National Museums Scotland and Educational Programmes

National Museums Scotland is charged with caring for Scotland’s museum collections which are deemed to be of either international or national importance, as well as interpreting and presenting them for a wide audience. By preserving these collections and making them as accessible as possible to a broad spectrum of visitors, National Museums Scotland aims to preserve the country’s heritage.

Working communities and museums nationwide and beyond, National Museums Scotland not only operates physical museums but also presents touring exhibitions, digital programmes, research and community engagement activities to reach the widest possible audience.

The National Museums Sites

There are four sites which are under the National Museums Scotland banner and can be found on the main website here. These include:

  • The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh
  • The National War Museum in Edinburgh
  • The National Museum of Flight in East Lothian
  • The National Museum of Rural Life in East Kilbride

In just one year over 2 million visitors come to these four sites.

What Is In The National Museums Scotland Collection?

The National Museums Scotland collections include a wealth of fascinating objects which are representative of Scottish history, culture and heritage as well as classical archaeology, world culture, social history, natural world, technology and science. In Edinburgh, National Museums Scotland runs the National Museums Collection Centre which houses the millions of artefacts which are currently not being displayed in any of the four sites. This centre is also home to cutting edge conservation, academic research and taxidermy facilities.

Events And Exhibitions

As well as running the four museum sites, National Museums Scotland also hosts international exhibitions which bring cultural items from all over the globe to Scotland. With events as diverse as lectures, airshows, concerts and re-enactments, National Museums Scotland boasts an impressive learning programme which brings the arts, science and history to life.

The National Museums Scotland Schools Programme

National Museums Scotland is firmly committed to helping children in Scotland to broaden their horizons and to have an exciting and engaging learning experience. By offering experience and discover days at all four of their museum sites, they bring Scottish school children in touch with their history and heritage in an interactive way. There are also live broadcasts through GLOW TV which enables even more pupils to engage with the museums’ exhibitions and objects.

Educational Resources From The National Museums Scotland

The Curriculum for Excellence can be brought to life in a creative and interactive way thanks to the many resources offered by the National Museums Scotland. There are many ways in which both primary and secondary groups of school children can interact with the museums’ collections including:

  • Free school admission to all 4 museum sites
  • Skills based workshops which are led by museum staff with links to the CfE
  • CPD courses for teachers which include private viewings of exhibitions for teachers
  • Object handling sessions
  • Debates, workshops and conferences which allow students to engage with a number of contemporary issues which have been reflected in the National Museums Scotland collections

Workshops From National Museums Scotland

All four of the National Museums Scotland sites offer interactive professionally led workshops for primary and secondary aged children on a range of age-appropriate subjects. Nursery and Primary 1 pupils can benefit from storytelling and object handling workshops which cover such diverse topics as space, weather, dinosaurs and engineering in an early years-friendly way. For older primary aged pupils, there are numerous workshops which cover many areas of the curriculum including history, science, geography and literacy. There are also teacher led handling boxes for primary aged students which can be borrowed for use in the classroom. Secondary pupils also have workshops tailored to their needs, and even the oldest pupils can participate in hands-on sessions in science, fashion, photography, engineering, history and geography.

National Museums Scotland In Partnership With Glow

Glow is a digital learning environment which is available nationally throughout Scotland to those in the education sector. Having a Glow account enables the holder to access many resources and web services which enable creation, innovation and collaboration.

Glow isn’t just a platform, it is a way of accessing a range of web services including WordPress blogs, Microsoft Office 365, Wikispaces wikis and also Adobe Connect as part of the Glow Meet and Glow TV broadcasting service. There are a range of secure and safe cloud based services which allow for innovative, social and collaborative learning as well as web publishing and co-creation. All education establishment and schools across the country have access to a Glow account.

National Museums Scotland work in partnership with Glow offering live broadcasts to further interpret elements of their collections and to provide an interactive and exciting way of bringing the curriculum to life through the use of their collection of objects and artefacts.