Bishop visits South Shields school to find out more about classes held at museum

A South Tyneside tourist attraction was transformed into a classroom for pupils as part of a pilot project.

Hadrian Primary School and Arbeia Roman Fort joined forces to see if the national curriculum could be delivered in a museum environment.

For one term, a year five class from the school in Fort Street, had their lessons at the fort.

The pilot was also carried out in Liverpool and Swansea with a report ‘My Primary School as a Museum’ compiled by Kings College, London. It found the resources of a museum have the ability to enhance and enrich the learning experience.

Bishop of Durham Paul Butler, who read the report at the House of Lords, paid a visit to Hadrian Primary to find out more of the impact the project had on teaching and learning. He was also taken on a tour of Arbeia Roman Fort led by pupils.

Year five teacher, Stephanie Christie, said: “‘My Primary School is at the Museum’ has been a fantastic opportunity for Hadrian Primary and Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum to reconnect and for the children and teaching staff to regain a sense of ownership and identity with what is after all their own heritage.”

The project was designed to explore the idea of co-location. The findings are pertinent to a debate about how schools can nurture creative, flexible and confident thinkers at the same time as ensuring children are ready for tests and exams.

Scott Brown, Headteacher said: “The project has highlighted this innovative way of working benefits not only children, teachers and museum educators, but also parents, and potentially, the wider community.”