Past Projects

Discover some of the varied and exciting learning projects developed through the Museum Network

The Power of the Object 2008-09: What effect do ‘real’ objects have on pupils’ learning?

Power of the Object report

The collections in the partnership (The Bowes Museum, Compton Verney, The Holburne Museum, Waddesdon Manor and the Wallace Collection) have a unique atmosphere, a collection very much shaped by a particular collector or family, a strong focus on the decorative arts and a particular historic setting in which the works of art are housed. All of this greatly contributes to people’s experience of the objects. Taking this as a focus, one project in 2008-9 explored The Power of the Object as a learning tool and to what extent this impact was strengthened by experiencing it in the museum.

Download (as PDF) the Museum Network’s The Power of the Object report.

Compton Verney After School Art Club

Compton Verney After Schools Club

In 2010 the Compton Verney Learning Team have been working with Kineton High School and in conjunction with Warwickshire County Council’s Extended Schools Officer to develop an after school art club. The art club has enabled pupils to work towards the Bronze level Arts Award. Click on the picture below to see their work (external link).


Compton Verney Dance Project in partnership with ‘Motionhouse’ and Cardinal Newman Roman Catholic School

Compton Verney Dance Project 2010

In January 2010 Compton Verney invited 10 Key Stage 3 and 4 students from Cardinal Newman Roman Catholic School in Coventry to take part in a free five-day dance workshop.

The students explored our Naples Collection, taking the theme of the power of natures a starting point. Then, working with Motionhouse Dance, they developed their own dances. This video is a showcase of their work.

This project was made possible through Museums Network funding and the work of Compton Verney’s learning team.

Inspired Pupils’ Creative Writing

Nicolas Poussin, A Dance to the Music of Time, (1594 - 1665)

The works of art at the Wallace Collection have inspired many pupils since the Creative Writing workshops began in 2008. Here are some examples of their work.

In response to Poussin’s A Dance to the Music of Time, (1594 - 1665). Find out more about this painting on the Wallace Collection’s online resource Wallace Live

John Aiyenuro - Ashcroft Academy

“Summer: Oi winter man your hands are freezing bruv
Winter: Fam u fink I don’t know that I’m WINTER
Summer: don’t you get rude. I’m holding springs hand who is doped with the essence of life and your hands which r freezing. AND IM SUMMER
Winter: Don’t get rude either bruv. There I am dancing for forever and a day with my feet feeling like their about to burn and all you can thing about r my freezing hands?
Summer: u think only your feet r hurting. Raise your hands if your feet are aching
Winter: we can’t u idiot we have to hold hands and spin forever
Summer: O yeah, but that lucky old foot gets to sit down and play that instrument
Winter: Alie dats is annoying and everything he just dere butt naked wiv his thing hangin out
Summer: The guy needs to put on some clothes I don’t care y he’s the father of time of father of the sky we have a right to not see that
Winter: but don’t get me started on those stupid babies and how their on about make the most of life. How gonna do dat when were in a circle spinnin round 4 the rest of our lives
Summer: True dat true dat”

Tracey Achonwa - Ashcroft Academy

“The blistering heat would have scorched my skin if I were a mere mortal. I had been dragged down here, to the underbelly of the world, my bedclothes still hailing behind me as Hades strode determinedly to what seems to be his quarter. What he was to do there, I did know, or wont do for that matter, but as I glowered at him I knew them that what I was for him indescribable was all I would ever feel for him, nothing more, nothing less. My legs were reluctant as I traipsed behind him to where he was backing me, a shadow of my self. My eyes saw things they should never have seen, the images scorching my mind like the heat had. I had been nothing short of clarifying since my capture, but what petrified me now was the ice coldness that I felt amidst the unbearable heat. As the lust seeped from his dark soulless eyes it was all I could do not to throw myself into flames where after tormented souls like mine Dion led the flickering flames. I wished I were a mere mortal. They had been laughing at the immured thoughts of a mortal they were observing but winter and summer both knew the time had one to autumn to lines duties. “Can you believe” Summer began as she completed he circle “the things that the humans come out with?” “What was it like this time?” Spring said, though she already knew. “Another I’ll do it tomorrow” Catch you later?” “You know, someone ought to tell that line is even fading; tomorrow is never promised.”

Creative Writing workshops across the partnership

creative writing session - Wallace Collection

Following the success of the Secondary School focussed Creative Writing sessions at the Wallace Collection comes the opportunity to take part in Creative Writing activities across the Museum Network partnership.

The Wallace Collection has been running the sessions since 2008 for school groups from the London boroughs and surrounding counties in addition to participating schools from Cirencester and Cheltenham.

Pupils are able to take part in a themed session led by a professional author. Topics include: Dramatic Monologues, Myths and Legends, Travel Writing: The Grand Tour and the new Citizenship and English cross-curricular session looking at Families in the collection.

Some students would not even attempt a creative writing task prior to this experience-I have seen them thrive today.” Teacher: South Camden

Now these hugely inspiring sessions are being run across the partner museums. Sessions at the Bowes Museum took place in 2009 with North-East playwrite Carina Rodney. Further sessions are being offered from September 2010 at The Bowes Museum, The Holburne Museum of Art, Compton Verney, Waddesdon Manor and sessions will contnue to be offered at the Wallace. All workshops are FREE (Groups will require a National Trust Group Pass for entry to Waddesdon Manor).

Creative Writing flyer - Bowes-Museum

Creative Writing flyer Waddesdon Manor

Please contact the learning teams at the partner museums for more information.

‘Screaming Skulls’ animation project 2009


In November 2009 The Wallace Collection and The Roundhouse collaborated on a project to enable pupils from Camden Schools to work with professional animators and sound technicians to develop their own animation, inspired by the exhibition of Damien Hirst paintings at the Wallace.

45 Pupils from Maria Fidelis Convent School and William Ellis school worked with professional animators Reza Ben Gajra and Olivia Hemingway at the Wallace Collection, using the exhibition pieces from ‘No Love Lost, Blue Paintings by Damien Hirst’ and linked works of art located within the permanent collection.

The animation session was followed up by the pupils who visited The Roundhouse studios to develop the accompanying soundtrack.

The result was a fantastic 7 minute video.


New KS3/4 elearning resource ‘Talking Objects’ goes live!!

Talking Objects Homepage

Talking Objects is a resource for Key Stages 3 and 4 which allows pupils to reflect on how we perceive the past through the objects that have been left behind. Looking at themes relating to citizenship, such as growing up, conflict, worship and showing off, pupils will gain skills in interpreting what objects and works of art tell us about people in the past and will enable them to apply these skills to examine their world around them and consider their sense of identity.

Click on our eLearning page to find the link to this new resorce and our existing eLearning modules.

If you would like more information about this resource please contact Will Graham

The Holburne Museum will re-open May 2011!

The Museum is currently closed to the public as the development programme for the refurbishment and extension of the museum continues. The work was supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund adn the museum is scheduled to re-open in May 2011.

The scheme designed by Eric Parry Architects is supported by a grant of £4.875 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The exciting proposals address all of the problems facing the Museum today and will create a beautiful new building which together will allow the Holburne to flourish as the active, vibrant and engaging Museum that is needs to be.

Although the museum building is closed the education department will continue to run workshops for schools and community groups throughout the closed period. Schools have the opportunity to host a series of outreach workshops coordinated and run by the education team from the museum.

Click on the pdf links below to view the selection of workshops available through the Holburne Museum.

For more information about the schools’ and community workshops available please contact the Education Department on 01225 820829.


For more information on the above, go to Booking and Contact Information for details about getting in touch with the museums.