The curriculum-linked workshops, led by museum experts and originally introduced as a response to lockdown restrictions, utilise items from the museum group’s collections to offer engagement on topics such as mummification, Greek gods and transatlantic slavery.
National Museums Liverpool has taken feedback from teachers in order to enhance its workshops for Key Stages 1, 2 and 3, with each session designed to develop pupils’ teamworking skills, boost imagination and promote positive wellbeing.
Virtual sessions are delivered via Microsoft Teams, meaning the only equipment schools need to take part is a computer with a built-in camera and microphone, a large display screen or projector and access to a reliable internet connection.
“We’ve had a great response to our virtual classrooms from parents and teachers alike. Teachers and community members have been unanimous in their support for these two new virtual classrooms, and have voiced a real desire for this kind of resource, which makes connections between history and contemporary issues,” says Claire Benjamin, head of learning & participation at National Museums Liverpool.
New additions to this strand of the National Museums Liverpool offer are an Art of Wellbeing session, aiming to support pupils in creating their own tools for self-care, and a new Legacies workshop, suitable for Key Stages 2 and 3, which will launch as part of Black History Month in October.
The latter explores the transatlantic slave trade and its ongoing impact, giving pupils the opportunity to learn about significant Black British role models and consider themes of racism and discrimination.
To further boost engagement with this subject the museum group is developing a Continuous Professional Development session, specifically designed to support the teaching of what it labels an “often challenging topic”.
From this month onwards, schools will also have the option to book in-person sessions – an offer that will remain dependant on Covid-19 guidelines.