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Museums and archives support pupils’ literacy

Above: MLA Logo

Museums and archives are helping school-aged pupils to develop literacy skills with inspiration from their collections, supported by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council's (MLA) Strategic Commissioning Workforce Skills programme.

The National Literacy Trust's 'Talk for Writing' approach enables children and young people across a wide age range to develop literacy skills in fun and inspiring ways, engaging with museum, gallery and archive collections. This successful approach piloted by the Preston Museums and Schools in Partnership and Renaissance North West with the National Literacy Trust will be showcased at a national conference taking place on 9 December 2010. Other Renaissance Hub museums delivering literacy programmes in other regions are also hosting 'Talk for Writing' training sessions for museums and archives to support pupils' attainment.

The British Library's 'Literature in Context' (LinC) project is working with writers' historic houses across England and museums holding writers' archives to support teachers of English at key stages 3 to 5. In the LinC project's second year, the National Association of Writers in Education and the Arvon Foundation will provide further inspiration for teachers and pupils to engage with the English GCSE curriculum. The MLA's Learning Links placement funding will enable teachers and museum and archive staff to work together and build sustainable resources.

Trainee teachers are exploring ways to teach literacy in settings outside the classroom through the Initial Teacher Training programme. The Cumbrian Literacy Placement project, for example, has focused on Boys' Writing. Library professionals are also working with museum and archive learning staff and other cultural organisations to support children and young people at risk of falling out of the school system.

Training offers run between October 2010 and February 2011. Information about these exciting opportunities to develop literacy using collections can be found on the MLA's Continuing Professional Development website pages:

For further details about CPD training offers, contact:

For information about Learning Links placements, contact:

To find out more about Initial Teacher Training, contact: