Lifelong Learning Team Training Day in York
This training day was set up using grant money from HLF. It was initially to give the learning team an opportunity to;
- Spend some time together as a team, which asyet had never happened. Some members of the team work with children and schoolswhile others work with adult groups.
- Understand how other museums and learningcentres operate and engage with different audiences.
- To spend time with Christine McDonnell ourmuseum mentor.
The day started with a visit to DIG, the archaeological activity centre of York Archaeological Trust (YAT). It was explained how they work with visiting school parties, the virtual offer and different aspects of activities and displays within DIG.
Over coffee, provided by YAT, we had a very useful discussion with Fran Bennett, the learning and interpretation manager at YAT. She explained how they continue to refresh and change the activities offered and continue to work with students and local teachers to raise awareness of what’s on offer. The willingness of the YAT team to help us whenever we need help was greatly appreciated by the group.
Our working lunch with Christine gave each member of the team chance to explain their role in the team and the offers we have worked on over the last 3 years. We also discussed possible ways of working with YAT in the future, particularly on the Romans. We discussed updating the museum’s offer and activities for children through using technology and audio. Setting up community created display and cases and how YAT work with community groups was also very interesting. Some members of the group said they would like to follow this up back at Malton.
After lunch we visited Yorvik, beginning with the display gallery. Then the trip on the train around the Viking “town” and finally the finds display. It was a very interesting and enlightening chance to visit the new Yorvik centre following the update after the floods 18 months ago. It was explained how they had carried out the emergency evacuation of the display and objects and the processes in order to get the museum up and running in as short a time as possible.
The group then left YAT and met together for a feedback session and discussions about the day, over coffee. We wanted to note what we learnt/enjoyed and our thoughts for the future of the group and the museum in general.
For me, the most important outcome was to see this group of 7 very different volunteers, who had never met up as a group before, all working together as a team. The discussions were very much how to secure the future long term for the museum.
Suggestions were such as:
- Exchanges of ideas and knowledge between the different groups of volunteers
- Volunteers to meet up in a relaxed setting e.g.coffee mornings which could be run once a month on closed days of the museum togive people opportunity to socialise with other volunteers. To be more involvedwill make volunteers feel valued and encourage more volunteers to join.
- The group realised the vital role played bythe outreach work in the museum world and making people think in a more modern approach to interpretation of history and the past.
- The importance of the role of the volunteerin the running of the museum needs to be understood by the governing body. There needs to be more opportunities for volunteers to be involved and kept upto date with what is happening. Also to give volunteers chance to air their thoughts and suggestions. To get more involved means we would keep the newerrecruits and the long standing volunteers.
- There needs to be a sense of ownership of themuseum by the local community. We need to inspire the people of Malton toinvolved in the museum and secure its future.
- They are happy to help work on the audiences section of Accreditation next year.
- How can we help to fill the gaps on what wedo at present?
Thoughts from different sections of the team
We could run CPD sessions for teachers, particularly on teaching Prehistory.
Keep up with marketing our resources and new offers to schools.
Make special offers to local schools.
Run events at the museum to show teachers what we can offer and to Launch new products.
Activities within the new exhibition, using audio to give information.
Community cases, objects and info boards within cases. Try to offer more in the exhibition space for people with sight problems.