If you visit the Manx Museum on Friday 23rd November, you’re in for a big surprise! You’ll find children doing jobs and fulfilling all the roles that adults usually undertake at the Manx Museum. Pupils from Year 5/6 at St Thomas’ Church of England Primary School have been trained to take over the running of the Museum from 10am – 12noon and 1pm – 3pm. They will be working on the reception desk, answering enquiries, working with artefacts, monitoring the environmental conditions of the Museum’s stores, leading gallery tours and even liaising with the media to ensure the entire day is a great success.
Gabriel Kay and Kyle Martin will be acting as Assistant Directors for the day. Gabriel commented:
“I think it is going to be a good job. I am really looking forward to meeting the people who make the Museum happen. It’s like going on work experience and I will learn skills that I might need when I grow up.”
Classmates Donal Dooley and Jessie O’Connell added:
“It’s going to be exciting doing something different, getting out of school and doing a real job. We want to help get more people interested in the Manx Museum and we hope that a lot of people will come to the Takeover Day to meet us.”
All twenty-three pupils have been working with Manx National Heritage’s Community Engagement Officer, Katie King, for the past eight weeks so that they know how to undertake their job roles for the day. ‘Takeover Museum Day’ is an annual event at which museums across Britain are taken over by children and teenagers. The national initiative is organised by independent charity Kids in Museums who aim to help place children and teenagers at the heart of the museums.
Katie King explained further:
“At Manx National Heritage we’re passionate about including young people in our work. Each year we offer high quality work experience and voluntary placements for students keen to pursue a career in the heritage sector and we also have a youth panel MUSE:IOM, who advise the organisation on how to become more appealing to young audiences. We thought it would be a fantastic idea to get involved with ‘Takeover Day’ to understand how younger children interact with the Museum.
The pupils have excellent ideas for making the day exciting for visitors, and making the Museum more children friendly in general. Our gallery team have been training our young staff to manage the gallery floors, to be courteous to visitors and ensure the security of our artefacts. We are all looking forward to the day, and hope as many people as possible will come and enjoy the children’s hard work.”
St Thomas’ Year 5/6 class teacher Claire Stubbs went on to say:
“The children are very excited and enthusiastic about the ‘Takeover Day’ and over the last few weeks the children have been working really hard to gain the skills they will need to run the Manx Museum. I am hoping this opportunity will give the children a memorable experience that will develop their organisational skills, communication skills, confidence in themselves, ability to work and collaborate with others, self motivation, ability to use their initiative and to take responsibility for their own learning. The children will learn a lot from this new experience and most importantly they are having a lot fun developing the skills that will be needed.”
During the day the Museum’s film theatre will be showing a short film specially prepared by Year 5/6 students at Braddan Primary School, and also showing is a new Juan Moore animation entitled ‘The Evolution of Mann’. From 4pm – 5pm teenage members of MUSE:IOM, will be running the museum and will spend some time with Manx National Heritage’s management team to discuss their ideas for youth engagement. The Museum are actively looking for new MUSE:IOM members, and asks anyone who is interested to get in touch.
‘Kids Takeover Day’ takes place at the Manx Museum on Friday 23rd November and admission is free. To enjoy pupil led gallery tours please visit between 10am – 12noon or 1pm – 3pm. For more information about the event or MUSE:IOM please contact Katie on 01624 648035 or see www.manxnationalheritage.im. For more information about Kids in Museum please see http://kidsinmuseums.org.uk.