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My primary school is at the museum is designed to test the hypothesis that there may be beneficial learning, social and cultural outcomes for primary school children and their families when they receive their full time education in a museum setting, as well as benefits for museums. The idea was conceived by architect Wendy James of Garbers & James, and developed in collaboration with the Department of Education & Professional Studies and the Cultural Institute at King’s.
The pilot projects and partnerships are:
Kensington Children’s Centre, a pre-school nursery (children age 3 – 4), who will be based at Tate Liverpool, 29 February – 11 March.
A year 5 group (children age 9 – 10) from Hadrian Primary School in South Shields who have been based at Arbeia Roman Fort in South Tyneside since January this year.
A reception year of two forms (children age 4 – 5) from St Thomas Community Primary School who will be based at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea. One form has been at the museum from 22 February and will be there until Easter and the second form will be there in May and June.
My primary school is at the museum takes the school classes directly into museums for their day-to-day programme of lessons, including lunches and breaks, and offers a fundamentally different experience from the more usual, occasional museum visit. The three pilots will be used to assess the benefits and logistics of a partnership model which could in future help address some of the funding issues faced by both the education and museum sector as well as provide learning and audience engagement benefits for both parties.
The idea was conceived by Wendy James, Architect and Partner of Garbers & James Architects. Garbers & James is an architectural practice specialising in the public cultural sector and Wendy’s extensive experience is particularly focussed on museums and education. The idea was then tested in an ‘ideas laboratory’ run by the Cultural Institute at King’s, and supported under the Institute’s Cultural Space programme. Additional support and advice for the evaluation of the educational side of the project will come from Dr Jen DeWitt and Dr Heather King, researchers based in the Department of Education & Professional Studies at King’s.
The findings of these pilots will be published in Autumn 2016.