Press Releases

Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales Wins Prestigious Award

Big Pit National Coal Museum and the National Roman Legion Museum have both been awarded prestigious British Educational Communications Agency (BECTA) ICT in Practice awards for collaboration between organisations.

Produced through a professional development network, part-funded by the General Teaching Council for Wales, the web-based resources, already a great success at the south east Wales museums, will now be made available to users throughout the UK.

The museums, which are both part of the Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales family, worked in collaboration on both projects with the local authority in Newport, and were the only winners from Wales in this year's awards.

Big Pit were awarded the prize for the web resource, Children of the Revolution, ,an historical investigation into working life in nineteenth century Blaenafon, allowing children to explore what life was like in early industrial Wales using video, virtual reality, modelling exercises and interactive mapping. Welcoming the award, Keeper and Mine Manager, Peter Walker, said:

“We are delighted that our education provision and the work undertaken with Newport County Borough Council has been recognised with this prestigious award. We were awarded a Sandford Award for Heritage Education in November, and the BECTA award reinforces the excellent work we undertake within the Education sector.

“Last year was a tremendous time for us at Big Pit. Almost 157,000 people visited us during 2005, and after winning the Gulbenkian Prize for best UK Museum, we've continued to go from strength to strength,” he added.

The National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon, was successful with its interactive website, Caerleon Challenge, which allows children to explore what life was like in Roman Caerleon. Museum Manager, Bethan Lewis, is delighted with the success:

“Caerleon Challenge has been an extremely popular resource, and we are delighted to have been recognised as part of the BECTA Awards. Being able to offer a high quality interactive web resource is vitally important. Our collaboration with Newport and CADW has enabled us to create a fantastic resource for pupils and teachers alike.”

Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Culture, Welsh Language and Sport, Alun Pugh, welcomed Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales' success:

“A comprehensive education programme is an essential part of what a museum is able to offer to help visitors make the most of their experience and this award is further recognition of the role that the museum has to play in educating people about an important part of our nation's history."

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales is the new name for the National Museums & Galleries of Wales, which operates seven national museums across Wales. These are National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans: National History Museum, National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon, Big Pit: National Coal Museum, Blaenafon, National Wool Museum, Dre-fach Felindre, National Slate Museum, Llanberis and the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea.

Entry to all the museums is free, thanks to the support of the Welsh Assembly Government.

Notes to Editors

Children of the Revolution

This resource enhances children's historical knowledge and understanding, and develops their skills and confidence in ICT & Literacy. The resource includes:

  1. A wealth of primary source material which is available to schools for the first time
  2. Resource bank including images and supplementary information
  3. Worksheets and activities suitable for both printing and online study
  4. A variety of multi-media experiences to enhance learning, including: Virtual tour of a mid 19th Century ironworker's home
    Interactive map
    An opportunity to accompany an Inspector investigating the working conditions of children underground
    A number of specially prepared videos... and much more!!

PLUS: 'Iron Town - Blaenafon and its part in the Industrial Revolution' - a video which shows the importance of Blaenafon in the industrialisation of the whole world!

Caerleon Challenge

This is an exiting multimedia resource for schools. The resource focuses on the Fortress Baths at Caerleon and is aimed at Year 3 children who study the Romans as part of their history curriculum. The resource is in the form of a structured Microsoft PowerPoint presentation that allows the children to navigate through the tasks. The presentation also links to an exclusive multimedia resource bank provided by Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and CADW. The resource includes drawings, photos, video, virtual reality scenes and interactive drag and drop activities.

As well as the resource bank, each task has links to web sites and references to history related books that will help the children to complete the tasks. The resource supports a visit to Roman Caerleon and Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales also have a number of loan boxes available to schools that contain replicas of items that have been found at the Fortress Baths.

For more information, contact:

Gwenllïan Carr, Head of Press and Public Relations, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales - 029 2057 3175 / 07974 205 849

Victoria Le Poidevin – National Roman Legion Museum – 01633 423 134

Kathryn Stowers – Big Pit National Coal Museum – 01495 790 311