I have to say, I have a greener view than from my office at the Discovery Centre, but it’s not as lovely as the views we should have been experiencing together at Lotherton and Temple Newsam this June. I don’t know about you, but I’m missing chats with colleagues over the kettle, familiar buildings, routines and working with lots of different groups of young people and adults. Now my days are filled with juggling family life, on screen meetings and conversations about reopening our museums and galleries safely to the public whilst still enabling genuine, authentic, accessible experiences.
Lockdown will have affected all our lives, personal and professional. As thoughts move to recovery, it is some of these thoughts around arts, culture and classroom practice I’d like to share with you now…
The ‘Recovery Curriculum’
Lots of schools are developing their ‘recovery curriculums’. These are about acknowledging what has happened in the community, fostering mental health and wellbeing in pupils, resettling them into the mindset of learning. Arts and cultural engagements help foster relationships, rekindle the curiosity for learning, and provide alternative engagement methods for pupils who have found their own way over the last few months.
‘That’s great, but we saw you in the museums, how do we do that when we can’t visit?’ I hear you cry! Well, we can come to you digitally. We already have lots of content here: https://museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk/virtual-visit/online-activities/
From September, we will be running virtual workshops into your classrooms, supported by resources on www.mylearning.org , we are also currently uploading a chunk of the collection to Google Arts and Culture, which will be available soon. These may also be useful for blended learning support between home and school. Use an image, a film, or an object to start enquiry based learning because finding the spark that lights the fire inside a young person is at the heart of the recovery curriculum. Ask open questions of pupils: what do you want to know about it? How would you find out? That will give you an indication of the ways of learning they have used at home.