First term of the New National Curriculum

normanby-hall-autumn

It is nearly the end of the first term implementing the new Primary National Curriculum. We have been apprehensive over the last year wondering what the impact would be. We have spent the last year supporting our local teachers wherever we could. Both the teachers and ourselves have found it useful to network with each other and talk through some of the issues together. We may not have solved all the issues, but at least sharing concerns can make things a little easier. We meet with our primary history co-ordinators once a term.

The impact on our school programme has been quite varied. We haven’t seen a complete drop in our Victorian based workshops, though these are now mainly booked by KS1. Some schools are using the local history element to continue to study things the children love such as Victorian Laundry, Domestic Staff Required and Living on the Land.

Our archaeology based workshops have proven to be quite popular. We introduced the Mystery of Prehistory workshop at the start of this term. We have had excellent feedback for the workshop with many liking the ‘hands-on’ and ‘investigation’ features. One teacher said they liked ‘the quick pace of the activities, they grabbed the children’s attention’. We have also seen an increase in our Anglo Saxon and Viking workshops. Both of these workshops are being redeveloped at the moment and will be enhanced ready for the new term.

The greatest development this term was the development of outdoor workshops at Normanby Hall Country Park with a literacy or science theme. The Storytelling in the Woodland workshop which was introduced during the spring term has been especially popular in the autumn. This is the first time we have delivered an outdoor session outside of spring/summer and it worked really well. The feedback for the workshop has been fantastic with comments such as ‘The workshop was hands on and allowed the children to share ideas. Children were very excited about story writing due to the workshop’. This workshop really is one that can be booked all year around as the woodland environment changes each season so the inspiration for the story telling changes. We are able to adapt the workshop if the weather is so bad that the workshop has to be brought indoors.

We also developed a new workshop at a request from a local school. This is something that we haven’t done much of before, but realise we must do this more as the new curriculum develops. The Autumn Changes workshop was introduced as a teacher had concerns that her foundation class needed a bit more support with understanding seasonal changes. The ‘hands on’ workshop explores the scientific process of changing seasons looking at what happens to the leaves and animals in the woodland. The workshop uses songs and practical activities to help the children explore the changes in the environment for themselves. We can adapt this workshop for any seasonal changes.

dsc09998

We will continue to respond to the feedback we receive from our local schools and develop the workshops and services that they require. It has been a tiring but exciting term as both the Museum and Schools work through the new curriculum together.

Takeover week at North Lincolnshire Museum

My name is Lois Albans-Heseltine and I am a Learning Assistant at North Lincolnshire Museum. This year I ran the Takeover Project. I trained four girls and two boys from Priory Lane Community School to be tour guides. All the children were in year six and aged 10 or 11.

On the Monday the children were all given tour guide badges and I explained what a tour did. I then asked them to think about and discuss what makes a good tour guide. The children then prepared some questions and interviewed a Museum Assistant who delivers tours. The children interviewed Shannon and all asked good questions.

I then took the children on a tour of the museum and asked them to make a note of any stories or objects they found particularly interesting.

On the Tuesday I gave the children a simple script of the tour and we went through it together walking around the museum. Here they had the opportunity to add in any bits they found especially interesting and wanted to share with the group coming for the tour. At the end of the day I asked the children which part of the museum tour they would like to deliver. All of them had a favourite part and were enthusiastic to learn what they had to deliver.

On Thursday the children practised the tour and thought about the timings of the part they were delivering. The children were all really good at keeping an eye on the time and organised themselves well. At the end of the day they all said they felt happy with what they were doing and ready to deliver the tour to the class visiting the following day.

On the Friday the six children arrived at 9:30am to prepare for the tour. They all said they were excited but also a little bit nervous. I assured them that they would be fine as they had all worked really hard all week and knew the tour well. When the Year four school group arrived the children greeted the group and began the tour.

All six children delivered the tour incredibly well. They worked well as a team keeping the school group together and their timings were good. They spoke clearly and confidently keeping good eye contact with the school group and didn’t need to use their scripts much at all. The children ran the tour well with little intervention required from myself or the class teacher. They worked well as a team and praised each other at the end of each section of the tour. Throughout the tour the tour guides gave the school group the opportunity to ask questions and responded to them appropriately.

At the end of the tour the one of the tour guides gathered the school group together and asked who enjoyed the tour. There was a great response from the year four group with comments such as ‘It made me learn more things’ and ‘Very good, it’s very exciting’.

There is always room for improvement when delivering a tour but what the children have achieved is wonderful. I was very proud of them as was the teacher who commented ‘Really impressed. The children are asking good questions and the guides are open to the answers’.

I asked the children to fill in an evaluation sheet and the comments received were really positive. One girl said ‘I enjoyed the Go Wild area. I am definitely coming here again.’ Another said, ‘I enjoyed it all and it built my confidence.’ One boy was keen to do it again and commented, ‘I really enjoyed Takeover and I hope I can do it again.’

I really enjoyed working with the children. They were enthusiastic, hard working and I would happily run the project next year.

 

We remembered them in North Lincolnshire

141107beel0044

“When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today”

Schools in North Lincolnshire have been involved in some poignant Remembrance Day events this week. North Lincolnshire Museum Service worked in partnership with St Lawrence’s Church in Scunthorpe to offer a Remembrance Day visit and service on 11 November. A class from six schools attended the event from across North Lincolnshire. The pupils also visited the First World War exhibition at the Museum, did an activity at the War Memorial and learnt about the War Memorials in the Church.

img_2732

The children also got a chance to see the poppy installation in the Church created by artist Martin Waters. The installation included poppies made by school children across North Lincolnshire as a part of the ‘Joining Up the Humber’ poppy challenge project. Poppy packs went out to every Primary School in North Lincolnshire. We had over 3,500 poppies return in North Lincolnshire to use in the installation, which is on display until 20 November.

There were many positive comments from teachers after the event. The Deputy Head at Priory Lane Primary School said, ‘We cannot thank you enough for the experience. It certainly brought their understanding of WW1 and WW2 into sharp focus.’

Many other schools have done their own remembrance commemorations at school. Leys Farm Junior School in Scunthorpe spent the summer term learning all about the First World War. They used a loans box from the Museum as inspiration for their topic. To continue the work for Remembrance Day, the children made their own poppy display in the school hall by making crochet and paper poppies. The poppies were brought out after the two minute silence.

It is interesting to see the impact that taking part in a Remembrance Day event can have on children. It certainly gives them something to think about.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them”