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A Day at the Museum with OTT SCITT

Last week saw our Associate Teachers exploring what the Oxford University Museums have to offer to schools.  Through the day they were welcomed into the Ashmolean Museum, The History of Science Museum, the Museum of Natural History and the Pitt Rivers Museum. Each of these museums is committed to broadening access to their collections and to offering a wide range of education experiences to both primary and secondary students. 


“I didn’t realise that so many different sessions were available from all the museums, covering so many different parts of the curriculum.” Primary Associate Teacher

As well as enjoying being in Oxford on a gloriously sunny day, and spending time together as a group, our Associate Teachers were eager to share the highlights of the day with us.  Many of them had not been aware of the range of education provision on offer and the ‘hidden treasures’ which are freely accessible.  Throughout the day the benefits of hands-on learning in a new environment inspired and enthused everyone to take forward into their early years of teaching. 

“Great hands-on experience…and the stories that came along with some of the items were funny, engaging and thought provoking.” Secondary Associate Teacher – Drama

The opportunities to engage first hand with objects was something which really struck our Associate Teachers as something to take back into their classroom practice, across subjects as diverse as history, design technology, languages and mathematics.  Some were keen to embed the ideas taken from the day into their lessons in the coming weeks, bringing their teaching to life and making links across subjects which they may not have considered before. 


I…”was inspired by Chris (Museum of Natural History) when he talked about object-based learning and the importance of touch in our cognition and memory. I think I can do a lot of this to support my teaching and learning.” Secondary Associate Teacher – Design Technology

“The collections of each museum all felt readily applicable to various strands of history teaching; I could immediately see how extremely useful their resources would be in enhancing engagement and helping students to worldbuild the past in their heads.” Secondary Associate Teacher – History

There was huge appreciation for the opportunity to explore these museums with peers, and to share ideas with others also at the beginning of their journey as a teacher.  The day had a sociable feel, with time spent walking between the four sites simply enjoying each other’s company.  As the last of our Super Days, before moving into the final weeks of placement and working towards their final assessment point, this focus on a curriculum enriched by experiences outside the classroom was very timely as a reminder that learning is exciting, inspiring and diverse! 


“Today was amazing! Thank you so much for this opportunity and a big thank you to the museums for welcoming us.” Secondary Associate Teacher – MFL

“Thank you very much for today. It was great to explore the museums and get an understanding of what they have on offer and how we can connect this to the topics we do in school.” Primary Associate Teacher

Thanks to Linda Hull, Primary Subject Specialist and to our Associate Teachers for sharing their thoughts, including Lizzie Tym for sharing her photos.