Year 4 all enjoyed an action packed and diverse day in The Museums of Oxford. We started at the Pitt Rivers Museum which was an Aladdin’s cave of artefacts from all around the world, whilst we felt like we were in someone’s private collection in a large conservatory.
We were introduced in a workshop to masks from all different cultures and we enjoyed trying them on and guessing the emotions they would evoke in the people who wore them. We thought about the materials, patterns and purposes of these creations. We then ventured around the museum searching in the glass display cabinets for masks that looked fierce, made you laugh, looked serious, were decorated with pattern and colour, had lots attached to it. We chose one we liked and did a quick sketch. Having a marvellous collection of varied styles to remind and inspire future art work was fantastic for the children and they talked with great enthusiasm and interest in the varied masks on display. We ended by looking at the ‘Haida Totem Pole’ which was as high as a house and heard the tales associated with it. The children, then inspired, started to sketch a small section and are looking forward to using their ideas to develop their own artwork during future Art lessons.
A brisk walk and lunch in the calm of the Quaker House and then onto the Ashmolean Museum where we became Egyptian history detectives. We searched for objects and guessed their purpose. The children found out about 3 Egyptian people and the lives they lead, viewing their tombs or mummified cases. We were then given a case full of objects which we had to identify and match to the correct person. The children were able to show off their historical understanding and knowledge gleaned from the Egyptian topic studied and put it to good use in their enquiry. We ended with a little drawing of our favourite item on papyrus paper to relax us.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable and fascinating day and Year 4 would recommend it to anyone who wants to experience a little bit of History.