Skip to main content

Mobile Museum: Schools

Mobile Museum: Schools

In 2018-19, the Mobile Museum project supported an exciting new initiative in object-based learning, involving the pupils and teachers at two London primary schools and culminating in the co-curation of two school museums in summer 2019.

The two schools participating in the project were Wilberforce Primary School, Queen’s Park, in the London Borough of Westminster, and St Monica’s Primary School, Hoxton, in the London Borough of Hackney.

The learning strand of the Mobile Museum project aimed to:

  • research how and why plant-based objects from Kew were sent to 700 schools across the UK during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries 
  • support the curation of exhibitions devoted to plant-based objects in two London primary schools, using an innovative whole-school approach 
  • create supporting cross-curricular educational materials that link to science, geography, history, arts, design and technology, and language learning for Key Stage 1 and 2 

The project involved workshops for teachers, pupil visits to Kew, classroom-based activities and the creation of a Teachers' Handbook on Curating a School Museum (2019). It culminated in July 2019 with the launch of two museums at Wilberforce and St Monica's School. In co-curating these exhibitions, pupils and teachers presented many plant-based objects that had particular cultural significance for them.

The project took a whole-school approach in which every pupil and teacher was involved.  This also extended to the wider community so parents and caregivers could contribute by identifying culturally significant objects for curation and display.  The process of developing educational resources was participatory, with teachers involved in choosing materials that best supported their teaching.  The resources created will support the National Curriculum, 21st-century learning, Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development and Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education.

As this is an outreach project aiming to enable Kew to reach more diverse audiences, the criteria used to identify potential partner schools included measures of disadvantage and cultural diversity.  On this basis, we contacted 34 schools across London of a size which could enable a whole-school approach. Following a shortlisting process, Wilberforce and St Monica's School were selected to participate.

Teachers' Lesson Plans - Overview

Lesson Plan 1 - Object Handling
Lesson Plan 2 - Why Plants Matter
Lesson Plan 3 - What's Your Story? Creating Your Museum

Explore Royal Holloway

Get help paying for your studies at Royal Holloway through a range of scholarships and bursaries.

There are lots of exciting ways to get involved at Royal Holloway. Discover new interests and enjoy existing ones

Heading to university is exciting. Finding the right place to live will get you off to a good start

Whether you need support with your health or practical advice on budgeting or finding part-time work, we can help

Discover more about our 21 departments and schools

Find out why Royal Holloway is in the top 25% of UK universities for research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’

They say the two most important days of your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why

Discover world-class research at Royal Holloway

Discover more about who we are today, and our vision for the future

Royal Holloway began as two pioneering colleges for the education of women in the 19th century, and their spirit lives on today

We’ve played a role in thousands of careers, some of them particularly remarkable

Find about our decision-making processes and the people who lead and manage Royal Holloway today