- Museum of the History of Science - http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk -

What the Teachers had to Say

The project that my class took part in was excellent! The introductory session in September fully engaged the children and set the tone for the whole project. It was tailored exactly right for the Years 5 and 6, (ages 8-11). The storytelling was superb and was an opportunity for ALL the children to take part. The tasks set up in the museum helped the objects in the museum ‘come alive’ and the children loved handling them and finding out how they worked. For many of the children in my class and indeed the school, this opportunity has opened up a whole new world for them. Many of them did not know of the museum’s existence before the project, indeed many of the parents did not know! The impact on writing has been evident with the finished products that were displayed in the museum. One of the best things about this was that the writing was for a real purpose and this encouraged even the most reluctant writers to take part. Some of the children have commented that they feel more confident, not just in their writing, but by taking part in the stories and having such a good knowledge of the objects in the museum. They are also more confident when talking to adults that they have not met before.

This has been a great project and I am delighted that we were able to take part, thank you.

Key Stage 2 Teacher East Oxford Primary School

The storytelling project at MHS has been a fantastic learning opportunity for all the children in my class. The visits to the museum have been varied and have involved lots of ‘hands-on’ experiences. The school-based sessions have provided opportunities for writing a variety of text types. Having such a concrete purpose for their writing engaged many children who are often reluctant writers. The final event of the project, displaying the children’s work in the museum, was a great way to involve parents in their children’s learning, something teachers and schools are always enthusiastic to do!

Key Stage 2 Teacher – East Oxford Primary School

My class visited the science museum earlier this term for a story telling session on the dragon clock. The initial session was brilliant and children were very engaged. The hunt for clocks around the museum added some interactive fun to what my class would probably have said was ‘boring’ (looking at a load of clocks in a museum!) and was just the right length of time to keep them interested the whole time. The story telling with Anna was amazing and I even found myself drawn into the magical story world. Anna was fabulous- her sparkly colourful appearance instantly had the children’s attention and her acting was fantastic- very loud, energetic and captivating- one of my class even burst into tears when we had to leave. All children couldn’t stop asking me when we would see Anna again and they pretended to be her in their play, acting out bits of the story.

The second session when Lara and Anna visited the school was equally as good- the children sat still and were focused for about an hour- which trust me is quite an achievement- especially for the five year olds. They invited the children to have a go at acting out some of the characters and saying a few lines and even the most timid children in my class who hardly ever speak were keen to get involved and stand up in front of the rest of the class. Both Lara and Anna were great with the children and they felt at ease getting up to act with Lara and Anna to help them.

When the session were finished the children were sad not be seeing any more of Anna but the pack of information and our very own dragon clock to use meant that they could carry on with their story telling that they enjoyed so much. The class ended up doing a very focused few weeks of story telling based around the dragon clock story because they were so interested in the story and they all knew it so well! I know myself and my colleagues would be very interested if the opportunity ever arose to take part in something similar again.

Key Stage 1 Teacher East Oxford Primary School

The Storytelling project was a great success and really kick-started story telling for the year.
The day was really well suited to our group of learners and the mix of activities, to start off our museum visit, really engaged the children. The story was stimulating for the children, and fired their imaginations.
The ideas shared and given by the museum staff were used successfully at school, before the follow-up visit. The activities we did, with the storyteller, were very interactive, and many of the children excelled at interpreting the story in a number of different ways. Children were motivated to write in a variety of different ways: posters, stories, different versions, storyboards, labels, captions. Guided and shared writing were particularly successful, as the children were really motivated and could participate fully – having learnt and practised lots of the vocabulary needed, previously. The project was used to inspire learning in many other areas of the curriculum – for example we did some work on dragons in art, time in maths and forces in science.

We have built on the confidence gained by the pupils on the project, and continue to use storytelling to promote learning.

Thank you for all your work.

Key Stage 1 Teacher – East Oxford Primary School