Friday 22nd November is Children’s Takeover Day all over the country, and the Museum of London has been taken over by its nearest school neighbours, the primary pupils of City of London School for Girls.
The girls are not strangers to the museum – they come in regularly as an archaeology club – but today they will really be making themselves as home as they join our Visitor host team, not only welcoming visitors at the front desk and giving short talks but also showing off genuine objects from London’s past – including a human skeleton!
The Museum of London is a signatory to the Kids in Museum’s Manifesto which calls for museums to say ‘Please touch!’ as often as possible, and to ‘direct kids to things that can be handled’. Today the girls, aged 7-11, will be doing the directing and teaching, showing visitors genuine objects from London’s past which have been specially chosen for teaching.
They have been prepared for the day by Jelena Bekvalac of the Centre for Human Bioarchaeology at the museum. Jelena and the museum’s Learning team have worked with the school for over five years, teaching the children about archaeology and the wealth of information that can be gained from skeletons across different periods of London’s history. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to enable the children to think about the sensitivity of handling human skeletal remains, that these are the remains of past Londoners and to treat them with care and respect.” The Museum of London’s human remains policy enables us to facilitate this fascinating activity.
Curator Meriel Jeater: “It’s really exciting that they will be able to pass on their knowledge to our visitors. Getting the chance to work with fascinating objects is one of the best aspects of a museum job so hopefully we may inspire the next generation of museum staff through this event.
Handling objects is one of the most rewarding experiences we offer visitors of all ages. We are excited to have primary school pupils taking over the object tables today, so please join us and our young hosts at the Museum of London if you can!