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History In The Making - Museum Helps Pupils Look To The Future
Wednesday 26th January, 2005

Forget Back To The Future because young people in Wigan are going ‘forward to the past’ to find out how the borough’s history can help their studies.

Over the next six weeks, groups of Key Stage Three 14–year–olds and further education students, will be converging on Wigan Pier Museum for a series of workshops sessions all about ‘how we used to live’.

The groups will be heading back to the Victorian England to bring the nursery rhymes from the era colourfully to life.

Working with artists and museum staff the young history buffs from Hawkley Hall and Bedford High Schools will explore the museum as part of the research for the project. They will then express their ideas across a range of media including drawing, printing and photography.

Wigan Pier Curator and Learning Manager Joanne Howdle said the idea was to get more young people interested in museums. Joanne said:

“Wigan is one of four museums across Greater Manchester to take part in this project. The others are Bolton Museum and Art Gallery, Salford Museum and the University of Manchester Museum.

“Museums such as Wigan Pier are fascinating places where young people really can go on an adventure through their own heritage.

“We are working with artists and other facilitators to get more young people to use museums as a valuable study tool and as a route into further and higher education.

“The younger group of pupils will create collages about nursery rhymes. While the older children will produce Victorian-style films and photographs.”

The programme is called Aim Higher and will culminate with a dramatic performance by all the children involved at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.

Joanne said:

“We have already had some tremendous feedback from the young people who are involved in this project. Many of them never realised just what interesting and exciting places museums can be. We hope we can get this message across to many more of the borough’s young people.”


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