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How Mansfield’s museum and theatre are welcoming back schoolchildren

Posted onPosted on 25th Nov

Mansfield Museum and the town’s Palace Theatre are welcoming back schoolchildren with a programme of educational experiences.

Supporting schools with learning opportunities has been an important aspect of Mansfield District Council’s Cultural Services team over the years.

Since September they have given 34 workshops to a total of 1,077 pupils in schools, online or at the museum and theatre.

The team has developed a comprehensive set of in-person and online experiences to support learning, from caring for the environment, to what life was like for ancient Egyptians, Romans, Greeks and Vikings.

Sian Booth, the council’s Cultural Services manager, said: “There’s nothing we love more than welcoming children to our theatre and museum, especially after the pandemic disrupted the delivery of our educational service.

“Seeing children come to life, and creating those jaw-dropping, lightbulb, ‘wow’ moments is what it’s all about We are so pleased to be back in a position to see them in person.

“School trips and educational visits are a powerful tool that can be used to enhance the development of personal, social and emotional skills of all learners.

“Our flexible programme of workshops, for Foundation Level up to Year 6, can be delivered virtually, pre-recorded or live in the classroom.

“They are suitable for all children, including those with English as a second language, or those with additional needs or disabilities, through unique, kinaesthetic learning opportunities.

“We’ve come up with robust and Covid-secure plans so that children can visit us, or we can go into schools. Our Museum on Tour experience, for instance, takes artefacts into schools.

“And we continue to deliver Mansfield Palace Youth Theatre with weekly classes for 5-21year-olds, with each group performing in an annual production.”

Other activities for children and young people, supported by the Cultural Services team, include a children-in-care programme, in partnership with Inspire Youth Arts and Captivate.

The workshops cost from £60 for two hours or £120 for a full day and can be delivered in school, online or at the museum and theatre. Some schools have enjoyed a shared package across both venues. The theatre is also encouraging schools to set up weekly after-school sessions for drama or dance.

Another scheme, START (Secondary Transition and Resilience Training), is run in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, and aims to help Year 6 pupils prepare for their transition to secondary school.

Schools interested in the workshops can go to https://www.mansfield.gov.uk/museum/ or contact Christopher Neil, education manager, at cneil@mansfield.gov.uk or 01623 412921, or Rachael Boaler, education officer, at rboaler@mansfield.gov.uk or 01623 463088.