Museum in the school project from Fair Oak Junior School and Eastleigh Museum

By Rachel Hayward | 09 April 2010
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Photo showing primary school pupils in green uniforms pointing to a display as part of their own museum in their school

Pupils from Fair Oak Junior School present their museum in a school. All photos courtesy Hampshire County Council Museums & Archives Service

News: Eastleigh Museum has been helping Fair Oak Junior School create their own museum in school.

A museum in the school - a whole school challenge
Year 3 teachers at Fair Oak Junior School, Cathy Cojeen and Lisa Batchelor, set 38 pupils aged 7 - 11 years the challenge of finding out how museums work, making artefacts for display and then creating a museum in the school.

Said Cathy Cojeen, "We followed a historical path for this year's whole school challenge and after some fantastic input from the workshops at Eastleigh Museum and presentations from Wyvern pupils it was launched. We were amazed at the time and effort the children had obviously put into their creations. They had planned carefully and used a variety of materials to create their realistic masterpieces, including the clever trick of 'tea staining'. We are very pleased to have such a high standard of items on display in our museum and of course, very proud of all the children who took part."

Photo showing primary school pupils in green uniforms in front of their own museum in their school

(Above) The project gave pupils a chance to get creative and come up with models and life-sized items, from fossilised fish to Tudor houses, Roman shields to Victorian gramophones for their museum in a school.

Hands on support from Eastleigh Museum
Eastleigh Museum provided hands on help to support Fair Oak Junior School in establishing their museum in a school. Museum staff visited the school and gave the children the background on the work of museums, including the service they provide for their communities - from telling the life story of a place using a variety of artefacts through to identifying objects discovered in the loft or even dug up in the garden. This prompted a pupil from the school to bring in a bone she'd found! The school's museum team also had the work-related opportunity to find out more about how museums care for and display historic items with a workshop at Eastleigh Museum led by Senior Education Officer Ruth Kerr.

A delighted Ruth Kerr commented, "Pupils from Fair Oak Junior School produced a great display of artefacts. I'm really impressed by the creativity and imagination they've invested."

Please note: The Fair Oak Junior School Museum is open until June 2010 for parents of pupils at the school to visit.

How to create a museum in your school
If you're interested in a similar project for your school, why not contact your local museum for support? Try our Places to Go section for venues near you.

We also recommend a helpful guide from Campaign for Museums about setting up a museum in your classroom or school. The document is not a recent one, so some of the links may be broken. The main content of collecting and museums is really useful though.

Are you a museum or school that has embarked on a similar collaboration? We'd love to hear from you and feature you in the Culture 24 Teachers' section.

Please contact our Learners and Teachers Editor, Rachel Hayward at

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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