The National Civil War Centre in Newark has been awarded £40,000 by the Art Fund, which is supporting institutions that are adapting their offer during the coronavirus pandemic through Respond and Reimagine grants.
The grants were established to support four main areas within venues – collections, audiences, digital and workforce – and aimed to encourage organisations to develop creative and innovative projects as they looked to reopen with fundamentally different operating models.
Sarah Clarke, Team Leader for Learning and Participation at the National Civil War Centre said: “It quickly became apparent this year that our offer to schools would have to change to enable them to remain engaged during Covid-19.
“We pride ourselves on providing excellent learning tools for schools during their visits to us and also in the classroom, and we’re grateful that this award from the Art Fund will allow us to adapt those tools in order that we can continue delivering high quality learning opportunities.”
As pupils return to schools in greater numbers, school visits will resume in person at the National Civil War Centre, but limited to Mondays and Tuesdays when the Centre is not currently open to the public, in order to ensure that social distancing protocols can be followed.
This offer will be supported by activity that will be paid for by the grant from the Art Fund, including:
Brand-new Object Theatre Boxes
These can be used in school to enhance a visit to the Centre or alone for schools unable to visit.
These boxes will contain both genuine and replica artefacts that pupils can handle, activities that classes can do together in school and access to videos designed to bring objects to life in even greater detail.
Different boxes will be tailored to different age groups, with options for primary, secondary and sixth form. Box subjects will include Arms and Armour and the Trial of Charles I.
‘Meet a….’ sessions
These will include options for schools to engage with different Civil War characters and experts.
These sessions can be delivered in school or remotely and are again crafted to different education levels, from “meet a musketeer” for primary school children, through to “meet an expert” for those studying at A Level.
Increasing visits into schools
The Centre’s Learning and Participation team increasing their number of visits into schools, to enable them to deliver the same high engagement sessions that they normally deliver in the museum but within each school’s requirements to be COVID-secure.
“When talking to teachers prior to our application to the Art Fund, it was evident that they would welcome support that would enable them to offer interactive learning in this ‘new normal’,” Sarah added.
“We’re thrilled that being successful in our application means that we can pilot this new offer in the first half of the autumn term”.