A unique museum education project that has helped bring history into hundreds of homes across Leeds during the pandemic has scooped a top national award.
Leeds Museums and Galleries’ innovative Closing the COVID Gap project, the only one of its kind in the country, won a prestigious Museums and Heritage Award for learning outreach last night during an online ceremony.
The award win completes a hat-trick for the service, which has brought home a remarkable trio of Museums and Heritage awards in the past three years.
Closing the COVID Gap saw members of the service’s learning and access team work with 18 schools in Leeds, helping them to utilise a huge online learning resource which spans millions of years of world history and which is all based on the Leeds Museums and Galleries collection.
Tailoring their work to the needs of schools, staff and pupils, the project team also helped some schools redesign their curriculums to suit digital learning through a programme of workshops, imaginative videos and COVID secure object loans from the collection.
Kate Fellows, Leeds Museums and Galleries’ head of learning and access said:
“We’re absolutely thrilled to have won this award and for the work the team has done through the pandemic to get such prestigious recognition.
“We know it’s been a uniquely challenging time for schools, teachers and pupils and it’s incredibly rewarding for all of us to know we’ve helped and supported them with their learning and contributed something fun and different to their lesson time too.
“The feedback we’ve had from schools is that this project has made a real difference and it’s also helped us to learn a lot about what we can accomplish together in future.”
The Museums and Heritage Awards are one of the UK’s top industry prizes and celebrate examples of best practice and innovation from museums across the country.
Last year, Careers for All, also run by Leeds Museums and Galleries was named Museums and Heritage Award Learning Programme of the Year 2020. In 2019, The Leeds Curriculum learning resource also won Educational Initiative of the Year.
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said:
“This award is a huge endorsement for both the excellent work of our museum teams throughout the pandemic and the hugely important role that museums and culture play in educating and engaging our city’s young people.
“Congratulations to everyone involved in this innovative project for their adaptability and imagination in bringing history to life for so many young people and for supporting our wonderful schools and teachers during such a challenging time.”