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!

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Evaluation Consultant Needed for HLF Funded Ancient Worlds Galleries

8158058348_5b8802721f 8157991179_5ea633f483 Ancient Worlds GalleriesManchester Museum is seeking an Evaluation Consultant to devise and implement a robust evaluation strategy to measure the impact of the Museum’s recent Ancient Worlds Galleries redevelopment. Ancient Worlds transformed the displays in three of the Museum’s galleries which are dedicated to archaeology and ancient Egypt. Opened in October 2012, at a cost of c. £1.5 million, the project has been funded with the support of several key external funders, including a significant grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

We now require an evaluation expert to assist us in assessing the extent to which we have met our original objectives for the redevelopment and in measuring the impact of the project upon the Museum’s diverse audiences. In addition to focusing upon the new galleries themselves, the evaluation process will also encompass the associated Activity Plan of events (public programmes, learning sessions, community engagement initiatives, etc.) which have taken place in these spaces since they reopened.

You can find more details here: Ancient Worlds Evaluation Consultant Brief

The successful applicant would be required to start around w/c 14th October 2013 and the full external evaluation report would need to be produced and submitted to the Museum by 16th December 2013.

Primary Students Dig their way to Success!

Oswald Rd Arch pilot 010These past few weeks we have been really excited at the museum to begin the pilot sessions for our new Archaeology primary school session, ‘Dig Stories; Bringing the Past to Life’

This session explores the hands on practical skills of what it’s like being an archaeologist by way of a sand box dig, unearthing real objects!

The group then identifies their finds and graduates to handling real objects from our collection and debating methods of conservation.

At the end of the session children create their own ‘Cabinet of Curiosity’ filled with objects they choose themselves for a particular theme of cabinet.

Oswald Rd Arch pilot 012We have been really impressed by the groups that have tasted this session so far, they have all passed their archaeological training and we can’t wait to see them in the future as experts of archaeology themselves!

If you are interested in booking a school group on to our new Archaeology session, ‘Dig Stories; Bringing the Past to Life’  please don’t hesitate to contact school.bookings@manchester.ac.uk

Secondary Learning Offer for Ancient Worlds

As Debbie mentioned in her last post excitment in the Education Department has been building up with the opening of our new Ancient World galleries. Well, they’re now open – and looking stunning too!

These three new galleries – Discovery Archaeology, Egyptian Worlds and Exploring Objects – will become the focus for some of our brand new workshops, in addition to being included into some of students’ favourite sessions from our usual offer.  To give you a taster, here are how some of our Key Stage Three sessions will utilise the galleries…

In our ArteFACT session students will now be able to explore the Discovering Archaeology gallery to learn how objects can teach us about the past as well as investigating collections in Exploring Objects to write alternative labels for archological finds.

In Citizen of the City students will use the gallery to inform them on their roles in Ancient Athens and how we know about these people through archaeology.

Whereas, in Natural Reflections – where students answer ‘big’ questions, including one on human remains – they can view a variety of remains on display showing different types of display and information we can learn from these, sometimes contentious, objects.

For more information on any of the sessions, visit our website or see the pre-visits for each session by clicking on the workshop title. Alternatively, contact Cat Lumb, and look out for more posts on our new galleries and their accompanying learning programme!

Ancient Worlds Teacher Preview

With the opening of our new Ancient World Galleries the Museum’s Learning Team are pleased to announce that we will be hosting a Teacher Preview event to introduce teacher’s to our brand new galleries and associated learning programmes across the Key Stages.

This event will take place on Wednesday 14th November between 4.30 and 6.30pm. There will be a short introduction by our Learning Manager, followed by optional tours of the gallery spaces with our Curators. In addition our entire team will be present, allowing teachers to ask questions, learn about our new sessions and even register their interest in booking workshops on offer.

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Our temporary exhibition, Breed:The British and their Dogs, will also be open and our Resources and Secondary workshop for this gallery will also be on show.

To book your space on the Preview Event email our bookings co-ordinator on school.bookings@manchester.ac.uk or call 0161 3052630.

Ancient Worlds school resources on their way!

Can you spot what’s on our Ancient Egyptian timeline?

I have been very lucky this week to have the creative input of some very talented staff here at the Manchester Museum who have painted ten key images from ancient Egyptian history onto our new canvas scroll. This visual timeline will be used with visiting school groups during the new Egyptian gallery primary school session, ‘The Egyptian World; museum secrets, mummies and pyramids!

A huge thank you to Karen, Sam and Cornelia for their wonderful creative work,  it looks fantastic! We hope to see many schools enjoying and exploring this ancient Egyptian timeline very soon.

Birchfields Primary school write a label for a very special museum object…

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On Friday 6th July a wonderful group of very talented Year 5 pupils from Birchfields Primary School were invited to have a go at quite a challenging lable writing task. We asked the group ‘Can you choose one Egyptian Shabti from our wonderful and varied collection here at the Manchester Museum and write a 75 word label for it?’

The answer, quite unanimously, was yes they certainly could!

It was a very busy day, with lots of decision making and editing throughout their work; the group were very hard working! The class worked in small groups working their way through the selection process and then choosing the best descriptions from within their groups. Our curator of Egyptology, Campbell Price, was on hand to offer further insight into what the Shabtis were and explain a little bit about where this label will be displayed in the Museum.

We were all really impressed with the level of descriptive language used. The group produced really thought provoking descriptions that made us here at the Museum think differently about the objects too; they really were offering us fresh insights into these wonderful objects from ancient Egypt.

Why not come and see their label displayed in the new ‘Ancient Worlds‘ galleries opening in October this year!

Ancient Worlds and Current Programmes

Most of my time this month has been spent on reviewing our Secondary workshops in order to make the most of our upcoming Ancient Worlds development and the fantastic opportunities for Key Stage Three and Four students to engage with the collection here.  Topics to explore include Archaeology, Empire and Identity with the chance to develop student’s interpretation and enquiry skills as well as utilising critical thinking whilst investigating objects as direct evidence of the past.

The new galleries are going to give visitors a great overview of Archaeology and the contributions that our diverse collection of objects can make to our understanding of the past, in addition to analysing the different techniques used to explore this past. We’ve also got a spotlight on ancient Egypt as an Empire with a focus on examining the daily lives of specific individuals such as pyramid builders and will even include Asru, our temple priestess. There will be a very different approach to interpreting Egypt presented in this gallery, with the museum exploring how the ancient Egyptians themselves viewed their country and also how Egypt is an African civilisation influenced by surrounding cultures. The final gallery, upstairs, will be possibly the most visually stunning and potentially the most likely to adapt over the coming years: visible storage areas will be created, current research will be presented and themes will be explored in addition to object biographies to make sense of various parts of  the collection.

To follow the progress, or find out more, check out the Ancient Worlds blog for more details.

Right now, having worked through some of the workshops and identified the potential links for the Secondary sessions, I’m really excited about the possibilities and opportunities the Ancient Worlds galleries will present for students and their teachers. The galleries will, in conjuction with the other permenant exhibitions here at the Museum, engage students with their curriculum subjects and hopefully provide them with a memorable experience to help them learn about the past, the present and even influence their own future.

Ancient Worlds development is moving along quickly!

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Do you remember this object? It has been on display in our previous permenant Egyptian gallery for many years.This picture was taken by a Gifted and Talented pupil from Oswald Road Primary School right here in Manchester. What do you think it is?

I’m currently working on how the new primary taught sessions here can engage, excite and allow young people to explore the galleries and their fascinating objects to find out for themselves how past civilisations used to live.

It’s a very creative time, lots of ‘thinking BIG!’ and learning from what has worked, or not(!)  in the past to make it a truly interactive, explorative and stimulating learning experience for all.

Hope to see you in the new galleries in November!

Museums of Museums Fundraiser

On Thurs 27 Jan from 5pm until midnight there is going to be a fantastic fundraiser event with King Tut to raise money for The Manchester Museum’s Ancient Worlds galleries. Come along to the Museum of Museums, at the Trafford Centre to see this spectacular exhibition, Tutankhamun – His Tomb and His Treasures, where this extra special event will  taking place on 27 Jan 2011.

 

Museum of Museums Night will celebrate all things Ancient Egyptian to support fundraising for The Manchester Museum’s Ancient Worlds galleries and will offer discounted entry to the exhibition.

  
The evening will feature guest appearances – including an exclusive book signing by the creator of the acclaimed children’s books, Horrible Histories, Terry Deary, who will sign copies of his books ‘Awful Egyptians’, ‘The Terrible Tomb of Tutankhamun’ and ‘Magic and the Mummy’. There will also be music, eye-opener tours, food and drink, a display of The Manchester Museum’s own artefacts plus much more!

 
There will also be a grand prize draw – offering visitors the chance to win the spectacular book, A Secret Voyage, by world renowned Egyptologist, Dr Zahi Hawass. The stunning collection of photography, history and notes is a limited edition and usually retails at £2,600. Prize draw tokens are available to buy for just £10 at the Tutankhamun box office on the night.

  
All proceeds go towards fundraising for the Ancient Worlds galleries.
Phone 0844 249 1000 or Book online (and find out more), adults: £8, children: £4, family (2 adults, 2 children): £20, students: £4