which we take to local schools that can’t make it to the Museum and run a session for the kids inside it. This also helped me develop my understanding and improved my use of the Museum’s main way of teaching which is enquiry based learning.

So over the last nine months I have learnt so much from using enquiry based learning effectively to that full dinosaur skeletons on display are normally casts of the bones and not the real thing (I know my mind was blown too). I feel like this placement has been fantastic for me as a person and my future, as I have learnt so much which I couldn’t have learnt if I hadn’t come on placement. Such as my presentation skills and working with not only the public but different age groups and being able to change my language dependent on my audience.  This placement has got me thinking about going into something similar to this but within zoos as I see that as the perfect mix between this placement, the skills I have gained from it and my animal behaviour degree.  So I would just like to thank Manchester Museum’s Learning Team for putting up with me stealing their computers and my supervisor Emily for having me on placement and for teaching me and helping me develop my skills.

We Make a Difference

Jack with his certificate at the Making a Difference Awards Ceremony.

Last night at the University’s Making a Difference Award Ceremony our Inflatable Museum Coordinator, Jack Ridley, won the ‘Outstanding professional support services, library and cultural institution’s support for social responsibility’ award for his fantastic work on the Inflatable Museum.

The Inflatable Museum is our pop-up (literally) portable learning space that takes immersive, inspirational learning experiences into primary schools: watch a short film about Jack’s award-winning work.

In line with the University’s Widening Participation and Social Responsibility agendas, the project has overcome some of the barriers that otherwise prevent young people from engaging with Manchester’s cultural venues and universities.

We also got a chance to watch the new Measuring the Difference  impact film* which showcases some of the ways in which the University works to ‘make a difference’ to the social and environmental wellbeing of our communities and wider society.

It is really great to see the Museum’s work in this area is being recognised, so well done Jack!

*can you spot the Learning Team member? [hint: look for the smile!]