Thursday, 19 October 2017

Funky headgear, family fun and trainee primary school teachers!

In the last few weeks we have been lucky enough to have two sets of trainee primary school teachers placed with us in the education department from Oxford Brookes.  In their third year of doing a BA Hons in Primary Education, the students have been participating in a module called 'Learning Beyond the Classroom'.  As the Primary School Education Officer I mentor them during their placement and model the learning opportunties available for pupils within a museum context.

This placement happens every year and this time I decided to get both sets of students involved in planning family activities.  Many families visit the Pitt Rivers as they want to support learning which is happening at school and as they want a stimulating learning experience.  This experience was certainly given to families at the Amazing Armour Pitt stop on 7th October! James and Rachael created a fabulous trail where families had to track down armour made from amazing materials (crocodile skin, coconut-tree fibre, fish scales, string and much more!).  Participants raved about the trail including a special needs teacher and a primary school teacher all the way from California! Families were also given the chance to try on armour as well as make their own version of a puffer fish helmet.

One person wearing a paper puffer fish helmet an done person wearing a replica puffer fish helemt
Planning a family activity on Amazing Armour! © Pitt Rivers Museum

One person wearing a paper puffer fish helmet and one person wearing a replica puffer fish helmet
Puffer fish chatting © Pitt Rivers Museum

The second set of students looked at how they could adapt the armour trail designed for a family audience to suit the needs of a primary school audience.   They could draw on their knowledge of the primary curriculum to help create a stimulating self-guided trail. They also worked alongside the new Families and Communities Education Officer, Beth McDougall, to plan family activities for the October half-term on Bats, Cats, Witches and Charms.  The students applied their knowledge and understanding of how learning occurs to craft suitable activities.


Two peole sit at a table planning a trail
Desiging an Armour and Defence Trail © Pitt Rivers Museum

During their placement students also observed a wide range of sesions which are delivered by the education team: a bespoke KS1 Materials session themed round the 'Three Little Pigs', an Arts Award session for Iffley Academy and an extended talk for a visiting Higher Education group. They seemed to enjoy the diversity of sessions and also got stuck in with delivery to primary school kids (teachers will be teachers!)

It is great to work in partnership with Oxford Brookes to help deliver their BA in Primary Education and we look forward to getting another excellent cohort of students next year!  In January we will be showcasing how pupils learn from objects to PGCE students from Oxford Brookes.  I'll keep you posted!

Becca McVean
Education Officer (Primary)

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