“Our trip definitely achieved what we set out to do which was to enhance the children’s learning through real-life experiences”

Year 4 teacher, Buxworth Primary School

It’s almost two years since most school children have been able to go on a school trip. So when Carla, a Year 4 teacher, got in touch about a class visit to Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, we were delighted. Carla wanted to bring the Stone Age to Iron Age topic to life for her class.

It was perfect timing as our new Stone Age to Iron Age resources were ready to pilot. The resources have been developed using the East Midland Museum Development Covid-19 Recovery and Reboot Grant Fund 2021-22. The resources include object handling boxes and D.I.Y gallery activities. All the information needed to use these new resources is on Buxton Museum and Art Gallery’s Stone Age to Iron Age Padlet which Carla used to help her planning and preparation for the visit.

Stone Age to Iron Age Padlet

The day of Carla’s class visit soon arrived. On a misty morning we welcomed 33 pupils from Buxworth Primary to the museum. The cloakroom filled with coats and bags then the children headed upstairs. They spread out across the full length of the Wonders of Peak gallery along the timeline. The timeline spans 360 million years, so some children found themselves beside prehistoric objects like a Cave Lion’s bone. Others by Victorian glass Buxton Water bottles.

The children were divided into groups, Wolves, Deer, Bears and Cave Lions. The handling boxes were opened, and DIY activity sheets handed out. The Wonders of the Peak Gallery was abuzz.  Children busy handling 2000-year-old arrow heads and using objects to tell stories about Stone Age survival. Observing and drawing prehistoric Peak District pottery. Matching object numbers with corresponding captions and discovering object information.

After the visit, Carla and her class shared their thoughts about went well and what they would change. We used the feedback to help improve the resources. Classes from Buxton Juniors and Bakewell Junior school have also piloted the activities.

Letter to Buxton Museum from Buxworth pupil

The Stone Age to Iron Age resources are now tried and tested and have the stamp of teacher and child approval. They are available to use for free. To book email Buxton.Museumeducation@derbyshire.gov.uk or call 01629 533540.

If your topic next term is the Romans, we have good news! We’ve also created Roman DIY gallery activities and Roman Britain object handling boxes using the collections from the High Peak of Derbyshire which the museum looks after. If you would like to pilot these activities with your class, please get in touch. In the meantime do check out our new Roman Britain Padlet.

It’s full of inspiring ideas and information to integrate into teaching.

This term, every teacher who has visited has said: “Some of our children have never been to a museum before.”

Post lockdown, learning outside the classroom feels more important than ever. Visiting Buxton Museum and Art Gallery gives children real life experiences – new experiences– which can build their cultural capital. Visits connect with learning at school and make knowledge stick. (Thank you to Year 3/4 Bakewell Juniors teacher Catherine for introducing us to the concept of sticky knowledge!) A trip to Buxton Museum and Art Gallery can equip children with skills to use in any museum, large or small, around the world. And inspire children to return to the museum again bringing their family and friends.

Letter to Buxton Museum from Buxworth pupil

If you know a teacher who will be teaching The Romans or Stone Age to Iron Age life, please do share this blog post with them.

Date for Your Diary – Teacher’s afternoon, Tuesday 15th February 2022

The Roman and Stone Age to Iron Age Handling Boxes will be available for teachers to see in the Wonders of the Peak Gallery on Tuesday 15th February. Enjoy handling the objects and investigating the accompanying focus activities. Between 2pm and 5pm, Katie or Louise will be on hand to answer any questions about using the boxes.

Please let us know you plan to attend HERE.

“The activities were very well thought-out and meaningful for the children; they made the museum trip come to life.”

 Year 4 Teacher

The COVID-19 RECOVERY AND REBOOT GRANT FUND 2021-22, was awarded by Museum Development East Midlands. The grant has been used to research, create and pilot the new online and gallery resources for primary schools. The work has been carried out by Katie Potter and Louise Brookes, freelance museum learning facilitators who work with Buxton Museum and Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust.)