Volunteer Anna Birt talks about the learning programmes at the newly refurbished Gloucester Waterways Museum.
As children go back to school, teachers often start thinking about extending their pupils' learning by planning visits to education centres and museums which link into the current curriculum. Here at the Gloucester Waterways Museum, we are able to deliver a learning programme that covers local history and STEM which has been carefully developed in collaboration with both teachers and education consultants for Key Stages 1 and 2.
Led by trained and knowledgeable volunteers from the Explorers Education Team and managed by a dedicated Education Coordinator, the museum offers a day of exploring and investigation. Firstly, the class are taken outside and shown the exterior of this magnificent seven storey building and talk about why it was built and for what purpose. Moving around the former warehouse, children are shown where cargo would have been unloaded, the train-lines and turntable and the wonderful mechanical machines that were once in operation.
In addition, teachers and children will love tucking into their lunch on board the boat trip; viewing familiar sites from the boat's deck. The afternoon is spent completing a variety of activities in small groups around the museum. For Key Stage 1, children can complete a wildlife trail and explore the different hands-on activities we have out on display. Older school children will get to complete our STEM challenge based upon mechanism they have seen on their visit.
Alternatively, booked school groups have the opportunity to explore the museum without a guide on one of our self-led visits. After walking around the historic dockyard and having lunch aboard a boat trip, teachers and staff can allow children to explore the museum in small groups.
At the museum, children of all ages will enjoy being able to dress-up as Victorian warehouse workers or canal people in their decorative bonnets and dresses. An enjoyable and fulfilling day out is on the cards when Gloucestershire primary schools book a visit at the Waterways museum. We'll see you there!
The education team of the Trust has two main learning programmes: ‘Explorers’ and ‘STEM’. ‘Explorers’ is aimed at key stage 2 and provides free, curriculum linked learning resources for teachers and offers a range of outreach sessions to inspire children about our waterways. ‘Canal & River Trust – STEM’ has been developed with support from Rolls-Royce and is targeted at key stage 3. It aims to showcase the STEM learning opportunities along our waterways, and offers free outreach sessions to secondary schools cross England and Wales. Both programmes are delivered with the support of our fantastic education volunteers, who help bring the stories of our waterways to life.
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