Welsh Museums Recognised for High Quality Education Provision; Awards Presented at Windsor Castle

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), March 4, 2010 | Go to article overview

Welsh Museums Recognised for High Quality Education Provision; Awards Presented at Windsor Castle


Byline: Gareth Evans

FOUR of Wales' national museums have been recognised for their high quality education provision. Representatives from some of the nation's premier tourist attractions were invited to a prestigious ceremony at Windsor Castle.

The National Roman Legion Museum in Caerleon, National Slate Museum, Llanberis, National Wool Museum, Drefach Felindre and Swansea's National Waterfront Museum all received the Sandford Award for Heritage Education.

The Earl of Wessex presented the awards which are administered by the Heritage Education Trust, which has a panel of experienced museum and heritage educators who visit and assess each site.

Judges range from professional inspectors, former head teachers to education consultants. The Sandford Award Scheme incorporates 200 historical sites within Britain and Ireland. Stately homes, museums, galleries, cathedrals, places of worship, gardens and landscapes are among those nominated.

The awards are made annually and recognise quality and excellence in the educational services provided by each provider.

This year's announcement means each of National Museum Wales' seven sites have now been recognised by the Heritage Education Trust.

The pride of Wales - Sandford award-winners National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon Described by lead judge Eric Steed as "history at its best", the National Roman Legion Museum has been awarded the Sandford for the second time.

Valid for five years, the award is considered a Quality Assured Assessment of heritage education.

The museum, which offers free entry and welcomes more than 26,000 school pupils a year, was commended for the way in which it considers its varied audiences and provides for both the Welsh and English curriculum.

"The award has been well-earned owing to the enthusiasm, care and knowledge displayed by the education officer and all members of staff," said Mr Steed.

"However well-informed visitors are on arrival, they leave having learned to observe more closely, to interpret with more understanding because they have been privileged to work closely with very knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides, whose ability to work at the levels most suited to the groups in their charge is outstanding." National Slate Museum, Llanberis Receiving the award for the very first time, the Llanberis landmark was praised for its high-quality education provision for local and visiting schools.

Museum employees - including the education team, demonstrating craftsmen and guides - received a glowing report from judges who attended a recent school visit.

Education officer Elen Roberts said: "Although it was a nerve-racking process, we are absolutely thrilled with the outcome of the judges' decision.

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