‘Extinction or Survival?’ – new video resource for schools

We have a new and exciting resource to share with you today, created by 60 Year 3 children from Crab Lane Community Primary School in Crumpsall.

This short video is designed to be used inside the  fabulous ‘Extinction or Survival?’ exhibition, at Manchester Museum until 20 April 2017.

The exhibition contains some difficult stories about the many species that are no longer with us, from the dodo to the Tasmanian tiger. But it also tells a story of hope: what can we do to help endangered species?

It will be of special interest to KS2 teachers who are working on ‘Living Things and their Habitats’.

To use the video, we recommend bringing tablets to the Museum and sharing them between small groups of children with an adult. You can load the video via this page, and pause it each time you see the name of a species to allow you time to find it in the exhibition. You can also pause at the ‘Over to you’ questions, as a chance to get the children thinking more deeply about the exhibition’s themes. The video can also be used outside the Museum if needed.

The children of Crab Lane would love to know what you think of their video! Let us know  by adding a comment below.

If you would like to visit ‘Extinction or Survival?’ you can do so for free, but please let us know you are coming by completing the booking enquiry form on our website. This helps ensure a great experience for you and for the other schools visiting our (very busy!) museum that day. You might also want to consider our popular KS2 session ‘Habitats and You’.

The story behind the video …

Every year, Kids in Museums ‘Takeover Day’ invites children into meaningful roles in museums and galleries. As our ‘Extinction or Survival?’ exhibition was due to open in September 2016, we thought it would be great if some children could create a really useful resource for other schools visiting the exhibition.

Using  contacts through the wonderful Schools Network Choir, we found two Year 3 teachers from Crab Lane who were really excited to do something a bit different with their classes that term.

We met up and planned an amazing series of activities for the kids: first, both classes came separately to visit the museum, to research the exhibition and to learn what makes a great tour. We all practised saying in big loud voices, “WELCOME TO MANCHESTER MUSEUM!!!”

Then, back in school, the children worked in small groups with their teachers to devise their own tours. This means that the tours are all the children’s own words – amazing.

In the meantime, staff at the Museum were busy arranging loads of great activities for Takeover Day itself. Almost every department was involved, from conservation and collections to marketing, volunteers and even the Vivarium team!

368c259d-4466-4d5e-ad31-f54c4674b335On 18 November – a cold and snowy day – all 60 kids descended on the Museum for a pretty full-on day! All the children gave their tours LIVE for members of the  public. This was incredibly brave but they had lovely clear voices and even took questions from the audience! They were also total pros being filmed by Steve from the Museum.

As well as their tours, the kids made a giant rainforest collage, helped clean objects in the conservation studios, went behind the scenes in the Entomology stores, and welcomed visitors.

At the very end of the day, all the children said they would love to work in a museum when they grow up. We can’t wait!

Manchester Museum would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all the children, teachers and other staff involved in making the project such a success. We hope you enjoy their video!

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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!

 

Lovely to meet you!

Campbell and Amy

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!

lemur image

  • 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!

 

South Asia Inspired Creative Practitioner Wanted

Manchester Museum is proud to be supported by Children and the Arts for our final year of our Start programme funding. Our Art of Identity project ran successful in 2013-14 and in 2014-15 with a number of fantastic Creative Practitioners helping over 450 pupils in five different Secondary schools and three Primary schools to explore the topic of ‘identity’ and produce professional pieces of artwork that have been displayed in the Musuem.

MMSouthAsiaThis year, Art of Identity will expand to partner with up to ten Secondary schools in Manchester and will be linked with Manchester Museum’s exciting Capital Redevelopment Courtyard Project. This will involve the development of a permanent South Asia Gallery at Manchester Museum in partnership with The British Museum.

As a result we are looking for Creative Practitioners who have a link to South Asia or who are inspired by this part of the world to develop and deliver two workshops to all of the pupils involved in the project (c.250 KS3 pupils) – one at the Museum and another at each of the partner schools.

If you are interested, or know someone who might be, take a look at our Creative Practitioner Brief and apply before Monday 5th September at 10am.

 

Medicine in Ancient Times: In Action

Check out this short video about our Medicine in Ancient Times workshop that Matthew Moss High School made as part of work on a joint Science and Humanities project looking at medicine through history with their Year 7 students.

To find out more about the workshop, click here. To enquire about making a booking complete our online enquiry form.

School Partnerships: The Art of Identity

At the end of January 2014 Manchester Museum played host to two out of the three partner schools as part of our ‘Children & the Arts’ Start programme: The Art of Identity. Derby High School and Wardle Academy visited the Museum with their Year 8 students on 23rd and 28th January respectively to take part in a variety of activities around the topic of Identity.

The ‘Children & the Arts’ Start programme works with arts venues around the UK to foster new partnerships with their local schools.  As a result Start has given three Manchester schools the motivation, means and opportunity to engage their students in a series of creative experiences outside of the school environment (at the Museum) in order to use these experiences back in school. Students from each school will work with a creative practitioner to create a final piece of artwork that will go on display in Manchester Museum in the summer.

portraitEach school begins their Start project with a whole year group visit to the Museum to introduce them to the project and explore the topic of Identity. The starting point for the project is centered on our Greaco-Roman Mummy Portraits, which we hope will inspire the students to consider how identity can be presented in the past and the impact of multi-cultural traditions on individuals and groups.

For the Enrichment Day, the Museum designed a variety of different workshops, sessions and activities to complement the collection and examine different facets of identity. In our Celebrities and Shabtis session, students determined how identity can be defined by particular objects and what these might say about individuals. Whereas in our CSI Athens workshop students used objects to determine who was most likely to have committed a fictional crime. Students were also engaged in on-gallery discussion with our curator – Campbell Price – about how representative ancient Egyptian art might be and if it might depict ‘real’ people. We had a print-maker, Alan Birch, who took self-portraits that the students had drawn themselves and demonstrated how to create prints of these using a printing press (you can view further examples here). We also encouraged student to consider animal identity and how humans classify the natural world and challenged them to make their own Figurines as part of our Fragmentary Ancestors temporary exhibition.

A creative practitioner was also assigned to each school and led a workshop linked to the Greaco-Roman Portraits with students who would be involved in creating the final artwork back at school. These sessions were unique to the practitioner and tailored to suit the needs of the individual school and the supporting subjects that were defined at the project outset.

The two Enrichment Days proved to be a great success, with some great feedback from both teachers and feedback – some of which I’ve included here (see below). It was a great way to involve the school and their students during the start of the project, and now each school will work with their creative practitioner and a set of students to create their final artwork for Museum display. These students will be returning to the Museum for a second visit over the course of the school year, so watch out for more posts about it!

Students at Derby Academy:
71% of students said that they had enjoyed the activities of the day. 35% said they would visit the Museum with family and friends, with another 43% saying they might come back.

Students at Wardle Academy:
50% of students said that they had enjoyed their visit and 50% said they would come back to the Museum with family and friends.

Some of the teachers’ comments reflect the quality of the workshops:

  • “I thought this was very educational – lots of learning opportunities” – Derby High Teacher on the Animal World session
  • “…developed thinking skills and team skills.” – Derby High Teacher on CSI Athens workshop
  • “All children engaged, constantly asking questions. Liked the pace and engagement of Campbell’s talk” – Derby High Teacher on the Egyptian Gallery discussion
  • “Pupils loved making the figurines…well linked to the topic.” – Derby High Teacher on the Fragmentary Ancestors activity
  • “An excellent, well organised day. Great to see our children so switched on and thinking!” – Wardle Academy teacher
  • “Great to handle real objects. Good link with present back to the past. Pupils very engaged and reflecting on the use of objects and meanings” – Wardle Academy teacher on Celebrities and Shabtis
  • “Very engaging for students – totally absorbing” – Wardle Academy teacher on the print-making workshop

PHOTOGRAPHS OF ACTIVITIES

New school year – thinking about a trip?

Somewhat unbelievably (at least we think so – the year is flying by!), it’s September and the start of another school year. We’ve been gearing up to the 2013-14 academic year with a refurbishment and refreshment of our school programme from Early Years to Post 16 and a new look to the Learning Pages on Manchester Museuslothm website: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/museum/learning . You’ll still find many of the ever popular sessions like Egyptian Worlds (KS2), Dinosaur Detectives (KS2), Forensic Science: A Bog Body Mystery (KS3/4 Science) and Citizen of the City (KS3 Citizenship) but also a few new ones and some like Dinosaur Challenge for KS1 pupils that are coming soon.

Do take a look and let us know what you think. If you are starting your planning for the year ahead then take a look at the website and see what takes your fancy for you and your class. If you need more information on anything then either email us at school.bookings@manchester.ac.uk or give us a call on 0161 275 2630 – we start taking bookings on 5th September.

We’re really looking forward to a jam packed year of school visits (there’s nothing we like more) and to seeing many of you and your classes in the Museum. That’s the programme spruced up – now just the office to go!

From Yr 6 to Yr 7 at the Museum

On Friday 7th June we were lucky enough to have Cheadle Hulme High School visit us with a group of their forthcoming Year 7 students for September. These current Year 6 pupils were just a selection of the cohort from the Primary Feeder schools for Cheadle Hulme High School, who visited a number of Manchester venues as part of the day.

As part of their visit to the Museum the pupils spent the morning creating masks inspired by our Living Cultures collection and competing for prizes in our fast-paced Money Game.

Then, after lunch, they took part in our very popular ArteFACT session, creating their own mini-displays with a story that linked their objects together using their creative thinking and team-working skills.

We’ve got a couple more Enrichment Days coming up before the end of term – and hopefully they’ll all be as fun and interactive as the one future Cheadle Hulme students enjoyed!

Thank you to those who took part: we hope to see you back in the Museum over the summer and hopefully as part of future school trips.

Have a look at their fantastic efforts from ArteFACT  in the images below.

 

 

‘The tip of the educational iceberg’…amazing choir performance at Manchester Museum

choir picWe were amazingly privileged here at the Museum to play host to the fantastic ‘School Network Choir’ today. In the glorious Manchester sun, pupils from Oswald Road, Crab Lane, Birchfields and Barlow Hall schools sang a series of songs from around the world in the galleries and the Museum allotment, inspired by the collections in the Museum and the Whitworth Art Gallery. They sang beautifully, with passion and clear enjoyment. It was a wonderful sight to see and attracted staff, visitors and passers by alike. As described by their conductor, the actual performance is just the ‘tip of the educational iceberg’ – to prepare for this the pupils spent months researching Victorian and modern day Manchester, the Museum and its collection and learning about the history of the songs they were singing – and you could tell that they understood and had learnt so much more than just the words.

Here at the Museum we are always passionate about the collection and how inspiring it can be for creative work but it is always good to be reminded by brilliant projects and groups what wonderful and unexpected learning journeys objects can take you on. The performance today was an excellent reminder as to how great creativity can stem from experiences and sources outside the classroom and be used to stimulate classroom learning and enthusiasm for a subject.

Thank you to all schools involved today – we very much appreciated your efforts and the hard work you put it to your performances! And we very much hope to welcome you back in the future.

Celebrating Manchester’s History

We were very excited to work with our colleagues from Widening Participating, and one of our Partnership institutions, Whitworth Art Gallery, on creating two, one day workshops  for Secondary students concentrating on Manchester’s History.

This followed on from our successful model last year, as part of the Manchester Histories Festival, where various schools brought students to participate in workshops at the Whitworth and the Museum. They were also treated to an introductory lecture on Manchester’s history – this year – by Professor John Pickstone.

Histories objects

Objects used during Collecting the World workshop at Manchester Museum

As part of the Museum’s workshop, called Collecting the World, students were asked to investigate the collection and determine how, and why, it ended up in Manchester. They identified objects of interest on the Manchester Gallery and their links to the city. Then they were allocated objects from the collection not on display and asked to research them using online resources to find their link to Manchester. They were encouraged to consider sources of their information and the relevance any connected individuals had to their home city.

All in all it was really wonderful to be able to focus on Manchester’s history and how the Museum’s collection links to the city and illustrious indviduals  – such as William Boyd Dawkins, Jesse Haworth, Joseph Whitworth and Lydia Becker – not to mention highlight historical Manchester events such as the Exhibition of Art Treasures, the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal and the Peterloo Massacre.

ship canal medal

Manchester Ship Canal Medal

Questioned at the end of the session on which object they felt best represented Manchester’s History, the majority of students chose the Ship Canal Medal due to it’s links with trade and economy that helped make Manchester the hub of industry in the North and contributed to it becoming known as ‘Cottonopolis’!

Many thanks to all those invovled on the day: Stockport School, Parrs Wood HS, Manchester Health Academy, Manchester Enterprise Academy, Alder Community School, Cardinal Langley RC HS, Loreto High School.

We’ll  be repeating these fantastic local history focused days next year during the Manchester Histories Festival celebrations.