Education Policy

The Museum Mission Statement

  • To preserve the historical collections and buildings in our care for current and future generations through conservation, interpretation and public access.
  • To constantly improve knowledge and understanding of the collections through education and research.
  • To present themes and stories of Explosion to the broadest audience, in an engaging, enjoyable and stimulating context.
  • To provide a high level of service to customers, which exceeds their expectations and creates a memorable experience that they wish to repeat.
  • To maximise income from operations and fund raising in order to reduce reliance on subsidies and to underpin future development of the Museum.

Education Mission Statement

The Priddy’s Hard site and the museum is potentially a source of inspiration and enjoyment for all. 

The mission of the education department is to devise and deliver imaginative education programmes and learning experiences related to the museum’s most exciting and engaging themes.  These experiences will be directed at individuals and groups of all ages and abilities from a variety of different cultural, social and economic backgrounds.

Education Ethos

Our aim is to enrich people's understanding, knowledge and appreciation of the Priddy’s Hard site, the collection and displays, in a variety of imaginative ways geared to a range of preferred learning styles.  History in a variety of permutations – military, social, technological – is inevitably our core subject, but we are aware of the very clear links the site has with geography, science and design technology.  Our challenge is to develop Explosion as a place of discovery and to stimulate people’s imaginations across a wide range of themes. 

We believe that the experience of visiting the museum itself is of central importance.  The galleries are displays which visitors sense through sight, sound and touch, and their response to certain objects may often be highly personal and emotional.  The chronological nature of the galleries allows visitors to explore the technological and social change experienced over the course of the site’s 250 year history.  It is impossible to recreate the immediacy or impact of the visit experience through off-site lectures or the use of loan boxes.  The advantage of having a museum located on a historic site is one that should not be underestimated. 

For a child, having the opportunity to dress up in Victorian or World War 2 costumes and be part of a significant event in the site’s history provides a novel and enhanced experience, and develops their empathetic and improvisational skills.  We look to provide a unique experience which cannot be replicated elsewhere, being both memorable and awe inspiring.  Informal learning programmes provide teachers with access to the Anderson Shelter, a collection of World War 2 handling artefacts and a range of other activities are available when school groups studying Britain Since 1930 visit the Education Centre.  We aim to start a programme of holiday activities and family learning sessions where families can take part in craft workshops closely linked to a specific theme or idea connected with the Priddy’s Hard site.  The museum is a fantastic learning resource, and the emphasis is very much on encouraging people to come and experience it at first hand.

We also believe very strongly that all people, young or old, have specific strengths and interests of benefit to the community as a whole.  With this in mind, our longer term objectives focus on providing a range of different experiences for museum visitors which cater for the multiple intelligences different people possess.  Our long term aim is to offer opportunities for visitors to explore their own particular skills and interests, so developing personal self esteem and an affinity with the Priddy’s Hard site. 

Education Service

The current, spacious, harbourside Education Centre is housed in a former shifting room dating from the mid 19th century. The classroom is used for teaching and learning sessions combined with a visit to Explosion, and also doubles as a lunch room facility if requested at the time of booking. Themed Family Fun events will also be held in the centre during school holidays, linking with Explosion events.

Under the guidance of its Learning Officer, Explosion offers an education programme for school visits.

The Priddy’s Hard site offers a stimulating , positive, primary resource to enrich the education of visitors at all stages of life and learning. 

School visits to Explosion from all key stages, mainstream and special needs, are welcomed. Pre visits from teachers are expected in order to agree learning objectives and to make a risk assessment. At the pre visit the teacher will be shown the educational facilities, tour the museum and receive copies of the museum trails, plus a printed visit guide for teachers and helpers. A copy of the generic hazard assessment to assist the teacher in making his/her own risk assessment is available on the web site.

Planning for future provision will be supported by evaluation forms completed by lead teachers following their visit in conjunction with educational trends and the professional knowledge and skills of the Learning Officer.

Educational services are constantly under review and will change, develop and improve as we build new audiences, respond to new developments and gain new skills and experience.

Equal Opportunities

The delivery of Education at Explosion is offered via a range of strategies, activities and presentations matched to the visitors' needs and abilities at their own particular stage of learning.

Staff at Explosion recognise that marginalized , minority groups such as the elderly, unwaged or young adults/adolescents are valued members of society and have access to the museum’s services.

Wheelchair users have access to all areas of Explosion.  Museum staff act as advocates for all museum visitors, in consideration of their needs.

Evaluation, Reflection and Adaptation 

The Learning Officer is responsible for collating and reviewing all evaluation and reporting to the Head of Attractions and Collections on visitor responses to informal learning activities.  The results of evaluation will be used to inform future plans for such activities.

Formal workshops will be regularly reviewed and evaluated with teachers and pupils to ensure the content meets their learning needs and is delivered appropriately. 

The Learning Officer will review the range of workshops and activities offered by Explosion on an annual basis.  This takes into consideration changes to the National Curriculum, workshop booking figures and workshop evaluation forms.  This review will ensure that the workshops offered to schools remain relevant and suitable and highlights any gap in provision.

Workshop leaders will endeavour to build in evaluation time at the end of the session to capture pupils’ responses to what they have seen, heard or done during the visit.  Teachers will be provided with both pupil and teacher evaluation forms to complete and return after their visit.

A third-party “peer review” system will be initiated, whereby learning staff from other local museums occasionally attend workshops and provide feedback, including commenting on the quality of the teaching/instruction provided by the Learning Officer and other staff and volunteers.  Where possible, the Learning Officer also observes workshops and provides feedback to the staff and volunteers involved.

The Learning Officer reviews all evaluation received and agrees any necessary response with the Head of Attractions and Collections.  The results of evaluation will be used to inform future activities and improve service standards. 

Health and Safety

Explosion has produced a manual for health and safety. It contains a policy statement and a structure for implementing the policy.

All pre-booked groups will be met on arrival to be given health and safety information and guidance in emergency procedures.

A pre-visit by teacher leaders is strongly encouraged to highlight essential services provided at Explosion and to ensure the smooth running of their tour of the Museum. Written guidance will be given to teachers for their helpers.

Teachers and Leaders will be asked to confirm treatment of those pupils with special requirements should they need medical aid.

Teachers and adult leaders will be expected to implement their school's discipline policy with their group during the visit.  Museum staff are happy to reinforce this policy and will support in any way they can.  Museum staff have been instructed to intervene if inappropriate pupil behaviour is not being addressed.  This is to ensure that the experiences of other pupils and members of the public are not negatively influenced by poor behaviour.

Museum policy demands that sessions delivered by museum staff must have at least one teacher/adult leader from the visiting organisation present at all times.      

Data Protection

From time to time, during family workshops, Explosion staff may wish to take photographs for use in display and in museum publicity leaflets. Additionally, press photographers visit Explosion to photograph events for publication in the public domain.

Parents/carers/guardians will be asked to give their explicit permission for this by reading and signing a disclaimer agreeing that their child's image and/or name may be published in local newspapers or image only in Explosion publicity leaflets or on the website.

This permission, valid for two years, January to December, will not be used for any other purpose and names will not be used on any Explosion publicity or internet site. .