Evolution Solutions: Primary Science CPD event at Manchester Museum

stoatCalling all primary science teachers! 

Evolution and inheritance will be entering the primary science curriculum for the first time in September 2014. Join us for a day of inspiring hands-on activities, talks and ideas for teaching evolution in your classroom. This CPD event aims to:

  • Equip teachers with the skills and knowledge that they will need to teach evolution in the primary classroom with confidence
  • Provide teachers with ideas for hands on activities and resources, both in and beyond the museum
  • Generate a digital resource that compiles the activities included in the Manchester and Oxford CPD events, along with useful resources and links

animalWhen: Thursday 21st November 2013

Where: Manchester Museum

How much: £50 per person, including lunch

Bookings: If you would like to book a place, please email: school.bookings@manchester.ac.uk.

Queries: For enquiries or further details, please contact: Hannah-lee.chalk@manchester.ac.uk / Emily.robinson@manchester.ac.uk

Download the CPD flier (pdf)

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!

New KS 1 Egypt Explorer session in development…..

Our new Ancient Worlds gallery will be opening on 26th October and we will be developing a session for Y1 /2 which we hope to pilot February /March 2013. If you are interested in helping us to develop and pilot activities for the new session, we would like to hear from you!
Contact Elaine.bates@manchester.ac.uk
we have a teacher preview evening for Ancient Worlds on November 14th 4.30-6.30
wine and nibbles will be provided.

Booking is essential as places are limited, so please RSVP by 24th October 2012 to our Bookings Coordinator on school.bookings@manchester.ac.uk or 0161 275 2630

Early year’s sessions …
There is still some availability for booking our early years sessions by contacting our bookings coordinator.

Nursery and Reception
Animal Explorers – Polar Bear Polar Bear

For up to 15 children, 90 minutes
£3.50 per child (minimum charge £50)

Nursery Reception and Y1
Dinosaur Explorers
For up to 15 children, 90 minutes Y1 For up to 32 children, 90 minutes
£3.50 per child (minimum charge £50)

Find out more about Ancient Worlds and our learning                                                  programme by visiting:                                                 www.manchester.ac.uk/museum/yourvisit/galleries  http://www.manchester.ac.uk/museum/learning


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…



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 development is moving along quickly!


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!

We would like to thank the following Schools for visiting The Manchester Museum between 1st Nov & 5th Nov 2010

All Saints Primary, Gorton

Image, The Manchester Museum by Night

Bowlee Park Community Primary, Middleton

Brabyns Prep, Marple

Broughton in Furness CE Primary, Kepplewray

Charles Saer Primary, Fleetwood

Chorlton CE Primary

Claremont Primary

Claremont Primary, Moss side

Daven Primary, Congleton

Fairway Primary, Stockport

High Greaves Junior School

Marland Hill Primary,  Rochdale

Matthew Moss High, Rochdale

Nether Alderley Primary, Macclesfield

Pownall Hall Primary, Wilmslow

St Elizabeth’s Primary, Wythenshaw

St Helen’s, Barnsley

St Josephs RC Shaw

St Margaret’s Primary, Oldham

Wigan Leigh College

We would like to thank the following schools for visiting The Manchester Museum between 18th & 22nd Oct 2010

Barton Moss Primary, Eccles

Image, The entrance to The Manchester Museum

Brookburn Primary, Chorlton

Ermysted Grammar, Skipton

Great Marsden St Johns Primary, Nelson

Halifax High

Heathland Primary, Sandilane

Holy Family Primary, Salemoor

Loreto College

Lyndhurst Primary, Oldham

Martenscroft Children’s Centre

North Reddish Junior, Stockport

St Barnabas Primary, Openshaw

St Christopher’s Primary, Ashton Under Lyne

St Helens Primary, Barnsley

St Thomas Primary, West Houghton

Victoria Junior, Cumbria

Webster Primary, Moss Side

Wilmslow Prep School

China: Journey to the East Teacher Preview

On Wednesday 29th September The Manchester Museum hosted a preview evening for teachers in order to allow educational professsionals to see the new China: Journey to the East exhibition, view our ideas for the associated learning programme and talk to the learning team at the Musuem.

It was a fantastic evening, and seemed to be a great success. We had over fifty teachers attend to explore and investigate the variety of programming that The Museum is offering in conjunciton to the exhibition and it was amazing to be able to get input and feedback for the workshops and sessions at such an early stage.

Throughout the school year, as the exhibition is with us until June 2011, we are offering workshops and resources at all stages, from Early Years to Post-16. If you missed the preview, or even just want to find out more about the China: Journey to the East Learning Programme visit our website or get in touch.

You mean Archaeology isn’t about cavemen and dinosaurs?!

We’re very lucky at The Manchester Museum to have some really enthusiastic curators who enjoy working with the public and teaching young people about their specialist subjects. In light of that, here is a special ‘guest’ blog post by Bryan, our Curator of Archaeology, and his experience of working with a Primary school gorup.

People often think that collections curators spend all their time in the store looking at objects. In fact there are opportunities to go out and visit schools as I found earlier this week when I was invited back to Flixton Junior School to talk to some Year 3 children about archaeology. Janice East is one of the teachers there and she has asked me to talk to the children several times over the last couple of years.

Pupil from Flixton examining an archaeological flint tool

So it was that last Monday morning I found myself in the school hall standing in front of two classes of 7-8 year olds. We talked about what archaeology is and after fending off the common misunderstanding that archaeology is in some way related to dinosaurs we looked at some prehistoric flint tools from The Manchester Museum collection. We divided the children into smaller groups and asked them to come up with a story to account for the flint artefacts I had put out on the tables for them.  

I encouraged the children to think of themselves as detectives looking at clues and to try and come up with a story to account for the finds that they had before them. The children quickly grasped the idea that the flint arrowhead and the flint axehead were all that remained of a bow-and-arrow and an axe and that the organic materials had rotted away in the ground.  

It was interesting that the children thought the flint scrapers were buttons even though they didn’t have holes in the middle. What was even more fascinating was the way the children talked about the artefacts as having been used by cavemen. It just shows how pervasive is the association between prehistoric stone tools and caves amongst the public even in the minds of quite young schoolchildren. It’s always great to work with the school because the children’s enthusiasm is infectious.   

I believe Janice brought in some broken pottery from home and seeded the school flower beds before asking the children to search for ‘archaeology’.  This turned the soil over a treat ready for the autumn. Now I wonder if I could try that in my own garden at home?

Bryan Sitch, Curator of Archaeology