Volunteer Anna Birt takes us on a whistle-stop tour of learning at The National Waterways Museum, Gloucester.
School children in and around Gloucester are visiting the newly refurbished National Waterways Museum and discovering more about their local history in a new and exciting way. This autumn term, school groups have arrived at the museum to embark on an organised day of events designed to educate and entertain. On their arrival, the Explorers team welcome the children and their teachers and show them where to leave their bags in our secure, dedicated learning area before we take them on a tour outside the enormous warehouse. It is there where we show them how the docks operated in the last century; a thriving, dynamic industry - a far cry from what children witness today. The unusual pieces of machinery, used for hauling cargo or dredging the bottom of the canal, provide a fascinating talking point for children as we discuss the engineering of the time.
Back inside, a science experiment with the children demonstrates how things float using terminology appropriate to their age group. Next, is probably the highlight of the outing - a boat trip along the canal! Children get to see a different aspect of Gloucester from the comfort of the covered boat as they enjoy their pack lunch.
The remainder of the afternoon provides the school group with some free-time to explore the museum; taking part in the various learning activities and looking at original items belonging to the canal people who once lived a very different way of life than we do today.
The Explorers Education team are also able to provide learning sessions for after-school groups such as Brownies, Cubs, Scouts and Rainbows where there is the opportunity for these young adventurers to gain a new badge to add to their collection.
The Education Team delivers two main learning programmes. Explorers which is aimed at primary school children and uniformed groups, and STEM which is aimed at secondary schools. We provide free, curriculum linked learning resources for teachers and offer a range of outreach sessions to inspire children and young people about our waterways. Our fantastic Education Volunteers deliver sessions on the towpath or in school, bringing the stories of our waterways to life.
See more blogs from this author