As some of you may have noticed, there has been a curious sight in the Birthplace and at New Place, Hall’s Croft and Mary Arden’s Farm this year in the form of miniature guides! For the second year running, the Learning Team has been delivering the Museums & Schools project, funded by the Department for Education with the support of Arts Council England. The schools who are participating in the project may not usually have the opportunity to visit Stratford or to engage with the work of the SBT. One class of 30 children from each participating school is ‘trained’ as a team of guides. After a first Familiarisation visit, getting to grips with the sites where they will be working, the children then return for their Immersive Day - to guide for the general public as well as for visiting children from their own school.
The project was a huge success in 2016 – 2017 with 18 schools and 3,500 children participating. This year we have upped our game, working with 40 schools and 3,500 children (if the learning team seems a little more busy than usual, this is but one reason why!). But it has all been worth it to hear the fantastic feedback from pupils and teachers. Here is what some of our returning schools have said about the lasting impact on their children following last year’s visit.
North Warwickshire Primary Pupils:
· “It has helped me to speak to people I don’t know”
· “In School Council meetings, I am more confident to give my ideas and speak up”
· “It helped me to work better with others and be part of a team”
· “I learned so much so now have much greater knowledge”
North Warwickshire Primary Teacher:
· Massive confidence builder!
· Team work and co-operation increased.
· Perseverance due to having to repeat information and do a ‘proper job’.
· The children also loved being trusted to do something ‘grown up’ by themselves.
Birmingham Primary Teacher:
· “It has had a lasting effect because the children that participated continued to excel in all areas of the curriculum.”
We would like to say a HUGE thank you to all the heritage team, Shakespeare Aloud, teams at the houses, colleagues in Collections and conservation, the Hospitality Department, and all who help to make the Project such a wonderful experience for the schools.
Karin de Figueiredo, Learning & Participation Administrator
Mary Mills, Museums & Schools Project Leader