In 2008, two Junior Boards were created for the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum project. The Boards ran for three years, until the museum opened. The pupils' role was to comment on the new interpretation and discuss what children wanted in the new museum and Burns Cottage.
The pupils came from two schools and met twice a year. Each school had their own Junior Board so that, if they wished, they could continue work in the classroom.

The schools were:

Alloway Primary School, South Ayrshire

Pollokshields Primary School, Glasgow

The pupils were encouraged to comment on specific parts of the interpretation while it was still in the planning stage. They often offered their own ideas. They also learnt about the whole project and about museum work.

The Junior Boards ran for three years. As older pupils left for secondary school, younger pupils replaced them. The ages ranged between 6 – 12 years. As time went by, the pupils' experience and confidence increased.

The two Junior Boards worked together during their meetings and got to know each other. Each Junior Board visited the other's school.

They worked with the NTS Interpretation Project Manager, who was leading on the new interpretation, and the NTS Learning Manager (resources). They also had activity sessions with the curator and conservator.

We found the Junior Boards' feedback and advice invaluable.

Some of the Junior Board’s activities:

  • Investigated the old museum and original Burns Cottage interpretation before discussing the new plans with NTS staff.
  • Considered Burns' poems - and activities that could be connected to them.
  • Looked at plans for the proposed interactives and provided advice.
  • Suggested the mouse trail – which has proved very popular with our young visitors (and has inspired a mouse trail at Barry Mill in Angus)!
  • Investigated children's museum guides and gave detailed information on what they liked.
  • Learnt about museum work with the curator and conservator, undertaking conservation activities and writing labels.
  • Pollokshields Primary School Junior Board visited the Tenement House in Glasgow, and Culzean Castle and Country Park, South Ayrshire.
  • Alloway Primary School Junior Board recorded voices for the museum, with the RBBM Learning Manager.
  • Both Junior Boards attended the Grand Opening of RBBM.
  • Provided feedback about the Junior Board project (both present and past members).

We would like to thank the following pupils:

Pollokshields Primary School: Zahrah Jabeen, Arif Ahmed, Faizah Saqib, Makki Tahir, Hussain Shabbir, Bilal Haq, Rabia Ali, Laiqa Umar, James Jensen, Faisal Siddiq, Hufsah Farooq, Tara Kaur, Habib Iftakhar, Ruqayah Muminah, Shahbaz Hussain (and classroom assistant, Linda Docherty)

Alloway Primary School: Ross Arthur, Christopher Andreucci, Caitlyn Agnew, David Babuta, Eve Briggs, Beth Donaghey, Rachel Hart, Lewis Homer, Rhona Legget, Callum McAvoy, Matt Paton, Ewan Ramsay, Amelia Singh, Ruth Stevenson (and teacher, Hilary Beesley)

Email us at learning@nts.org.uk
Call us on 0131 458 0212

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