Skip to main content

Our Approach

#393 If Objects Could Speak (Pop Up Museum) – Clifford Road with The Hold, Museums Service and Trinity College

Helen Wilson

What did we do?

The children worked with curators and exhibition designers to create a pop up museum in school. The children worked in groups, with defined individual roles. They found and chose an object/ letter/ document/ photo linked to our Air Raid Shelter museum, researched its ‘story’ and presented this. They interviewed museum and exhibition professionals to find out what being a museum curator means, including what it would mean to them as individuals. They also interviewed an exhibitions specialist to find out how to create an exhibition. With this gathered knowledge the children designed exhibition designs for banners – these will be professionally produced.

The museum went live for the extended school community, and later when the banners are ready, visitors (e.g., other school visits to the air raid shelter). The children evaluated their experiences from start to finish, using criteria developed by the school (see below). They produce portfolios of their work, which formed the basis of an Arts Award application for each child. Every child was subsequently awarded an Arts Award at Explore level.

58 year 3 pupils took part with over 200 adult visitors and over 300 children visitors

Summary of impact

The children worked collaboratively with each other, turn taking, listening actively and responding appropriately. Working like this helped shy children find their voice. 89% of all the children felt included and actively involved when we surveyed the children. The P4C sessions that we planned in around corporal punishment also gave the children a chance to develop their oracy and emotional literacy. Working to the deadline of a museum opening helped self regulation. Throughout the project we asked ‘How does this make you feel?’ and we received some very insightful and empathetic responses to the punishment book extracts.

We learnt the value of looking back to draw comparisons with today. Moderation of the Arts Award gave one of our Arts Advisers a boost as the feedback was very positive with 100% success. We are already planning our next Arts Award Project.

Are there parts of the project you will continue to develop and deliver?

To have the banners made; these to be displayed in our heritage hub. The ‘if an object could speak’ approach works very well, as does asking the children ‘how does this make you feel?’.

See how others have implemented this Big Idea

Bringing stories to life with Music and Dance - The Children's Triangle Nursery and Dance East

The Sensory Trolley - Emotional literacy at Happy Tots with Jacqueline Davies

A Moment in Time - Highfield Nursery and Art Eats Events with ceramicist Ange Lester

Alma's Voice - Highfield Nursery with Rock Paper Scissors and Toddle Talk

‘Through the rhythm of the music we tell our story’ - Little Learners Nursery

Tell Your Story at Northgate High School with Suffolk Archives, Art Eat and more

Let your Hands do the Talking - Rainbow Bright Nursery with Rock Paper Scissors and Toddle Talk

"A Meal with Friends" - diversity and confidence at Stoke High School with Alice Andrea Ewing

Expressing emotion through dance - The Willows Primary and DanceEast

Engagement and Film-making at Westbridge Academy with Slide Productions

Music Adventures at Wigwams Nursery with Arts La O'Lam and DanceEast

Key Stage 1 Storytelling - Handford Hall with Wonderful Beast theatre company

Big Feelings - Springfield Infant School with Cohere Arts

We belong together - The Nature Den Nursery with Arts La O'Lam

Bringing History to life - Sidegate Primary with Ipswich Museum

EYFS Emotional Literacy Through Outdoor Art - Morland Primary and Arts Eat with the Nest Project

Bringing the past to life – Clifford Road Primary with Lisa Temple Cox