Learning Online With Barnsley Museums

Barnsley Museums Learning aims to delight, inspire and engage people of all ages, abilities and interests with the unique sites and objects we look after. With our award-winning schools offer paused due to school and museum closures, we have recently launched a set of online resources to support teachers and provide a variety of stimulating activities for families learning at home during the current Covid-19 crisis. Ally Beckett, Formal Learning Officer, tells us more. 

After the government’s announcement on school closures, the Barnsley Museums team wanted to ensure that children were still able to access their local heritage and increase their engagement with culture. As neither physical site visits nor outreach into schools were possible, we decided to adapt existing workshops and activities to share digitally online.  

All activities relate to our museums, heritage sites and collections of art and objects we look after and are linked to the National Curriculum. They are a mixture of full workshops, selected activities from sessions, and a variety of different types of resources. 

Originally intended as pre and post-visit materials for schools who had booked a trip to our sites, these have now been edited to become standalone activities. Alternative ideas have been provided to group exercises so that children being home schooled individually can take part, and different ideas for materials have been suggested to make sure access to resources isn’t a barrier to participation. 

Pupils from Hoyland Common Primary take part in soap knapping during our Stone Age workshop.) 

Activities from workshops such as Portraits and Self-identity, Stone Age to Iron Age and Have Your Say (a democracy workshop allowing children to create their own political campaign) were selected and adapted to allow them to be delivered outside of Barnsley Museums venues – either in schools still open for children of key workers, or at home.  
We have also made our loan box resources available digitally – a mixture of objects, photographs, audio and lesson plans which allow Barnsley Museums’ unique heritage to be explored in an innovative and interactive way. A number of new resources have recently been developed for Cannon Hall as part of the National Heritage Lottery Funded Parks for People project – these have also been made available online. 

Pupils learn outdoors at Cannon Hall

We  recently completed a projection mapping project at Elsecar Heritage Centre with Jump Primary school. Funded by Waterloo200 and Wentworth and Elsecar Great Place, this looked at animating the internal workings of the Newcomen Beam Engine and projecting the result onto the wall of the building itself. The project culminated with a launch event at the beginning of March attended by the pupils and their family members, as well as local councillors and project stakeholders.  
If you’d like to have a go at projection mapping yourself, find out more about how we did it on this blog:


Or have a look at the Age of Revolution resources on our website – http://www.barnsley-museums.com/age-of-revolution
Looking back over recent weeks, and to the future, we’re extremely pleased about the progress we’ve made, the quality and quantity of resources we’ve been able to put online, and the way our teams have worked together to make that happen.  
There have certainly been challenges, but the impact of these new initiatives has been considerable. At the time of writing, in early June, our online resources had been accessed 669 times.  

Downloading Our Learning Resources

All resources can be found on our website – http://www.barnsley-museums.com/resources-for-schools

Activities come with clear guidance notes explaining their original purpose and how they can be modified and adapted to different circumstances during the period of social distancing. They contain a mixture of worksheets, PowerPoints, videos and delivery notes which enable teachers and parents/carers to facilitate the activities. 

Individual resources: 
Barnsley Museums loan boxes online (cross-curricular) – http://www.barnsley-museums.com/museum-objects-and-audio

Portraits and self-identity (art and design) – http://www.barnsley-museums.com/portraits-and-self-identity- 

Have Your Say (local history, SMSC and Citizenship) – http://www.barnsley-museums.com/experience-barnsley–have-your-say

Stone Age to Iron Age (local history) – http://www.barnsley-museums.com/stone-age

Cross-curricular resources linked to Cannon Hall – STEM, Maths, outdoor learning – http://www.barnsley-museums.com/resources-for-schools-cannon-hall

Have you had a go at any of our resources? Let us know what you think here –www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2NQLRBS  


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