On Thursday 16 May, seven pupils from Henley Montessori Primary school, attended the opening of “MiniBrum” at the Thinktank Science museum, Birmingham, a creative city for children. This has been the culmination of being part of a long-term project starting September 2018. The pupils involved had been asked to design and create a museum within “MiniBrum”, from the choice of objects to the creation of exciting displays. They designed everything that the public can now see and do within a fantastic museum.
Having the opportunity to work in collaboration with the Thinktank Science museum has been an excellent opportunity to showcase how pupils learn at Henley Montessori Primary School. Much of what they do is based around the process of each pupils learning, their confidence, resourcefulness and having the freedom to develop interests.
The Thinktank Learning Team gave pupils ownership of the project right from the beginning, their ideas were listened to and encouraged. In the classroom they had the time to use the whole curriculum in a purposeful way, drawing knowledge from previous experiences and developing new skills. In maths by working on scale drawings and plans, language producing presentations and stories for the exhibits, science, geography and history in research about the objects; with art and music for the finished exhibits and incorporating features like braille that will make the museum inclusive for all.
If there were any financial or logistical issues to overcome, they were still involved in the decision making, meeting regularly with their teachers and representatives from the Thinktank to shape the finished project. The finished museum is a replica of their original designs and ideas, testimony to the whole process they were involved in. An opportunity that none of them will fully realise the significance in their education until they are older.
For anyone with children “MiniBrum” is well worth a visit, it provides an inspiring environment for children to explore and question their understanding of the world around them. Through play the city gives children the confidence to think like scientists and engineers in a real-life context, to test their ideas, to problem solve and create.
“As a school we feel nothing but pride and pleasure we have all gained from this collaborative project.” – Helen Everley, Headteacher, Henley in Arden Montessori Primary School