Schools outreach


A guest post by Regan Koazubikk, P6, Methilhill Primary and Community School, Fife

Regan’s class is part of The Robertson Trust funded project which is working with schools to develop boxes of museum objects available for free borrowing. Regan tells the story of preparing for a day event showing the work her class has done over the past year with the Museum. The partner school is Methilhill Primary and Community School, Fife, and the event took place on 2nd Feb 2012. You can find out more by reading this previous post by Community Engagement Officer Conor Hull or on the Community Engagement section on the National Museums Scotland’s website.

Before Thursday we had to plan our exhibition.  We had to decide on where our objects and material went. Then on the laptops we made some labels and a title. Eventually area 10 (another class) came to see us practise our exhibition for Thursday – they really enjoyed it!

Choosing objects for our African exhibition

P6 choosing objects for the African exhibition at Methilhill Primary and Community School, Fife.

Next it was the day! I was so nervous I was shaky. Then we began to walk to the drama studio. Then we suddenly walked in and as we walked in there was Conor, a photographer and a professional cameraman and we had to prepare our exhibition. Soon after break an African man called Chief Chebe was teaching us to play drums, African drums, and some of our parents came. Then we got taught a seed game. I was in a group with Samantha and Melissa.  Then area 13 (another class) came in.  It was very nerve-wracking because they are a bigger class.

Chief Chebe and our class

Chief Chebe and P6 at Methilhill Primary and Community School, Fife.

Soon it was show time! To show our parents what we had been up to with the Museum project we then had to move our exhibition to the hall.  Meanwhile our parents came in.  I was so nervous and a little bit scared stuff might go wrong!

Playing to an audience in the school hall

P6 playing African drums to an audience at Methilhill Primary and Community School, Fife.

My parents were very proud of me.  Then we had to play our drums in front of everyone in the school even parents! I was very jumpy, then we finished and everyone cheered and clapped. At the end my parents said I was outstanding. I was very proud of me and my class.  However we had to say our goodbyes. I didn’t want to say goodbye to Chief Chebe. I loved every second of it and it was a GREAT experience.

P6 practising the African drums at Methilhill Primary and Community School, Fife

P6 practising the African drums at Methilhill Primary and Community School, Fife.

Conor HullBy Conor Hull, Community Engagement Officer

As part of the revamp of the National Museum of Scotland, The Robertson Trust donated a large sum of money toward the development of a brand new Learning Centre.  They also funded an outreach project which would expose the museum’s collections to previously unreached audiences, encouraging these families to visit the museum for themselves.

For more than a year I have been working in partnership with three schools, to deliver this project. Methilhill Primary School Fife, Park Primary Clackmannan and Knightsridge Primary School, West Lothian.  The plan is to put together one box of handling items per school from our collections that could be loaned out to other schools, giving a flavour of the fantastic objects we have here at the National Museum of Scotland.  These will be officially launched in May at the National Museum of Scotland.

The pupils and teachers picked their topics, based on themes from the new galleries – Africa, Rainforest and the Carnival of the Animals.  Next I got together objects from our handling collection to give to the pupils to research.  They visited the museum, asked curators questions and did their own independent research.

Last month we ran a community day at Methilhill Primary and Community School, giving pupils an opportunity to show off their work to other pupils in the school, their parents and wider families.

Pupils, parents and teachers took part in an African drum and music Workshop lead by Chief Sulemen Chebe before performing to their parents later on.

Chief Suleman Chebe with pupils

Chief Suleman Chebe with pupils.

Chief Suleman Chebe demonstrates the xylophone

Chief Suleman Chebe demonstrates the xylophone.

Setting up a display

Setting up a display of African objects.

Pupils explained their exhibitions to parents.

Showing parents objects from the displays

Showing parents objects from the displays.

Parents could also get involved with the musical entertainment!

Parents could also get involved with the musical entertainment!

In this video the pupils explain in their own words what the project has meant to them.

A guest post by Lucy Kay, P7, Park Primary, Alloa

Arriving

Our trip to the museum was wonderful, we all had a lovely time. First we walked through the museum to get to our room and we passed some lovely, interesting things like a giant plane hanging from the ceiling, an old-fashioned motorcar, a magnificent old clock and much more awesome things. When we arrived at our room we sat and Mr Hull told us a bit about the rainforest. Then he gave every group an artefact and told us to guess what it was. My group had elephant skin. It was rough, grey and wrinkly.

Animal Exhibit

Once we had talked about our artefacts he gave every pair a picture of an animal that we had to find in the animal exhibit. Me, Leona and Raegan had a Bengal tiger, which didn’t take that long to find. We found out loads of information that we didn’t know. After we found out our information we were allowed to look in the space exhibit for a little while. I preferred the animal exhibit though because they had so many amazing sea and land animals like sharks hanging from the ceiling and lions on the rocks – it was absolutely fantastic!

Standing in front of the amethyst geode in the Restless Earth gallery

Standing in front of the amethyst geode in the Restless Earth gallery.

Adventure Planet

After lunch we walked through the museum to go to more exhibits. At one exhibit I put my hand through a hole and felt something slimy and I squealed, I daren’t check what it was. At another exhibit I got to smell through a speaker thing to smell a skunk (it stunk). I saw many wonderful videos of Earth and Space as well.  We wandered round for a while and then headed back to our room to make rainforest bugs.

Watching the video in the Earth in Space gallery

Watching the video in the Earth in Space gallery.

Watching the video in the Earth in Space gallery

Watching the video in the Earth in Space gallery.

Rainforest Bugs

Mr Hull handed out some dough type things to everyone to make rainforest bugs to help us think about hiding in different environments. I made a snail and put it where I thought it would go well. We got to take our bugs back to school to display and show people what we had done at the museum.

Rainforest bugs on display

Rainforest bugs on display.

Leaving

We said thank you to Mr Hull and had one last walk round the museum before we got back on the bus and set off back to school. We had a lovely day at the National Museum of Scotland.

Lucy’s class visit was part of the Robertson Trust funded project which is working with schools to develop boxes of museum objects available for free borrowing. Find out more on the Community Engagement web pages.