The Association for Suffolk Museums has entered a new partnership with the Suffolk Children’s University. The partnership started back in the summer of 2019 and has been busy creating exciting projects that reach out to engaging new audiences.
The Children’s University provides children with the opportunity to take part in creative learning activities outside of the normal school day. It is committed to helping children make the most of the time spent outside the classroom by offering them the chance to get involved in extra-curricular activities that foster positive developmental experiences.
Children’s University aims to achieve the following outcomes in children:
- They feel they have grown in confidence and self-belief
- They have enjoyed new experiences, in new places and want to keep exploring
- They believe they have a broader range of essential skills
- They feel empowered to make positive choices about their future
- They see learning that is fun, aspirational and lifelong
- They feel their eyes have been opened to a multiplicity of learning activities and opportunities
- They feel celebrated for their commitment to learning by their family, school and community.
Working collaboratively, we have produced a new generic Museum Trail which has been designed to get children engaging with museums. The trail also offers children from disadvantaged backgrounds without the financial resource for educational materials, the chance to get started on their journey to learning. Composed of 14 questions, the trail asks a range of questions from getting participants to think about their sensory relationship with museum collections, to thinking how a museum is displayed and how it presents itself to its audiences. Those that take part in the trail will also receive 2 learning credits for their Passport To Learning upon completion.
The trail is going to initially be trialled in a handful of museums, which will enable us to gather some feedback on its reception and how effective a learning tool it is. Following this period, the trail will be readily available to roll out to Suffolk Museums who wish to stock it in their museums.
Working with Byron
Debbie Bennett from the Suffolk Children’s University and Museum Project Officer Tom Beese have also been working with 10-year-old Byron, who has expressed a keen interest in the Children’s University activities over the lockdown period. Byron has agreed to test out some of the Suffolk Steps Trails for the AfSM and give us some feedback on what he thought about the trails.
Having recently completed the Gainsborough’s House trail in Sudbury, Byron shared his thoughts with us…
“At the weekend I did the Gainsborough walk at Sudbury. I enjoyed it. I forgot to take any photos, but it was lovely there, especially as the sun was out. We had a good time. Tell Tom the trails are really good with lots of interesting things to see when you are out. I am becoming a time traveller.”
As a way of saying thank you for agreeing to give us some feedback on the Suffolk Steps trails, we are going to arrange for Byron to have a couple of behind the scenes tours of his chosen favourite museums in Suffolk.
If you are interested in finding out more about the work that the Suffolk Children’s University is involved with please visit their website. If you would like to start stocking the museum trail in your museum, please get in contact with Tom Beese at firstname.lastname@example.org.