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Three new projects set for school visits to Ipswich Museum and Christchurch Mansion

PUBLISHED: 15:37 02 January 2019

Christchurch Mansion is hosting one of the new pilot programmes Picture: MEGAN ALDOUS

Christchurch Mansion is hosting one of the new pilot programmes Picture: MEGAN ALDOUS

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Ipswich’s museum and mansion are set to offer three new school programmes as part of a pilot combining arts and academic subjects.

The project aims to bring school visits into the museum and mansion Picture: Ipswich Borough CouncilThe project aims to bring school visits into the museum and mansion Picture: Ipswich Borough Council

The pilot scheme will be aimed at Key Stage 2 pupils visiting Ipswich Museum and Christchurch Mansion, with funding of £4,528.59 to be approved from Ipswich Borough Council’s central area committee next week.

It will feature three schools and around 180 primary school children for the pilot, before reaching 1,500 pupils each academic year going forward.

Councillor Julian Gibbs, chairman of the central area committee, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for local schools to engage with our museums service and to discover more about the Ipswich story and our heritage.

“It is important that we make it easier for a new generation to become involved and form part of a new audience.”

Art in Christchurch Mansion will be explored as part of the scheme Picture: MEGAN ALDOUSArt in Christchurch Mansion will be explored as part of the scheme Picture: MEGAN ALDOUS

The first programme, Maths at the Mansion, will focus on maths and numerical skills, with tasks to encourage children to apply maths problems to the mansion’s architecture, decoration and history, such as calculations for how many roof tiles would be needed for a renovation.

The Discover in a Day sessions will feature pupils exploring how the local area is represented in art, particularly through John Constable’s paintings, as well as assessing the variety of art forms including sketches, paintings, sculptures, textiles and wood carvings.

The final programme, Why’s that in a Museum?, will develop communication skills through a debate on why certain artefacts are kept in museums.

A report put together ahead of next week’s central area committee meeting said: “The aim of the project is to develop and pilot three new school sessions, blending core subjects with the arts.

Ipswich borough councillor Julian Gibbs said it provided an excellent opportunity for schools to experience the museum and mansion Picture: SU ANDERSONIpswich borough councillor Julian Gibbs said it provided an excellent opportunity for schools to experience the museum and mansion Picture: SU ANDERSON

“This will broaden and add value to the current offer and renew the commitment of the service to supporting schools.

“Through the packages outlined, children will engage with their local heritage, explore science and arts holistically, and apply their learning in new ways.”

The pilot comes as part of measures to keep the museum and mansion relevant for school visits – with school trips making up a quarter of total visitors.

A council report in November said the demand for traditional primary school sessions for Victorians and Tudors had dropped.

It is hoped the integration of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects as well as a focus on local history and art, will attract schools into taking part.

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