Sharing a range of voices and viewpoints about objects in the Museum’s collections

This project developed out of an existing relationship with Oxford Spires Academy. We shared an idea with teachers to work with objects and stories from our Ancient Near East Gallery, that eventually resulted in a series of short films of students talking about their chosen objects.

The students were part of a large group working on a programme at school with dedicated EAL teachers and are from Eritrea, Syria and South Sudan. The teachers’ aims were to improve the students’ English by talking, listening and writing. They wanted students to have an outcome they could take pride in and share in school at a sharing assembly.

The Museum’s aims were to learn about new ways of working and to deepen our relationship with the school. We wanted to give the students a sense of belonging and of being part of the Museum and Oxford and to see themselves represented in the galleries. A focus for the work was to learn from the responses of this group of young people and to explore which objects and stories were of most interest to them. This information will feed into changes being made to the Museum’s Ancient Near East Gallery in 2020/21.