It’s been a very busy year of Learning at the Culture Trust, with over 4788 school children having visited our library and museum sites throughout 2019. Here’s a breakdown of some of the key highlights:
Learning with the Libraries
- Throughout 2018 & 2019 Luton Libraries engaged with 95% of Primary Schools in Luton through initiatives such as Summer Reading Challenge, Time to Read and general library outreach.
- In total we welcomed over 2,147 children and 541 to our branches in 2019 to explore and learn what it means to be a member of the library.
- Between April and November 2019 we met 22,671 children and 1,431 staff at our branches, in school or at other settings through our outreach work. During this time, Linda Howell (with the support of Sandy Blake and Catherine Rizzo) visited 19,518 children and 787 staff to deliver Summer Reading Challenge assemblies.
- Over the summer holidays we programmed in 24 Summer Reading Challenge specific activities that were attended by 532 children and 337 adults and thanks to our dedicated and passionate library staff we signed up 3,034 children to this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, with 1,463 children completing the challenge.
- Towards the end of 2018 and in early 2019 we engaged with 44 schools to gift the Time to Read packs ‘Little Monkey’ either in branches or in school. And once again as this year comes to an end reception children across Luton are enjoying receiving their Bookstart Time to Read packs ‘The Cave’ and learning more about the library.
Learning with Museums
- Since Eleonore Pearson joined us in January 2019, she has run a total of 103 sessions for 34 different schools. She has led sessions for 1,759 children and 328 staff at Stockwood Discovery Centre and a further 882 children and 147 staff at Wardown House Museum & Gallery. Ellen Rust has created a total of 86 school booking forms since January for visits to both sites this year.
- The Culture Trust has also welcomed a further 1,702 school children and 268 staff to Stockwood Discovery Centre for self-led visits and 1,434 school children and 201 staff to Wardown House Museum & Gallery for self-led visits.
- Throughout January-March 2019 we helped drive up visitor figures to Stockwood Discovery Centre through supporting the Schools Linking Network in their neutral visit. This project helped to build contrasting postcode connections and relationships between 661 children and 74 staff across 24 classes and 12 schools. (Special thanks to Catherine Rizzo for her help with this project.)
- In the lead up to the summer holidays we supported this year’s Interactive Science Exhibition at Stockwood Discovery Centre and welcomed 291 children and 74 staff with many taking part in our accompanying Moon Buggy Workshop.
- From September 2019 Museum Makers for Schools is officially up and running, giving local schools the chance to take part in exciting projects or competitions and pilot new sessions:
- At the end of October, Museum Maker Schools enabled us to pilot our first WW2 session in the newly launched schools basement space. Warden Hill Primary School accepted the pilot challenge with great success: “The sessions were engaging and varied. Handling the artefacts was excellent. From the photos children were able to recount the events and write with more understanding”, Warden Hill Teacher feedback
- This November Museum Maker Schools also allowed us to take part in a National Arts Council funded project ‘Putting You in the Picture’ with local poet and performer John Hegley. With this project children from Bushmead primary school accepted the challenge to learn about Wardown House’s artwork Plait Merchants Trading with French Prisoners of War by Arthur Claude Cooke (1867–1951) and produce new artworks and poems creating imagined scenarios behind each painting. In early 2020, a resource pack will be available to support teachers to create their own 'Putting You in the Picture' project and a book collating the children’s work will be on display at Wardown House Museum.