An Inspirational October

Wow! What a busy month we’ve had in the Explorers education team!

Wow! What a busy month we’ve had in the Explorers education team! I started the month on a high note, receiving my Associateship of the Museums Association at their annual conference in Cardiff. The whole conference was really inspirational and gave me a renewed enthusiasm for the amazing opportunities our museums give us to engage meaningfully with the public. The main theme was “Museums Change Lives” – this is the Museums Association’s vision for the increased social impact of museums. Their research demonstrates that all museums can support positive social change. The full report can be found here

I was also asked to provide a book review for the Museums Journal this month. Writing 250 words about a book you are currently reading doesn’t sound too difficult – at least that’s what I thought at the time! Two weeks and at least seven rewrites later I was tearing my hair out! You’ll be pleased to hear that I did finally manage to submit the review; you can read my thoughts on “Conserving Historic Vessels” by National Historic Ships in this month’s edition.

The education team has welcomed a new member, Pamela Pearson, who has joined us as the Oldknow’s Legacy Learning and Interpretation Officer. She will be based on the Peak Forest Canal so please make her feel welcome if you bump into her! We’ve also been doing lots of training with our volunteers this month, particularly with our new recruits. Sarah Cook has been beavering away planning our new lead volunteer training course, thank you for all your hard work Sarah!

October half term has been a busy one for our Museums & Attractions. We’ve had family activities at all our sites and many have also put on Halloween events. Families have been learning about bats and why they love our canal network, as well as taking part in spooky boat trips, pumpkin carving and fright nights!

For the next month I’ll be mainly focusing my efforts on the new education program I’m piloting at Anderton Boat Lift. I’ve been fortunate to secure funding to develop new schools workshops in line with the new National Curriculum from Tata Chemicals. The pilots will be taking place during the last two weeks of November and will focus on local history. I’ll let you know how they go next time! Wish me luck!

Last date edited: 5 November 2014

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.

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