The schools learning programmes at both No. 1 Royal Crescent and the Herschel Museum of Astronomy in Bath have been recognised for their quality with the award of a prestigious Sandford Award for their inspiring work with schoolchildren.
Ratified by the Heritage Education Trust and independently judged, the Sandford Awards focus on formal, curriculum-linked education opportunities offered to schools by heritage sites. Made annually – and lasting for five years – they provide a ‘kite mark’ recognised by schools and other education institutions across the United Kingdom.
Polly Andrews, the Trust’s Learning and Engagement Officer, said, “At both museums we aim to offer an informative, immersive and fun experience for all schools, tailoring the content to support their work in class. We are very aware that a 2½ hour visit to our museums might just be the spark that lights a lifelong interest in history and heritage in a child, so we make it as dynamic and exciting as we can – we don’t waste a second of the precious time that we have with the class!”
At No. 1, the focus is on architectural and social history where school children and young people explore how an 18th century house was built and through the use of artefacts, illustrations and practical experiences learn of the lives, social attitudes and daily occupations of Georgian society.
At the Herschel Museum of Astronomy, the lives of the working brother and sister William and Caroline Herschel are revealed, from their early musical careers to the astonishing discoveries they made as amateur astronomers. Here the education programme includes outreach sessions in secondary schools and is brought right up to date with the use of space telescopes, infrared cameras and apps. A mobile planetarium is being developed to further enhance the offer to students in their own schools.
Caroline Kay, Chief Executive of Bath Preservation Trust said, “This is the second Sandford Award for No. 1 Royal Crescent and the first for the Herschel Museum of Astronomy, and we are absolutely thrilled that our schools learning programme devised by Polly has been acknowledged as top class at both sites. We are proud to provide an exciting and immersive programme for schoolchildren of all ages from Early Years Foundation Stage to Key Stage 4, as well as adult and family learning opportunities.”