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‘Creating Culture’ with Hampshire Museums and Children

by James on March 27th, 2012

Next week sees a sharing of images and artwork at the Forest Arts Centre in New Milton, from the Creating Culture project, set up by Laura Bullivant of the St Barbe Museum, with her Hampshire Museums and Arts Service colleagues.

Laura and I have worked together many times before in her previous incarnation as Learning and Outreach Officer for the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum.

This project was created by adapting a model that Laura and I developed at Salisbury Museum, where we worked on a series of projects together, using creative approaches to learning with family groups, in the rural areas surrounding Salisbury.

Creating Culture has been about working with schools as opposed to families, but has used a similarly child-led approach, in that sessions were devised and structured to give the children involved as much ownership as possible.

The children had free choice over what they chose to record and talk about on their museum visits, and we used our observations of them to choose objects from the museum handling collections, and a range of materials, to provide for them back at school when Laura, myself and volunteers paid a return visit. `

We worked with four schools and two museums – St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery in Lymington, and The Redhouse Museum in Christchurch. Children were from Infant, Junior and Primary Schools, ranging from Reception to Year 5/6. Each group of children visited one museum and had one return visit in order to reflect on their experiences, and to develop their ideas and interests further, through discussion, handling and making.

Its a new approach for the two Museums, and one that Laura is keen to embed in her work with schools at St Barbe, and it has been a wonderful project to work on, seeing the children exploring, sharing, recording, discussing, remembering and interpreting their experiences individually and as a group, with energy, enthusiasm and a great deal of creative integrity.

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