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News article created on 30 January 2015

Phew! What a month . . . and what a year it’s going to be!

It’s been a jam packed January for the Museums & Attractions education teams.

Bring out the Champagne, we’re celebrating!

We're thrilled to announce that twenty one of our key sites including our five museums and attractions have been awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge in recognition of learning provision and safety!

We'd like to say a huge thank you to our wonderful teams of education volunteers at all of our sites as we know how hard each Explorers team works to make our school visits as engaging and exciting as possible! Making young people as passionate about the waterways as we are!

A full list of Quality Badge sites can be found by clicking the link below:


It’s been a jam packed January for the Museums & Attractions education teams.

At Anderton Boat Lift we are moving forward with our new education workshops and will be running costumed interpretation training for our Explorers volunteers on 23rd February.

This will enable them to confidently take on the characters of significant individuals and incorporate these skills into school visits and family activities. We are also getting involved with the Saltscape project in Northwich along with the Lion Salt Works, Weaver Hall Museum, Trent & Mersey Canal Society and the Wildlife Trust to deliver educational activities focused around the natural and built environments.

At the National Waterways Museum we are progressing with our new learning space which will enable us to have a dedicated schools area on site. It will be a flexible open plan space where we can run events or use as a classroom. It overlooks the Manchester Ship Canal with (on a clear day!) fantastic views over to the River Mersey and Liverpool. It was brilliant to see an episode of “My Story” on the Cbeebies channel this month, featuring the National Waterways Museum, one of our wonderful volunteers (Cath Turpin) and her granddaughter (Lucy) – who you may recognise from our “Build a Canal” publicity photographs!

They both did amazingly well at getting across life on the canals in the late 1800’s and looked very fetching in their traditional costume. Sue Day from the Horse Boating Society also featured in the programme, towing one of our historic narrow boats with her very patient and gentle horse.

From Birmingham to the Sea

At Gloucester Waterways Museum we are about to start work on the Heritage Lottery Funded Project “From Birmingham to the Sea”. The first action for our team will be to recruit and appoint a Project Education Coordinator on a three year, part-time, contract. Their role will be to deliver all the exciting new learning activities we have planned using the new galleries, exhibitions and resources that will be available.

At Standedge Tunnel we are busy completing work on a new educational activity that introduces pupils to habitats, food chains, adaptation and classification. It will also give them the opportunity to study seasonal changes over several visits. We will be launching it to local schools with a schools week in the spring. The Explorers volunteers have been taking part in a series of training days across different seasons with Russ Hedley of Nature Talks and Walks. Thank you Russ for being so inspirational!

For those of you who may have started to think I’ve put my running challenges to one side – no chance! Next big one is the Yorkshire 3 Peaks fell race in April. Can’t wait!

Phew! What a month . . . and what a year it’s going to be!


About this blog

Helen Evans is the learning officer for our museums and attractions. She joined the National Waterways Museum (Ellesmere Port) in 2010, following eight years of secondary school teaching. Helen lives in Macclesfield and is a keen long distance runner, competing for Macclesfield Harriers.

See more blogs from Helen Evans