Sunday, July 25, 2010

NICS Kindy Class at the Museum

NICS Kindy Class Learn All About Museums

Believe it or not, but learning about Museums starts as a five year old in Kindy these days. Earlier last month I received a call from teachers Tanya Delaney and Michelle Hayes at Norfolk island Central School, to ask if I could talk to their Kindy classes about museums. I was most impressed with the depth they explored the subject, which began with making a 'me museum', where the kids collected and displayed three artefacts that were significant to them. They each had to explain to the class the significance of their artefacts. They’d also been looking at how things change over time - in particular school, kitchen, and laundry equipment, and school uniforms.

Tanya and Michelle asked me to discuss things like, what is a museum, what kinds of things you see at a museum and why people go to museums. We also covered what an artefact and exhibit is and why we display things. We have the most beautiful class of kids in Kindy and they were great fun to talk to. While I was a little unsure of how five years olds would understand museum concepts (do they even know how to read yet?) or if they’d find the topic boring (some adults might!), I found enquiring minds, kids who had already learnt how to listen and were fully engaged with the subject. We had a great hour talking and looking at a few objects from the Pitcairn Norfolk Gallery.

The class visited three museums here on Norfolk – the Bounty Folk Museum, Pitcairn Settlers Village and our Pier Store Museum. After all this they finished the term by making a 'class museum' - with artefacts from the 'olden days' brought in from home. I was lucky enough to attend this event along with their parents and really enjoyed having the objects stories told to me by each of the kids. This was a great way to finish off a comprehensive teaching of “what is a museum”.

It is great that at five years old these kids have been taught all about looking at objects and to appreciate things that may be old. They have also found that Museums can be places that they love to visit and while enjoying themselves, are also learning. It may also mean that they really pester mum and dad to visit our museums here on Norfolk and also those they may pass when away. Now that’s great learning!

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