Last week, The Globe Primary School in Lancing celebrated its fourth birthday. As part of the school’s ‘Birthday Week’ celebrations, the main hall was transformed into a museum and exhibition space.
For one week only, books, historical objects, religious icons and much more were displayed on every available surface. The school’s dedication to enabling children to become responsible citizens was at the heart of why the museum was set up, and how it was run.
Throughout the week, extremely articulate Year Six pupils offered parents and younger children guided tours of the space. They discussed and explained the main foci of the exhibition: religions around the world and domestic objects through time. These themes link well with the school’s approach to integrated learning, as each class is named after a country around the world, and the countries in each year group share a common religion. Consequently, as Year Six pupils, the tour guides definitely possessed an expert knowledge!
Walking around the space, while children and parents responded to the objects, was a magical experience. Moments where both tried to deduce what some of the artefacts were used for were particularly inspiring. Everyone involved engaged in discussion and analytical thinking, and there was a shared eagerness to find out more. This was made all the more special by the tour guides enthusiastic facilitation.
I have worked with children of different ages and on many occasions asked the question “do you know what an exhibition is?” I am always surprised by how many negative responses I receive. Transforming a school hall into an exhibition space thus offers a very important opportunity that some children rarely experience. Enabling pupils themselves to assist with the running of such a space is just incredible. As one child said to me: “I could spend all day here.”