Tue. Nov 24th, 2020

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

Boost to museum links with Island schools

2 min read
A popular museums and schools programme on the Island has secured funding for the third year running.

A popular museums and schools programme on the Island has secured funding for the third year running.

Just over £62,000 has been made available from the Department for Education (DfE), administered by Arts Council England, to enhance links between schools and a consortium of Island museums and cultural organisations, led this year by the Isle of Wight Council’s Heritage Service.

The other partners are Brading Roman Villa, Carisbrooke Castle Museum, the Classic Boat Museum, East Cowes, Dimbola Museum and Art Gallery, Freshwater, the Shipwreck Centre, Arreton, and, for the first time, the Cultural Education Partnership.

The museums and schools programme offers quality engagement connecting museums and local schoolchildren, and targeting areas with high levels of deprivation.

Traditionally this has meant encouraging children into Island museums.

Exciting workshops have been delivered over the past two years across all the museum sites, and have been extremely well received. More than 5,500 children have benefited from the scheme so far.

However, to continue to do this is particularly challenging in the current crisis with coronavirus.

To address this, teachers are being consulted on how their needs can be met, while pupils can still have a first-class experience even when obeying all the rules on social distancing, and on the handling of artefacts.

Ideas being considered are building lesson plans around quality images of key artefacts, virtual tours, activity packs for use in school or at home, as well as in the museums, and in the longer term the development of living history days.

Richard Smout, Heritage Service manager, said: “We are very grateful to Arts Council England and to the DfE for continuing funding for a further year.

“This is a real tribute to the work that has been produced in the first two years of our project, by our experienced educational practitioners, and to the work of all the partners, previously under the leadership of Carisbrooke Castle Museum.”

Councillor Paul Brading, Cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills and a member of the Cultural Education Partnership Board, added: “Although the current pandemic poses huge challenges, it also requires us to be innovative and to find exciting new ways to engage with our schools.

“All children should have the chance to learn about the extraordinary wealth of resources in our museums, and see how these items are relevant to their lives today.”

If teachers would like to find out more, or receive assistance in planning resources then please get in touch with Richard Smout via email, richard.smout@iow.gov.uk

For more information on the museums and schools programme, click here