Collections Learning Sessions - Schools Together
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Collections Learning Sessions

Local primary schools can book any of six different free activity-based sessions linked to the National Curriculum and taught in one of our three museums. Topics range from Fossils to Ancient Egyptians.  Three of these sessions are also available as live video lessons for schools that cannot travel to Eton.

In addition to the educator-led sessions, from November to March local schools can attend sessions developed and run by Year 12 Eton students as part of the Eton College Community Engagement programme.

The Collections also offer free CPD for primary school teachers. Training focuses on the use of cross-curricular resources to deepen engagement in the curriculum. The next training day being planned will be a session on botany, exploring and art, based on an upcoming exhibition on Sir Joseph Banks.

Aims

The Collections Learning Sessions bring Eton’s museums and collections to life for local children. In doing so, the Education Officer can support teachers to engage their class with the curriculum in a dynamic and interactive setting.

Due to the relatively small size of the museums, the artefacts, art and specimens are at a child friendly height and within a close distance. It is hoped that these factors help to keep young children engaged and not overwhelmed as they may feel in larger museums. 

For the Etonians who participate in the Collections Learning Sessions, this is a chance to develop skills in teaching, lesson planning and team work.

Background

Before Covid forced the closure of the museums in March 2020, Collections ran over 70 sessions and had instructional contact with over 2000 students during the 19-20 academic year. Our live video lessons launched in January 2021 and from then through June 2021 we led 14 virtual sessions to a total of 27 classes.

Resources

The Collections Learning Sessions are held in one of the three onsite museums:

Museum of Eton Life - displays about the history of life at the school since its foundation in the 15th century.  

Natural History Museum - exhibits to help explore and understand more about the natural world.  

Museum of Antiquities - showcasing objects from the ancient world and discover more about life in Ancient Egypt. 

The Collections Education Officer creates and leads these sessions.

The Collections team have created online resources for teachers and parents which can be found here COLLECTIONS DIGITAL LEARNING RESOURCES.

Impact

“ A very enjoyable and informative session. Children came away saying it was the best trip ever!”

Teacher evaluation of on-site session

“I think the video session was very informative and well structured. The children really enjoyed the session and we had some lovely feedback from parents too. Thank you for your hard work in producing it for us.” Teacher evaluation of video session

As well as positive feedback from the classes participating, the Collections Learning Sessions have created a space for the Collections team to scrutinise Eton’s resources to see how they can bring the national curriculum to life through engagement in history.

Pupil Involvement

Year 12 Etonians.

Frequency

Weekly sessions run throughout the year.