Sheffield Museums is the independent charity that operates six of the city’s leading museums and heritage sites and cares for Sheffield’s collections of art, human and industrial history and natural science. We look after Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, Graves Gallery, Kelham Island Museum, Millennium Gallery, Shepherd Wheel and Weston Park Museum. It is our ambition that all Sheffield’s school age children and young people feel ownership of and connection to their museum collections through inclusive, inspiring and engaging learning activities and resources. We work with our communities to tell the remarkable story of Sheffield and its people, and celebrate its reputation for excellence in art, craft, making and innovation.
Prior to Covid 90% of Sheffield Schools had visited a Sheffield Museums site. We also welcomed school visits from across the region as well as further afield. Our learning sessions span topics as diverse as fossils and Anglo-Saxon life to metalwork design and contemporary art through to the Second World War and Florence Nightingale. As well as teaching practical creative skills, including drawing, printing and clay work, our sessions encourage participants to question and find inspiration in the world around them.
We used the pause in school visits as an opportunity to review our offer for schools and explore what we could do differently going forward. We have fully revised our most popular Ancient Egyptian workshops to make them more inclusive and representational. They are now more closely aligned to the National Curriculum and take an enquiry-based approach. Initial feedback from teachers has been very positive. We are committed to a continual review of all our offer to ensure that it remains inclusive and relevant.
Our workshops and activities take place in the galleries and learning spaces. All our sessions for younger visitors are developed with families in mind – learning and creativity are collaborative activities, and the most memorable and rewarding experiences are the ones we share together.