On Monday 7th January 2013, Cumbria Coast Learning Network hosted a Museum Discovery Day for trainee teachers. The participants from Cumbria Coast Learning Network were Haig Colliery Mining Museum (the current Chair of the network), The Beacon (who hosted the morning session) Libraries, archives,  Helena Thompson Museum, and Senhouse Roman Museum (who hosted the afternoon session).

There were 30 PCGE Primary students from Cumbria Primary Teacher Training.

The day was designed to demonstrate to the trainee teachers the wealth of activities and resources available through Museums, Libraries and Archives covering diverse and imaginative cross curricular sessions, both bespoke and formally structured.

During the morning session the students were introduced to The Beacon Galleries and loan boxes, then developed session plans with Haig Colliery Mining Museum using real artefacts and resource books, they then travelled to Senhouse Roman Museum where they experienced the museums learning pack on life in the roman army in a multi sensory way, followed by Helena Thompson Museum demonstrating how to link the past through their museum collection to the present through cross curricular activities.

The students had already spent half day sessions in the Archives and Library Services.

Following the discovery day the students will then choose a museum to spend a full days placement with the learning teams, on Thursday 17th January.

Maryann Lancaster, Cumbria Coast Learning Network Co Ordinator said “we have been working with Cumbria Primary Teacher Training for some years now, and find that it is extremely beneficial for the students to experience what’s happening in learning in the cultural heritage sector, it’s a fantastic opportunity for the museums library and archives to showcase their work within the curriculum”

Pamela Telford Chair said “getting into the thought patterns of the next generation of teachers is critical to the survival of learning and development in the cultural heritage sector. We have found that these young teachers leave the sessions with renewed enthusiasm for museums libraries and archives that challenge some common perceptions.

Evaluation results for the day were very positive with comments as follows:-

Day rated by students as follows

Grade 3 (Good)  33%

Grade 4 (Very Good) 37%

Grade 5  (Excellent) 30%

What was most interesting about the day was..…..

” …… learning that museums in the area are willing to lead learning sessions and loan resources”

“Archives and libraries are really useful places to help and support learning outside the classroom.”


To be able to handle artefacts…….it helps to understand their purpose and gives meaning to learning….”

What were your expectations before you came today?

It would be boring”

I was not sure what to expect other than tours and talking – just like at School.  It would be boring.


What have the the outcomes of the day for you?


I will certainly bring children to the museums – also will use the resources and expertise on offer at venues.”


Great day. Lots to do.  I feel really inspired


I now have a really positive experience of museums, of the resources and faciities available


Excellent!.  Really useful day , learnt new things, would most definitely bring the children!


Statements & Stats


100% in all cases


I believe using museum/gallery services will make learning more inspiring.  Same with Library & Archive Services


The Museum/gallery is a good place where teachers and pupils learn together in a different way to school.


A visit to/by a museum/gallery will enrich the learning expereince for pupils


I plan to use museum/gallery services with my pupils as a result of my visits today.


When asked how CCLN could improve the experience...


Make the day longer  (Day lasted from 9.30 _ 4.30)


Carry on the same – just brilliant!


Newsletter just for teachers……………………………. – and guess what –  there is one already in the planning.

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