Transforming science learning through collaboration with museums RP315

Explore how to develop science learning in your school or college through working with museums.


Join us for six sessions over the academic year to explore how you can develop science learning through working with museums. The different sessions are explained below.


SESSION 1 - Why come to the museum?

You will

  • explore the current level of museum use and barriers to museum use
  • improve the confidence of staff in delivering the science curriculum
  • explore what the museum has to offer
  • cover an introduction to ideas that will be explored further in subsequent sessions eg enquiry based learning

Outcomes for session 1

You will be able to:

  • understand the aims and intended outcomes of the project
  • have an improved knowledge of museums in general and the Great North Museum: Hancock in particular
  • develop an understanding of the role of questioning in using real objects to develop working scientifically
  • create a set of principles for transforming science through partnership with museums
  • use the GROW model to audit and plan for change in transforming science through working with museums
  • investigate how museum visits can develop scientific habits of mind
  • plan for school based activities

SESSION 2 - Putting it together and planning your first visit

You will:

  • think about how the school currently teaches science and what models of engaging with the museum may work best
  • try out an activity based on a real life object eg fossil
  • identify the focus of the project and how the museum will for into this
  • identify ways to best structure the enquiry, visit, and classroom activities to tie it all to the real world

Outcomes for session 2

You will be able to:

  • reflect on and share practice from the school based activities and reflection
  • develop understanding of school and museum perspectives on transforming learning through working with museums.  Tom Jones – West Jesmond Primary School
  • plan for linking a museum visit with classroom activity and science enquiry activities

SESSION 3 - Reflecting on the visit and its place in wider learning

You will:

  • decide on a a personal project
  • conduct a class visit to the museum
  • identify successes and challenges of the visit
  • refine the project ideas
  • identify ways to bring the real world into the classroom

Outcomes for session 3

You will be able to:

  • reflect on and share practice from the museum visit and school based activity
  • work with experts to develop approaches to using field notebooks, and archive material in working scientifically
  • plan in school activities to develop children’s ability and mastery of using field notebooks and ‘real’ sources in working scientifically
  • plan linked museum visit for children to apply and further develop scientific habits of mind in the light of this session

SESSION 4 - Big questions and citizen science

You will:

  • support another class in planning a visit
  • try out some classroom activities
  • learn how to make science more relevant
  • identify real life projects to get involved in

Outcomes for session 4

You will be able to:

  • reflect on and share practice from the museum visit and school based activity
  • develop understanding of how to bring together the classroom, museum and ‘real’ world through a mini-project
  • develop understanding of how to use local solutions to ‘Big Questions’ to use Citizen Science to transform learning in working scientifically
  • plan for setting up in school ‘Big Questions’ and engage with local and national Citizen Science activities with children in the classroom and outdoors
  • develop a curriculum map for using Big Questions and Citizen Science across the primary years

SESSION 5 - Developing for the future

You will be able to:

  • plan an enquiry based on the 'big questions'
  • plan a programme of science which build on skills and knowledge
  • plan ways to embed engagement with the museums into that

Outcomes for session 5

You will be able to:

  • reflect on and share practice from the museum visit and school based activity
  • develop science leader skills on embedding and sustaining change
  • map approaches to learning and using museums against the national curriculum for science working scientifically

 SESSION 6 - Pulling it together!

You will:

  • discuss project with colleagues to gather their views
  • produce a two-year programme with a skills map
  • reflect on the project - how have the barriers been overcome etc
  • write it up

Outcomes for session 6

You will be able to:

  • reflect on and share practice from museum visit and school based activity
  • share visions for the future – local headteacher
  • reflect on and analyse project outcomes, and to consider lessons for the future
  • develop an understanding of mapping your North to transform learning in science
  • develop an action plan for sustainable use of museums and other venues bespoke to your own school to transform learning in science
  • complete project case studies


Each session has set outcomes which you can read in the summary session information above.

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