Hi my name is Eleanor Payne and my job as Learning Officer at Hertford Museum is to work with school and family groups (amongst many others!) to encourage them to engage in the museum in a meaningful way. This week has been a really mixed bag (like most weeks!). Here is a flavour of what I have been up to…
On Monday I attended a seminar on the changes facing schools over the next few years; whether or not to become academies and how the ever-changing requirements by the government affect them on a daily, termly and annual basis. It was a really interesting morning organised by SHARE (Support, Help and Advice from Renaissance East) in Luton for museum educators. It is really important to me to keep up to date with the current agendas schools are facing to ensure we can respond to their changing circumstances and needs appropriately. That afternoon it was back to the ranch for a team chat about our forthcoming exhibitions programme with the curatorial team; I was really keen to give an input from a family audience perspective, the next focus being our souvenirs exhibition and to make it as interactive as possible!
On Tuesday I ran our monthly Toddler session ‘Toddler Tuesday’ with Dawn, one of our fabulous volunteers. The theme was Leaping Frogs and all the children were able to make a frog on a lily pad to take home, as well as enjoy stories and play with our traditional wooden toys.
Wednesday saw a visit from Middleton School in Ware, who brought their Year 2 class to try on lots of different old fashioned costumes. Lots of fun was had with boaters, tops hats, mob caps and aprons! Many schools visit us at the museum, booking a session like this and sometimes I go and deliver an outreach session in school; it all depends on what the school requires (take a look at our schools pages for further information on the sessions we currently offer).
I then had a great meeting at the Town Council, finalising our plans for the Teddy bear’s picnic that is happening at Hertford Castle on Sunday 17th June. Later that afternoon Sara Taylor (our curator) and I met with a lady from Selections Adult Learning partnership on how we can develop future partnership working both at the adult learning centre based at Sele School and at the museum.
St Dominic’s Catholic School from Harpenden visited us on Thursday to explore Tilly’s Toy Box. Their Years 1 class is currently learning about old toys so the hand-on approach to learning, where they can play with and explore old and old fashioned toys worked excellently. We have received some funding from SHARE to improve the way we engage with families at the museum, so Sara and I had a meeting in the afternoon to discuss future plans for interactives in the galleries and Saturday stay and play sessions at the museum…watch this space for further details later in the Spring!
Friday was a beautiful sunny day, which was fortunate because Sarah Keeling (our Assistant Curator), some volunteers and I took to the streets to finalise the entrants for the town trail we are organising in conjunction with the RNLI over Easter. We are asking local shops to create a small display in their window on the theme of a town that has an RNLI lifeboat station; we will then be writing trails that will encourage our visitors to take a stroll round the shops. All shops are generously donating to be involved and we will be selling the trails at the museum. All proceed with be split between the two charities.
Phew! Well there you have it, a week in the life of me!