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Schools Past Projects Blog

May 2018

Schools' Project Blog May 2018

Today we have a special guest contributor; Year 4 teacher Laura at Morningside Primary School tells us what it’s like to have the Geffrye visit your school.

As part of our Pop Culture topic, Year 4 had been learning about ways life has changed since 1948. With their expertise and extensive range of artefacts, we asked the Geffrye Museum for help delivering an object handling session. We were keen to engage the children in the topic using artefacts but also to teach them key historian skills including questioning, analysis and learning from sources.

The children were instantly curious about the objects presented to them and had an interesting conversation trying to work out what a VHS tape was for! They loved the way they were able to handle the objects such as phones and radios and they tried to work out how each object was used. Working in teams, they discussed and debated what that could learn from each item.

To round off the session we became curators and as a class we decided which objects we would choose for our own Pop Culture exhibition. Becky, the facilitator for the session, revealed the stories behind each item with help from the children giving them even more information on which to base their ideas.

The children were so intrigued by the objects their enjoyment of the session was plain to see. It peaked their interest in history and opened their eyes to how much can be learned by seemingly everyday objects. It was clearly a memorable experience as the children were able to talk about what they had learned in the session throughout the rest of topic. I am sure they would all recommend it to any budding historians! 


Columbia Primary School: Takeover Day

November - December 2017

Columbia Primary School Takeover Day

For the second year running we have worked with two year five classes from Columbia Primary School in Tower Hamlets on a Kids in Museums Takeover Day project to support their topic work on machines.

As part of the project pupils:

· Visited the museum to explore life in Victorian times and how machines have changed over time

· Explored different machines through a handling session delivered back in the classroom

· Composed non-chronological reports on a chosen machine found in the home

· Led a Takeover Day which included welcoming people to the museum, setting a machines spotting challenge, leading objects talks, object handing and a craft activity for general visitors to the museum

· Worked to a design brief to make a clock inspired by the Geffrye’s collection with a moving mechanism 


Geffrye SEND Forum

20 October 2017

Geffrye SEND Forum

As part of our transformational re-development project, Unlocking the Geffrye, the museum is dedicated to consulting with local audiences and held a SEND forum for primary aged pupils to support the planning and interpretation of the new gallery spaces. The Forum provided an opportunity for pupils from different Hackney schools to come together and feedback their ideas on specific elements of the redevelopment project. 

As part of the forum pupils:

· Explored the museum to find out about the collection

· Went behind the scenes into the temporary collections store

· Provided feedback on areas of new gallery planning including interactives and interpretive displays

· Responded creatively to the themes discussed though a hands-on craft activity

· Developed communication skills through team work and discussion based activities

Pupils’ comments:

I liked today as it was fun. The best bit was making bed bugs

‘I got to see a beautiful light and a chess board and I got to learn something and I got to play, and I didn’t like it I loved it best day of the week  

Teachers’ comments:

It was refreshing to see children who tend to work in small groups on a modified curriculum work as part of whole group and make such valuable contributions


William Tyndale Primary School: Takeover Day (Arts Award)

June 2017

William Tyndale Primary School Takeover Day (Arts Award)

Thirty pupils across two year four classes took part in planning and leading a Takeover Day at the museum to develop their enterprise skills. During their research visit to the museum, pupils met members of staff from the museum’s Front of House, Marketing and Learning teams, created posters, and decided on the activities they would be leading on their Takeover Day. Each pupil achieved an Arts Award Discover as part of the Takeover project.  

As part of the Takeover Day pupils:

  • Took on the role of Front of House welcome assistances
  • Answered questions from visitors
  • Completed room inventories for the curatorial team
  • Ran object handling and Quiz Desk craft activities for general visitors
  • Took pictures of leaning activities and composed marketing tweets
  • Gathered feedback from visitors


Pupils’ comments:

I loved it because now it feels like I want to work here when I’m older

It was SO much fun. I enjoyed all of it and it kind of boosted my confidence! I would love to do this again


William Patten Primary School: Science Week

June 2017

Period gardens at the Geffrye

To support their Science Week back at school, eight classes from William Patten Primary School in Hackney visited the Geffrye for bespoke sessions to explore sustainability and the environment using the museum’s periods rooms, handing collection and period gardens as inspiration.

As part of the sessions pupils:

  • Explored the C20th period rooms to see how heating and lighting has evolved
  • Identified renewable and non-renewable sources of power in the home
  • Handled a range of objects from the handling collection
  • Explored the period gardens considering our impact on plants and wildlife


Hackney Heritage Learning Network: Local History Project

May 2017

Hackney Heritage Learning Network: Local History Project

To celebrate Local and Community History Month we teamed up with Hackney Museum, Sutton House and St Augustine’s Tower to offer three year five classes from Hackney primary schools the opportunity to explore all four historic / museum sites as part of a local history project.

Over the course of the month pupils:

  • Visited the four sites to see how Hackney’s built environment has changed
  • Completed their own log books to record their findings
  • Responded creatively to each site back in the classroom during their art lessons 


William Tyndale Primary School: Decades Project

May 2017

William Tyndale Primary School: Decades Project

In May we ran a series of bespoke sessions for eight classes across four different year groups from William Tyndale Primary School in Islington as part of the school’s centenary celebrations. Each class was given a different decade of the school’s history to explore and visited the museum to discover what home life was like at that time.

Using the C20th period rooms and extensive handling collection pupils were able to imagine what life might have been like at that time and compare how things are different from today.

Each pupil created a piece of printed artwork inspired by the colours and patterns of their decade, using the museum’s period rooms as inspiration.


Spanish Sessions for KS1 and KS2: Alberto el Ratón

March 2017

Spanish Sessions for KS1 and KS2

Back in 2014 we started working closely with Spanish consultants at the Hackney Learning Trust to support the teaching and learning of Spanish in Hackney. The format developed has now been integrated into the museum’s core offer, enabling us to deliver sessions to support the development of Spanish vocabulary through an interactive storytelling session, taking inspiration from the Geffrye’s period rooms and handling collection.

As part of the session pupils:

  • Develop Spanish vocabulary relating to the home and family life
  • Join in with songs and actions through an interactive approach to storytelling
  • Discover what home life was like during the Edwardian period
  • Handle real objects from our Edwardian handling collection
  • Create observational drawings of objects linked to the Spanish vocabulary explored through the story

Teachers’ comments:

‘Very engaging – all the children enjoyed the session and could remember the vocabulary’


Randal Cremer Primary School: EYFS SEND Project

January - February 2017

Randal Cremer Primary School: EYFS SEND Project

During the spring term we ran a five-week creative programme with a small group of Early Years Foundation Stage pupils with additional needs from Randal Cremer Primary School in Hackney. Each week we explored a different theme relating to ‘home’ and took part in different craft activities that combined to create a final collaborative artwork.

Each week pupils:

  • Were introduced to a new theme connected to the ‘home’
  • Explored a range of sensory objects connect to the theme
  • Spotted objects in the period rooms that linked to their theme
  • Responded creatively using different art techniques
  • Developed their confidence of visiting and exploring a museum 
  • Developed their communication skills 


Fire of London Week

10 - 14 October 2016

Fire of London Week

To commemorate 350 years since the great Fire of London we teamed our popular After The Fire session with a ‘hands-on’ animation session, exploring the chronology of this famous historic event. Pupils took part in a range of activities to depend their knowledge of the events of 1666 and to discover what home life was like at that time.

Over the course of a whole day pupils:

  • Explored what middle class houses were like in 1666
  • Handled replica objects that people would have had in their homes
  • Practiced writing with ink and quill, in the style of famous diarist Samuel Pepys
  • Consolidated their chronological understanding of the event through storyboarding
  • Developed their teamwork and digital skills to create an animation


Columbia Primary School: Takeover Day

September - November 2016

Columbia Primary School: Takeover Day

Over the autumn term we worked with two year five classes from Columbia Primary School in Tower Hamlets to support their project work on machines. Over two full day visits to the museum, pupils explored our period rooms and handling collection to see how machines in the home have changed over time and took inspiration from the clocks in the collection to bring to life design ideas as part of their design and technology work.

Back at school pupils researched a machine to support their non-chronological report writing and worked to a brief to create designs for a clock with a pop-up mechanism.

On the Takeover Day they shared what they had been learning about with general visitors to the museum, running a series of object handling talks and a making workshop.