Museums revamp school sessions after project with Nottingham Trent University students

Three East Midlands’ museums will introduce new hands-on learning sessions for school children and youth groups aged 5-11 following a project with students from Nottingham Trent University.

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Water Discovery session - Papplewick Pumping Station (NCCL)
This project allows regional museums and heritage sites to benefit from the enthusiasm and innovative ideas of our students.

Deborah Skinner, senior lecturer at the university’s School of Arts & Humanities

Three East Midlands' museums will introduce new hands-on learning sessions for school children and youth groups aged 5 - 11 following a project with students from Nottingham Trent University.

The Education Syndicates project, which is funded by Arts Council England and run by the National Centre for Citizenship and the Law (NCCL), has led to the design and development of activities at Bassetlaw Museum, Papplewick Pumping Station and Leicester's Guildhall.

Eleven students from the University's Postgraduate Certificate in Museum and Heritage Management course worked closely with the sites to meet their objectives, spending six weeks researching and planning the new programmes – including delivering sessions to children.

At Bassetlaw Museum, which wanted to increase its school visits, a new Roman Lives session has been created. Children can hear about how Romans lived, what they ate and where they worked and see objects that would have been used in a Roman household. They will also have the opportunity to get involved in an ‘archaeological dig' and make a replica Roman coiled pot or brooch from clay to take home.

Papplewick Pumping Station, traditionally restrained due to having just one member of full-time staff, will offer Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children the opportunity to learn about the water cycle and the supply of clean water. The session is made up of different hands on activities which allow teachers to lead into different areas of the National Curriculum. Visual and audio interpretation boards have also been designed on site which offer alternatives for younger and older audiences, as well as those with Additional Learning Needs.

The Guildhall in Leicester wanted to revamp its existing Tudor educational sessions and the new programme now involves aspects of costume and role play, and offers children opportunities to learn about the local history of the significant building, the Tudor life and aspects of religion and crime and punishment of the era.

The sessions have all been designed with a focus on allowing teachers to self-lead activities and all include hands on activities, some also offer resources to take back to the classroom for continued learning.

Deborah Skinner, senior lecturer at the University's School of Arts & Humanities, said: "The students all worked exceptionally hard on creating these sessions – researching topics of which they had no prior knowledge and devising programmes which will really engage young visitors.

"This project allows regional museums and heritage sites to benefit from the enthusiasm and innovative ideas of our students.  For the students, it gives them a real taste of the sector and boosts their employability skills.

Student Sarah Ellery said: "Supporting a local heritage site and developing their educational resources has been very exciting. Coming from a heritage background, learning more about what goes on ‘behind the scenes' at museums has been a real eye opener."

Education Syndicates aims to provide the opportunity for student interns to learn heritage skills through training and to gain experience in devising and delivering education services using heritage collections to improve employability in the sector. It works to engage more children and young people in interactive education activities at local heritage sites and builds positive partner networks from which to share knowledge and best practice.

Natelle Morgan-Brown, ACE Education Syndicates Project Manager, added: "All three host museums will offer the new sessions as part of their learning offer in the coming weeks and months – we're confident the students have created sessions which will stand as a legacy and continue to be utilised for time to come."

To find out more about Education Syndicates or NCCL please contact: Eleanor Bond, NCCL Deputy Marketing Manager on telephone : +44 (0)115 952 0555 ext. 209 or via email.

We're confident the students have created sessions which will stand as a legacy and continue to be utilised for time to come.

Natelle Morgan-Brown, ACE Education Syndicates Project Manager

  • Notes for editors

    Press enquiries please contact Helen Breese, Media Relations Manager, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8751, or via email.

    National Centre for Citizenship and the Law

    NCCL is responsible for creating and delivering National Curriculum linked, interactive educational programmes across its sites at Galleries of Justice and City of Caves (Nottingham), Royal Courts of Justice and the Supreme Court  (London), the Sessions House (Northampton) and the Civil Justice Centre and Crown Court (Manchester). For further information visit the NCCL website

    Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University's five-year strategic plan Creating the University of the Future has five main ambitions: Creating Opportunity, Valuing Ideas, Enriching Society, Connecting Globally and Empowering People.

    The Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education was awarded to Nottingham Trent University in November 2015.  It is the highest national honour for a UK university and recognises the institution's world-class research. Pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage, enable safer production of powdered infant formula, and combat food fraud, led to the prestigious award.

Museums revamp school sessions after project with Nottingham Trent University students

Published on 12 April 2016
  • Category: Business; Press office; School of Arts and Humanities

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