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Hampshire Cultural Trust

Case study

Written in conjunction with a year one teacher from Fleet Infant School

Using the 'Toys and Discovery session'

The Milestones KS1 session Toys and Discovery is designed to support the QCA unit: How are our Toys different from those in the past?

It is split up into two sessions each lasting an hour. One is the Toys session which is led by a museum facilitator and the other is the Discovery session which is led by the school.

The toys session involves the children exploring the museum's toy collection by handling, observing and asking questions. Through a range of carefully planned activities, children have the opportunity to:

  • compare old and new toys
  • sort toys according to their properties
  • make their own decisions on the value of toys
  • place toys along a timeline from 100 years ago to the present day
  • identify toys using clues

The session encourages the use of a range of different learning styles allowing all children to access the session and gain valuable experience from it. The Discovery session provides the children with the opportunity to explore the museum through a range of focused activities.

Milestones is a safe environment for children which brings history to life in a way that is meaningful to young children. They love the street scenes and the opportunity to have 'hands on' experience.

The topic on Toys is very much complemented by the trip to Milestones and all the activities of sorting toys, putting them on a time line and guessing their identity from clues reinforces the learning going on in school.

The main things that the children gain from the session are that it reinforces the learning objectives for the topic and through handling artefacts the history is made more 'real'. There is also a sense of fun and exploration in what the children do.

Although the main focus of the visit is the Toys session, the children thoroughly enjoy the Discovery session too. They benefit from time to explore the museum for themselves to take in wider elements of life in the past.

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