#SoaneLearning Week: Looking Back on a Year of the Community Education Programme
The end of May sees the conclusion of the Soane’s three-year programme of community outreach projects, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. As it draws to a close, Community Education Officer Kenn Taylor looks back on some of the highlights of the programme’s final 12 months.
Sir John Soane’s Museum has been providing specific learning and engagement opportunities for a diverse range of communities since 2011. This includes informal activities and projects for older people, young people, Deaf and hard of hearing people, blind and partially-sighted people, English for Speakers of Other Languages students and communities local to the Museum.
2013/14 was the culmination of the programme’s three-year period of financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and had many interesting highlights, just a few of which are detailed below.
A great initiative over August 2013 was the ‘Our Changing Neighbourhood’ project conducted between the Museum’s education team and members of the Millman Street Resource Centre reminiscence group, who are based near the Soane. The project looked at how the area around the Museum had changed from Sir John Soane’s time, to within living memory and on to how things are now. The project culminated with the participants creating an artwork about local places that meant something to them and what had been there at different points in history. You can read more about this project here.
Three members of the Millman Street Community Centre’s Reminiscence Group during one of the Project's sessions
This period also saw the delivery of the new education handling object collection which had been developed over the past 18 months with the Building Crafts College in Stratford. This new collection, made up of a variety of quality replicas of Museum objects, really widens opportunities for learning for all ages at the Soane. The project also allowed some children and young people connected to the Education programme at the Soane try their own hand at some of the crafts that were used to make the collection. More details can be found here.
One of our participants in the stone carving workshop, using the specialist tools (Courtesy of Kenn Taylor)
The Soane also continued our now regular programme of lectures for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. The October and December 2013 editions of these were delivered by Martin Glover, an architect who is Deaf and whose first language is British Sign Language. Martin lectured on architectural production and how it has and hasn’t changed from Sir John Soane’s time to now. His session also included a practical element in which attendees were encouraged to try their own hand at architecture by re-designing the front of the Museum. Read more here.
Architectural Production session (Courtesy of K Taylor)
That’s just a snapshot of some of the things that make up the Community Education Programme at Sir John Soane’s Museum. Keep your eyes peeled on the Soane blog all week as we have more posts looking at the Community Education Programme and other education projects at the Museum!