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2020 marks the National Waterfront Museum’s 10 year anniversary of working with the pupils and staff at Ysgol Pen Y Bryn



The National Waterfront Museum prides itself on the work that it does with the local community and schools within Swansea. These collaborations come in many different forms, from our GRAFT community garden to our innovative ‘my primary school is at the Museum’ programme. Our collaboration with Ysgol Pen Y Bryn is our longest running and a source of continual pride for the Museum.


The Museum and the school first came together in 2010 for a project named ‘Behind the Grey Doors’ which aimed to give a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the work that goes on at the Museum. The project gave an insight into everything from how our exhibitions are created to the operation of our Museum shop. Pupils from Pen Y Bryn interviewed staff at the Museum to find out what exactly it takes to run a Museum. The project was hugely enjoyable and beneficial for both the school and the Museum not only for its end product, a wonderful exhibition, but the journey towards it. Teachers and staff both noted the effect that the project had on pupils. Those who may have been tentative in the Museum at first were transformed by the end to feel more comfortable at home amongst the public and the exhibitions. This sense of ownership is something the Museum strives for in all of our community programmes.


The pupils and staff at Pen Y Bryn are a continual source of inspiration for all of us at the Museum. ‘Behind the Grey door’ gave us an insight into their amazing creativity and passion. Everyone at the Museum was keen to continue the work and Ysgol Pen Y Bryn have continued  to amaze us with their creativity. Each project has been more inspiring that the last. Projects have included the creation of books on subjects ranging from Swansea Football club to superheroes. The collaboration with huge organisations such as comic book studios and football’s club illustrates how the enthusiasm of the staff and pupils is infectious. They have also created films that have been voiced by everybody from Joanna Lumley to Michael Sheen. The galas that launch these films hosted at the Odeon in Swansea are a true celebration of all the hard work that goes into these projects, and the big screen occasion a reflection of the amazing talents of all those at Pen Y Bryn. All of the proceeds gained from the sales of books and dvds relating to the projects have benefitted local charities such as Ty Hafan.


Working with the school has helped the Museum to improve the support it provides to individuals with special educational needs. A ‘chill out room’ was created in the  Museum, with staff at Pen-Y-Bryn advising on the project. The room, similar to facilities they have at the school, offers a safe space for anybody who needs to take a moment.



To celebrate staff at the Museum have created an exhibition that celebrates all of the projects of the past ten years and the amazing objects that have created as part of them. Dethlu Deg marks ten years of working with Ysgol Pen Y Bryn and everybody here looks forward to ten more!

William Sims

Senior Learning, Participation & Interpretation Officer

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