Amgueddfa Blog: Learning

We have been working hard over the last few years to make our museums more welcoming for visitors with visual impairments, but most of our efforts to date have been aimed at adults. That is until a few weeks ago, when we held our first ever fun day for families supporting a loved one with a visual impairment. The dinosaur-themed event, organised in association with the Children and Young People Services team at Guide Dogs Cymru, proved a roaring success.

Photograph showing families listening to a story about a baby dinosaur

Everyone listening to the noisy dinosaur story.

We began the day with our popular Sounds of the Dinosaurs workshop. This gave everyone a chance to hold some real dinosaur fossils and get a basic introduction to the topic. Once the scene was set, everyone took part in our noisy dinosaur story, Albie the Adventurer. Using recorders, shakers and trumpets, the children had lots of fun recreating the sounds of the prehistoric forest.

Photograph showing a museum staff member leading a sensory tour of the dinosaur babies exhibition.

Museum staff leading the sensory tour of the Dinosaur Babies exhibition

Once we finished the story (and our ears stopped ringing), we paused for tea and cake before venturing out into the galleries. Heading straight to the Dinosaur Babies exhibition, we were joined by museum staff who gave a special sensory guided tour. As the exhibition is full of touchable dinosaur bones and eggs (both replica and real), it made for the perfect tour. Visitors even got to compare an Apatosaurus leg bone with a cow's, and listen to the scary roars of the animatronic dinosaur!   

Photograph of children and museum staff playing in the dinosaur dig pit in the dinosaur babies exhibition

Everyone loved the dig pit!

After the tour, we visited the activity area at the back of the exhibition. There, the children made dinosaur artworks, completed a jigsaw and even dressed up as a T. rex! Finally, everyone got the chance to become a palaeontologist and explore the dig pit. One young visitor even proclaimed, "I wish we could all live in the museum so we could play every day!"

We're still learning about events like this, but thanks to everyone at Guide Dogs Cymru, the day ran very smoothly. We're hoping to do more family days in the future, so if anyone has any ideas, or would like to take part, please get in touch! If you’re unfamiliar with our work to make our museums more accessible, find more information on the blog. There are posts on staff training, work with our youth forum, and of course our friends Arnie and Uri, the blogging guide dogs.


The programme of learning activities for Dinosaur Babies is generously supported by Western Power Distribution.

 

Hello Bulb Buddies,

There isn't long to go until planting day on 20th October! Are you ready? Here are some helpful resources to prepare you for planting your bulbs and for looking after them over the coming months! These are also on the Spring Bulbs for Schools website: https://museum.wales/spring-bulbs/

These resources will help you on planting day:

  • A Letter from Professor Plant (introduction to the project)
  • Adopt your Bulb (an overview of the care your Bulbs will need)
  • Planting your Bulbs (guidelines for ensuring a fair experiment)

And these activities are fun to complete:

  • Bulb Adoption Certificate
  • Make Bulb Labels

It's important that you read these as they contain important information! For example, do you know how deep you need to plant your bulbs? Or how to label your pot so that you know where the Daffodil and Crocus are planted?

Remember to take photos of your planting day to enter the Planting Day Photo Competition!

Keep an eye on Professor Plant's Twitter page to see photos from other schools: https://twitter.com/professor_plant

Best of luck Bulb Buddies! Let us know how you get on!

Professor Plant & Baby Bulb

Hi, it’s me Mike, volunteer curator with The Wallich working on a new exhibition called ‘Who Decides: Making Connections with Contemporary Art’. The old exhibition that was in the gallery has come down, it’s totally empty now.

 

The last exhibition has all been taken out and the gallery is eerily empty

So we are going to start this new exhibition; with new art, photos and films that you won’t have seen before. You can see some of my favourite pieces. I really hope you enjoy this new exhibition.

We've been busy choosing work for the new exhibition

 ‘Who Decides: Making Connections with Contemporary Art’ opens on October 26th 2017. More information here and here

A wonderful new book has been created by  Picture to Share.  This dementia-friendly book is the first of this type that has been produced bilingually in both Welsh and English. 


Pictures to Share teamed up with Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, The National Library of Wales, Alzheimers Society, and the Welsh Poet Laureate to produce Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, a beautifully illustrated book to help carers communicate with people living with dementia.  Pictures to Share have produced many books on this theme but this is the first to focus upon the Welsh language, in order to help people living with dementia whose first language is Welsh.

This was an opportunity to highlight the importance of the work we do to help people living with dementia as well as highlight our collections and showcase our commercial Picture Library.  The images used within the book, Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, portray many things which people in Wales can relate to, prompting discussion.

Dementia is a subject which many of our staff are passionate about, with many of the staff undertaking training to become a Dementia Friend in order to help enhance the visitor experience of people living with dementia.

After communicating with the editor Michelle Forster, we supplied the images and license to use them in order to comply with copyrights laws.  We have to issue a license to anyone who wishes to use our images. Pictures to Share invited us to Cardiff Library for their book launch in November 2016 to see the completed book, which was attended by staff from our Image Licensing, Photography and Translation departments.  We were all very impressed with the end product which is now available at our shop at National Museum Cardiff and our on-line shop.

If you would like to use our images within a publication, please contact us at Image Licensing.
You can also purchase images for your home from our on-line shop.


Thank you to Cardiff Council for permission to use images from the book launch.

For the first time, this year we’ve taken part in  several workshops at the National Museum in Cardiff. Two discrete groups of Year 7 pupils with additional learning needs from our two sites have enjoyed and benefited from the wealth of resources at hand at the museum as well as the expertise of the workshop leaders.

Initially, I downloaded the resources available on the website that can be used for self-led visits to all of the National Museum of Wales sites. Some of these we’ve used already, the Maths package for use at Big Pit was really good.

The process of booking the workshops was simple, via email with confirmation of dates sent immediately. To give the children an introduction to the museum in Cardiff, we used the self-led Natural History booklet for our first visit. This encouraged them to explore the museum for themselves and discover the exhibits on show whilst fact-finding and recording information. Their reaction when entering the museum for the first-time was priceless - ”Wow, awesome!!”.

The first workshop we took part in was a stand-alone Art workshop led by Catrin. Following a short tour around the artwork on display, the children were then supported in creating their own exhibits using materials supplied by the museum. At the end, the children chose where to place their creations in the gallery.

Over the next couple of months, we then took part in a series of Science workshops led by Grace Todd: Discover!, Dinosaur Detectives, Skulls, Teeth & Bones and Minibeasts. These workshops really are ‘hands-on’, and give learners the opportunity to see, hold and examine items for themselves – ordinarily out of bounds.

So many areas of learning were covered during these workshops. For example, the Skulls, Teeth & Bones workshop enabled the pupils to develop their knowledge and understanding of the body and the role and function of the bones. Also, how different animals are adapted to the habitat in which they live and the food upon which they feed. The Minibeasts workshop also tied in with learning undertaken in school on adaptation. We looked closely at camouflage and also at classification of minibeasts.

It was great being able to access these workshops through the medium of Welsh and also at a level suitable for the age and ability of these young learners. They also developed their communication skills through the constant discussion and encouragement to contribute.

The final workshop enabled the pupils to have the freedom to search through hundreds of items - natural and man-made artifacts – in order to choose one each for a class exhibition.  The pupils enjoyed measuring, weighing, drawing and describing these and then verbally present and promote their chosen item in front of the whole group.

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from these workshops combined with the overall experience of visiting the capital city. So, a big thank you. We’ll be back! 😊


Education Booking Information