Haslemere Museum has won a prestigious 2016 Sandford Award for Heritage Education, which is given to museums and heritage organisations for outstanding formal education programmes.  Education Officer at Haslemere Museum, Kay Topping attended the awards ceremony held in Worcester Cathedral, where she was presented with the award by Professor David Rae, of Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln.

The award is a major recognition of the excellent work undertaken by Kay and her dedicated team of volunteers at the museum. The Sandford Award is an independently judged, quality assured assessment of education programmes at heritage sites, museums, archives and collections across the British Isles.  The award is jointly managed by Bishop Grosseteste University College and the Heritage Education Trust.

The museum now joins a select group of approximately 350 heritage education providers that have won the award since 1978 and who recognise the importance of developing and maintaining the standard of excellence for learning outside the classroom.  The awards focus on formal, curriculum-linked education opportunities offered to schools, although recognition is also made of informal learning such as family programmes.

The award recognizes the museum’s education offering, which runs a diverse range of interactive workshops drawing inspiration from its collections.  The schools programme at the museum supports the National Curriculum and includes sessions on the Ancient Egyptians, Greek theatre, rocks and fossils, dinosaurs and modern-day invertebrates.

The Sandford Award judge reviewed all aspects of the resources on offer to schools and also visited one of Kay’s workshops and afterwards gave a glowing report: “One would expect a Museum with education in its title to deliver a quality experience for visiting school parties. Haslemere Educational Museum does not disappoint, and is a worthy winner of a Sandford Award.”

Kay Topping, Education Officer said: “It was a lovely afternoon and we are absolutely delighted to have won this accolade.  We strive to provide engaging learning experiences of the highest quality and are proud to provide an exciting and immersive programme, so it is fantastic to have this recognised.  Our diverse collections provide a vast range of material to inspire learning for all age groups as well as adult and family learning opportunities.”

Julia Tanner, Museum Curator said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this award – it is a great achievement that celebrates both the excellent quality of our schools programme and a credit to the hard work and expertise of Kay and her volunteer team.”


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