The Old Royal Naval College Hospital School Outreach Programme, run in partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, has been shortlisted for the 2023 Museum + Heritage Awards in the Learning Programme of the Year category.
Known as the ‘Oscars of the museum world’, these prestigious awards honour the best in museum and heritage practice.
The learning team at the Old Royal Naval College designs and delivers engaging educational activities for children and the families of children in the Children’s Ward of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich – a ‘school trip’ taken to the hospital.
Sessions are highly inclusive, tailored and adapted for a wide range of ages, backgrounds and needs. Activities can range from arts and crafts to handling collections and model-making. The aims of the sessions are to provide children who are unwell in hospital – and their families – with interesting and engaging activities to inspire their creativity, perhaps take their minds off their treatment, help them to interact socially and provide learning opportunities to help bridge the gap until they can return to school.
The sessions are developed in collaboration with the Hospital’s schools team and delivered every 6 – 8 weeks on a variety of themes linked to their hospital school specific curriculum and the history of the Old Royal Naval College site.
For example, Black History Month looked at Afrofuturism. It was exciting to co-develop a session which allowed participants to produce artwork inspired by Afrofuturist artists such as Lina Iris Viktor. Using the broad theme of travel, we were able to link it to the history of sailors living at the Royal Hospital for Seamen who had come from all over the world. This session proved very popular, not only with the children but also with some of the accompanying adults and a good body of work was produced.
Other sessions included ‘constellations’, linking to navigation; ‘mask-making’, linking super-heroes to Ancient Greek mythology; and ‘Tudor diets’ linking to healthy eating.
Claire Kirk, Head of Learning and Interpretation at Old Royal Naval College said, “It really is a huge achievement to have been shortlisted. Many congratulations to the Learning team who continue to develop and deliver this high quality, high impact programme.
“Art and creativity offer hope, interaction, joy, and relaxation for children in hospital. The programme extends our award-winning educational programme beyond the walls of our site. It brings this Maritime Greenwich site to areas in the East of the borough, where the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is located and to those who do not often engage with us.”
The Hospital School Outreach Programme was chosen by a panel of experts as being one of five of the best learning programmes in the country. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in May.