Tagged: CYP

Kids in Museums Takeover Day 2017 – Planning and Sharing Events

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‘Inspiring’, ‘epic’, ‘awesome’… three words young people used to describe their Takeover Day in 2016.

Do you want to raise the aspirations of young people in your museum? Then come along to a Planning and Sharing event for Takeover Day 2017 – the day when young people and children nationwide are given powerful, meaningful, decision-making roles within museums, galleries, libraries, archives, arts organisations and heritage sites.

What you’ll gain from the Planning and Sharing event:
– Ideas that put young people at the heart of your work
– Inspiration from venues who took part last year
– Planning time and guidance for your Takeover Day
– Networking with partners you can work with on Takeover Day

Planning and Sharing events are free and open to museums, galleries, archives or heritage sites. The event is for organisations running their first Takeover Day or even their fifth.

Where: Tullie House Museum
When: 20 June 2017
Time: 13.00 – 17.00
Book here

Where: Manchester Art Gallery
When: 4 July 2017
Time: 13.00 – 17.00
Book here
Kids in Museums has been supported in this event with investment from Museum Development North West.

Kids in Museums works with museums, galleries, libraries, archives, arts organisations and heritage sites to make them more welcoming for young people, children and families – particularly those who haven’t visited before. Click here to find out more about Takeover Day on Friday 17th November 2017. If you have any questions get in touch with the Takeover Day team on: takeoverday@kidsinmuseums.org.uk

Sign Up For Children’s Art Week

engage, the National Association for Gallery Education, has just announced that Children’s Art Week is back for 2017, running from Saturday 10 until Sunday 18 June.

Venues interested in organising an event can register on the Children’s Art Week website until 8 May. The first 45 venues to register will be offered £50 grant towards costs. Participating venues will receive support to run, publicise and brand their events, including stickers, logos and press release templates

Events can be held almost anywhere; from galleries, arts centres and museums, to libraries, heritage sites, schools and community centres. In 2016 more than 13,000 people took part in 109 events across 95 venues. The intention of the organisers is to make 2017’s Children’s Art Week bigger and more successful than it’s ever been before.

Venues interested in organising an event can register on the Children’s Art Week website until 8 May. The first 45 venues to register will be offered £50 grant towards costs. Participating venues will receive support to run, publicise and brand their events, including stickers, logos and press release templates.

Thanks to the support of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts (NADFAS), engage are offering 10 grants of £75 on a first come, first served basis, to venues who wish to hold a visual arts event with a NADFAS society, or for NADFAS societies who partner with a museum, gallery or visual arts organisation on a visual arts event.

Please note that only one grant can be awarded per organisation/gallery/museum. If you receive a £75 grant, you will not be eligible for the £50 grant.

For further information please visit www.childrensartweek.org.uk

You can also follow engage on Twitter @engagevisualart

Or use the hashtag #ChildrensArtWeek for updates, or search for ‘engageinthevisualarts’ on Facebook.

Applications Open For Children And The Arts: Start North West

Over the last couple of months Curious Minds has been working with the national charity Children and the Arts to launch a new round of their Start programme in the NW. We’ve co-invested in this opportunity, which provides up to 3 years of funding for 4 cultural venues to develop and grow relationships with local schools.

Programmes will include cultural visits, professional development opportunities for teachers, education work linked to the national curriculum and the opportunity for the participating children and young people to engage in critical analysis and develop their own creative responses. The programme will also enable children and young people to achieve Arts Award and participating schools to gain Artsmark.

Applications are now open for cultural organisations based in the following areas:

  • Bolton
  • Chester & Cheshire West
  • Preston
  • West Cumbria
  • Rochdale
  • Tameside

Applications are also welcome from organisations outside these areas, who are willing to commit to schools within the specified regions.

For details on how to apply please visit Children and the Arts Start North West page.

Arts Education Funding

Children & the Arts, in partnership with three Bridge organisations, is offering funding in the North West, East Midlands and Yorkshire.

Applications are invited from cultural venues to work with local schools for up to three years from September 2017.

Full details of the programme requirements, specific criteria for each region and deadlines for applications are listed the Children & the Arts website.

The North West Cultural Education Awards 2017

From Curious Minds:

We are excited to announce that we will soon be launching the North West Cultural Education Awards 2017. This event will celebrate outstanding work that happens within cultural organisations and schools/education settings, connecting children and young people with the region’s vibrant cultural offer.

A formal invite will follow soon, but in the meantime please save the date:Friday 28th April, 12pm-4pm. If you’d like to book tickets early to be sure of your place, you can do that here.

We’d like to encourage you to nominate your organisation, a young person, a school, Head Teacher or Governor for one of the following special awards:

Arts Award Special Achievement Categories

  • Young Achiever – This award aims to recognise someone as young as 7 or 8 years old who has achieved an Arts Award.
  • Gold and Beyond – This award is for someone who has gained a Gold Arts Award and used it to open up or progress onto new opportunities, education, or employment.
  • Personal Achievement – This award is for a young person who perhaps faces disadvantage or challenge in their lives but has overcome their circumstances and achieved an Arts Award.
  • Inspirational Adviser – This award is for young people to nominate their own adviser.
  • Big Impact Award – This award is for an organisation or individual who has found a new, successful way to embed Arts Award into a large-scale project, a curriculum or across a whole organisation.
  • Innovative Portfolio – This award is for a young person who has demonstrated a very creative way to collect their evidence.
  • New Settings Award – This award is for a young person or an organisation that has achieved Arts Award in a museum, a library or through a community/voluntary setting.

Schools and Cultural Education Categories

The Arts Council England Award for Innovation and Leadership in Cultural Education
This award recognises a school that is consistently demonstrating a leadership role, for example by delivering innovative CPD, supporting other schools with arts and culture, leading a network, developing high quality research into the impact of arts and culture or pioneering a new approach to cultural education.

Cultural Education Individual Leader Award
This award recognises a Head Teacher or Governor who enables cultural education to thrive in their school.

Cultural Education Partnership Awards

  • Library Partnership Award – to recognise an outstanding partnership between an education setting and a library.
  • Museum Partnership Award – to recognise an outstanding partnership between an education setting and a museum.
  • Arts Partnership Award – to recognise an outstanding partnership between an education setting and an arts organisation.
  • Inclusive Partnership Award – to recognise an outstanding partnership between a cultural organisation and a PRU or SEND setting.

Employment Categories

  • Most Inspiring Creative Apprentice or Intern – this award recognises the achievements of a young person currently undertaking or having recently undertaken an apprenticeship or internship in the creative and cultural sector.
  • Outstanding Creative Employer – to recognise an employer committed to providing a high quality, authentic work experience to young people.
  • Creative Career Champion of the Year – recognising a school or cultural organisation working to support young people to access pathways into creative careers.

The nomination process is quick and easy. You can nominate yourselves or any other individual, school, education setting or cultural organisation.

Place your nominations here: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NWCEA2017. The deadline for nominations is Friday 3rd March at 5pm.

Freelance Opportunity: Lakeland Arts

Support for museum object-inspired soft play creations for toddler group activity

Brief 2017

Lakeland Arts is one of the leading Arts organisations in the North West, managing Abbot Hall Art Gallery and the Museums of Lakeland Life & Industry in Kendal, Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House in Bowness and is developing the Windermere Jetty- Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories.

Lakeland Arts (LA) is seeking to contract an experienced craftsperson to make textile ‘soft-play’ objects inspired by the objects at the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry (MOLLI). The objects will accompany a programme of activities we run for toddlers and their parents / guardians.

The Programme

Known as Crawl at the Hall, this well-established programme for children and parents was suspended following the damage to Abbot Hall caused by the December 2015 floods. We are planning to re-launch this popular programme with soft play-inspired interactives created for MOLLI, inspired by the collection.

The Crawl sessions are multi-sensory and encourage expression, exploration, language and movement for under 5s and their parent(s). The successful craftsperson will need to consider the needs of this audience group when creating the soft play objects. Please note that participant children are supervised at all times by their parent / guardian and the activity leader.

Brief specification

Lakeland Arts wants to commission the creation of 8-10 ‘soft play’ items that relate to the museum collection. We are looking for large scale, high quality, 3-dimensional objects in different shapes that are colourful and tactile, made robust textiles with zip covers (so that we can wash).

Objects should be stuffed with foam and or toy stuffing and made from materials that are varied in colour, texture and pattern, whilst ensuring that no parts can be easily unravel or removed (no choke hazards given young age range of participants). The materials must be non-hazardous and comply with relevant health and safety standards including fire resistance.

For example, we have a typewriter that belonged to Cumbrian author, Arthur Ransome.

The successful contractor will to create a large scale, soft toy version of a typewriter. See example for inspiration through this link.

Though this on-line example is overly elaborate, we are looking for soft play objects that are fun and colourful and interpreted in a way that turns the object ‘on its head’. In terms of scale we want objects to be roughly the size of large throw cushions or beach balls.


Research, design and selection of fabrics to be developed by end of February 2017 (to be submitted and discussed with client for approval and so that we can test ideas with parents of under 5s).

Soft Play objects made and delivered to client by end of Easter 2017.

£1000 inclusive of VAT and expenses.

Tendering process

Please submit a proposal of no more than 4 sides outlining how you will deliver the commission together with a timetable, breakdown of costs, two referees and 2-3 photographs with examples of similar work from your portfolio (or a link to websites where this can be viewed).

For the full brief please click here.

Please submit your proposal by noon on Monday 13 February 2017 to: Jennie Pitceathly, Head of Learning jpitceathly@lakelandarts.org.uk

My Primary School is at the Museum Report

From King’s College London:

My Primary School is at the Museum tested the hypothesis that there may be beneficial learning, social and cultural outcomes for primary school children and their families when a significant portion of their learning takes place in a museum setting, as well as demonstrating the benefits for museums.

Groups of pupils from two primary schools and a nursery, from Tyne & Wear, Swansea and Liverpool, were based at their local museum for up to a term between January and June 2016.

My Primary School is at the Museum report

The findings of My Primary School is at the Museum have been published in a public report based on project evaluation commissioned from Heritage Insider Ltd. Download the report.

The report outlines the benefits for museums, schools, and children and their families, including:

  • For children: increased confidence as well as improved social and communication skills; greater engagement with and sense of ‘ownership’ of local cultural spaces and places.
  • For museums: a deeper understanding of younger audiences, enabling the development of more relevant, engaging programmes; an extended use of their spaces and collections.
  • Schools and teachers: examples of creative ways in which to deliver the curriculum and confidence using out-of-classroom spaces.

About the museum-school residencies

The live project took primary school classes directly into museums for their day-to-day school programme. It aimed to create and evaluate a potentially symbiotic relationship between primary schools and museums that could develop into a new model of educational delivery. Such a hybrid model could potentially help to resolve the nation’s shortage of primary school places, while simultaneously supporting resilient and sustainable operating principles for our museums. The museums’ collections were used to provide context for a range of school subjects. Facilities at the museums were arranged to enable children to absorb these local collections directly and indirectly with constant connections being made between objects and the curriculum.

Throughout the project, teaching followed primary education best practice and continued to deliver the requirements of the National Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework. The museum hosted the school’s day-to-day programme of lessons, including lunches and breaks, and offered a fundamentally different experience from the more usual occasional one-day visits.

The pilot projects and partnerships were:

  • Life Bank Nursery at Kensington Children’s Centre, a pre-school nursery (children aged 3 – 4), who were based at Tate Liverpool from 29 February to 11 March 2016.
  • A Year 5 group (children aged 9 – 10) from Hadrian Primary School in South Shields who were based at Arbeia Roman Fort & Museum in South Tyneside between January and March 2016.
  • A reception year of two forms (children aged 4 – 5) from St Thomas Community Primary School was based at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea for 2 five-week residencies. One form was at the museum from 22 February until Easter, and the second form in May and June 2016.

Find out more

As well as the full report, you can read more about the project in our news story here, a blog entry by Wendy James, who conceived the project, and a blog entry by Laura Luxton, a teacher at St Thomas Community Primary School whose class took up residencey in the National Waterfront Museum for five weeks. Articles have also featured in The Independent and Museums Association.

Project team

The project was conceived by Wendy James, Architect and Partner at Garbers & James Architects. Garbers & James is an architectural practice specialising in the public cultural sector and Wendy’s extensive experience is particularly focussed towards museums and education.

Educational support and academic advice was provided by Dr Jen DeWitt and Dr Heather King in the School of Education, Communication & Society.

Kate Measures, Heritage Insider, conducted an independent evaluation of the project.

Cultural Space Programme

This project was supported under the Cultural Space Programme. This programme enabled participants, made up of King’s academics and professionals from the cultural sector, to explore new approaches to the development of cultural organisations’ physical and virtual spaces in ways which empower them and their audiences, and informs research and teaching at King’s.

(All photo images: nursery school children at Tate Liverpool. Photo credit: Jake Ryan)

My Primary School is at the Museum is a collaboration between King’s College London’s School of Education, Communication & Society and Kensington Children’s Centre and Tate Liverpool; St Thomas Community Primary School and the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea; Hadrian Primary School and Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum (TWAM). It was conceived by Garbers & James Architects and delivered by the Cultural Institute at King’s.

GEM Conference 2016

Adapt and Thrive: Weathering the impact of change on cultural learning
Wednesday 31st August – Thursday 1st September 2016

GEM’s 2016 conference is seeking answers to two key questions:

  • What are the forces of change affecting cultural learning today?
  • How can we adapt our practice to turn these forces to our advantage?

Come and think about change in new ways, understand its impact and explore how museum learning can thrive in these challenging times.  Whether it’s hearing about current research, sustainability strategies or inspirational projects, Adapt and Thrive will be relevant and engaging for heritage professionals from management level to career-entry.


Mark O’Neill, director of policy and research, Glasgow Life
“Love in a Cold Climate: making a difference in a time of austerity”

Mhairi Cross, chief executive officer, National Mining Museum Scotland
“Managing change and mapping the future”

Piotr Bienkowski, cultural consultant and project director of Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Our Museum special initiative
“Why change fails – and what YOU can do about it”

Ruth Gill, director of public programmes, National Museums Scotland

Robert Janes, author (Museums in a Troubled World and Museums without Borders) and champion of museums as important social institutions
Museums without Borders: A Manifesto

The GEM 2016 conference will help everyone involved in managing or delivering museum, heritage or cultural learning to reflect on how we can best respond to change, and maintain the value and quality of what we do.  We shall also explore strategies that can improve the resilience of our organisations.  These are particularly pertinent issues at a time when the cultural and heritage bodies that support us are developing their own survival strategies. 

The following “threads” will be explored throughout the conference:

Changing context – recent research and critical thinking about the changing context around culture, heritage and the arts.

Challenging change – innovation and entrepreneurship: practical ways that we can tackle the challenges of change.

A better future – Making the case: how we can use advocacy and influence to shape a better future for heritage education.

For more information and the conference programme please visit www.gem.org.uk. Alternatively you can email office@gem.org.uk or call 01634 853424. Twitter @GEM_heritage  & follow the conversation using #GEM2016 

Money Matters – a new toolkit for teachers

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A new creative teaching and learning resource commissioned by the Harris Museum’s Money Matters project and Curious Minds is now available for download from our blog.

James Arnold, History Curator at the Harris, introduces it:

“The resource is aimed at museum practitioners and teachers who want to find out more about the numismatic (coin and medal) collections in the North West and how to bring them to life to inspire pupil learning and engagement. The resource contains:

  • An introduction to numismatic (coin and medal) collections and what they are
  • Ideas for creative learning using numismatic collections
  • Creative ideas and a curriculum map
  • Arts Award using coins and medals
  • In practice examples in the North West
  • Links to other resources

In 2013 MDNW carried out a small consultation with museums. The results were clear – there was a huge willingness by museums to use their numismatic collections if they could, but holding them back was their lack of confidence in knowing what they had and how to use it. In recent years museum staff and volunteers have struggled with how to make collections relevant and accessible against a backdrop of ever diminishing resources and expert knowledge leaving the sector. Yet the mapping work undertaken by the Money & Medals Network has shown the large number of numismatic collections held by the region’s museums, some of them being part of the founding collections of museums with their roots in the 19th century.

The Harris Museum has a nationally important 12,500 item strong numismatic collection which was formerly underused. The Money Matters Project funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation started in 2014 has transformed how this fantastic collection is used. As well as repacking and cataloguing the collection, the project has allowed the Harris to network with other museums and share expertise. The project draws to a close this year and this new teaching and learning resource will act as one of its many legacies and provide a link between museums and those who would like to know more about how to use their collections creatively.”

Download a copy from here or from the publications tab on our blog.

Image: Silver penny minted for Edward I, 1282-83, HMAG

‘Leading the Challenge’: Cultural Education sector leaders launch event

Keynote speaker: Sue Hoyle, Director of the Clore Leadership Programme: ‘Leadership and the Cultural Education Challenge’

Following the speakers’ presentation, Curious Minds will launch a new opportunity for individuals to train and develop themselves as a Cultural Education Leader. Curious Minds have developed a fully funded year-long fellowship programme for up to 8 mid-career professionals who wish to specialize in Cultural Education within their own art form or setting. These individuals, supported by their organisations, will spend approximately 20 days across the year increasing their expertise in how to work with schools, how to navigate the Education landscape and how to support their sector or art-form peers to create quality art form offers to benefit schools and teachers.

To book a place visit the eventbrite page