School visits to shortlisted Museum of the Year 2015 contenders

Date Posted: 01/05/2015

The six museums shortlisted for the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2015 have been announced and each offers exciting visits for schools. The nominated museums are…

  • Dunham Massey (National Trust), Altrincham
  • IWM London
  • The MAC, Belfast
  • Oxford University Museum of Natural History
  • HM Tower of London (Historic Royal Palaces)
  • The Whitworth, Manchester

Below is a look at the finalists and the opportunities on offer for schools…

Dunham Massey, Altrincham

Dunham Massey is a Georgian country house in Cheshire, which has been home to the Booth and Grey families for 350 years.

The museum at the property has been recognised for its exhibition ‘Sanctuary from the Trenches’, which, last year, faithfully recreated the Stamford Military Hospital as it had been in 1917 to 19, using artefacts and furniture from the house’s own archive.

Due to its success, the exhibition will continue to run until November 2015. It provides an opportunity for Key Stage 3 students to expand their knowledge on World War One and see the rooms that had been used during the war as a hospital for wounded troops and find out about their injuries and treatments.

To view a Dunham Massey Leaning Pack click here.

The MAC, Belfast

The MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre) can be found in the heart of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter and offers a full programme of events and exhibitions.

The centre provides visits for both primary and secondary schools, focusing on creative learning through music, theatre, art and dance. There are opportunities to see live shows at the theatre, visit exhibitions in one of the three galleries, or take part in a creative workshop with a professional artist.

IWM London

Imperial War Museums (IWM) holds in its collections the voices, letters and diaries of men and women who fought in the First World War as well as thousands of objects and works of art that tell a myriad of stories from the conflict.

Schools can book a self-guided site visit or a visit with a learning session, which uses original artefacts, documents, photographs, posters and films to help children from Key Stage 2 onwards learn about the history of both the world wars.

Key Stage 2 classes can investigate what wartime families were like as part of the Family in Wartime exhibition or meet an evacuee from WW2 who will share their memories of evacuation and life on the home front.

Key Stage 3, 4 and Post-16 learning sessions are also available.

Oxford University Museum of Natural History

The Oxford University Museum of Natural History explores the natural environment and the interface between art and science.

The museum offers a wide range of workshops linked to the Science National Curriculum for Key Stages 1 to 5 and provides teachers with downloadable resources to use pre and post visit. Sessions can also be tailored to suit specific needs and Curriculum focuses.

Following the Key Stage 2 Science Curriculum, the Evolve, Adapt, Survive! workshop allows children to explore how animals have evolved to survive in their particular habitats and look at the work of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace on natural selection.

To download the Evolve, Adapt, Survive! teacher sheet click here.

HM Tower of London (Historic Royal Palaces)

Built by William the Conqueror, the HM Tower of London has a thousand year old history as a palace, prison and fortress on the north bank of the Thames.

Students from Key Stage 1 through to A-Level can take a look into this history with a number of Curriculum based school sessions, led by expert presenters. For example, a costumed presenter will tell the tale of the tower’s dark history in the Key Stage 2 specific Crime and Punishment through the Ages session in just one of the many school visits on offer.

The Whitworth, Manchester

The Whitworth art gallery offers three strands to its learning programme. ‘Art School’, ‘Masterclass’ and ‘Progress’.

‘Art School’ offers playful, artist-led workshops. From drawing, to making and building, to expressing through dance, music, spoken word, the workshops encourage children to be imaginative and hands-on in the learning experience.

‘Masterclass’ sessions provide students with the chance to hear from artists and scientists, whilst ‘Progress’ workshops offer pupils the chance to explore the next steps and careers in the creative industries.

The announcement of the 2015 winner will be made at an awards dinner at Tate Modern on 1st July 2015.

Photo credit: Martin Parr.

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