Workforce for the Future: Creating the 'Weird Trail'
A joint project between Aberdeen Archives, Gallery & Museums, Hanover Street Primary School,
and Developing the Young Workforce.
We worked with P7 and P6/7 classes at Hanover Street Primary School in Aberdeen. Our aim was to introduce pupils to job roles in Aberdeen Archives, Galleries & Museums and get them involved in creating a resource for future learners to use when visiting Aberdeen Art Gallery.
The classes visited Aberdeen Art Gallery and AAGM learning officers visited the pupils at their
primary school. During these visits, pupils explored the job roles in museums and galleries. While onsite the pupils interviewed front of house staff, worked with an audience engagement officer to create short videos, and researched objects on display to curate their own learning resource.
After exploring Aberdeen Art Gallery collections, and discussing ideas with their teachers and
classmates, the pupils decided to contribute to a ‘Weird Trail’ for future pupils in their school to use on visits to Aberdeen Art Gallery. The trail would highlight objects that Hanover Street pupils thought were surprising, unusual, and stood out from the rest of the collection.
The pupils chose the objects, discussed why they thought the object was unusual, and why they
wanted others to see it. The list of objects and clues to the object were shared with a designer
recruited by AAGM who created the ‘Weird Trail’. It will be printed and available to future Hanover Street Primary school pupils.
“The pupils enjoyed taking part in the project and enjoyed visiting the Art Gallery. A lot of them hadn't been before and didn't realise they could visit for free so that was good for them to be exposed to it all.”Aberdeen Archives, Gallery & Museums staff member
- Pupils gained a greater understanding of the different jobs in Aberdeen Archives, Gallery & Museums.
- Pupils were enthusiastic about the collection of art and objects on display and were keen to share the more unusual objects with other school learners.
- Pupils were engaged with staff and curious about how they got into that job and what their favourite part of their job is.
- There was a high level of interest in the callout for a designer.
- The final design is a fun resource that we hope other learners will enjoy using when visiting Aberdeen Art Gallery.
- We ran this project in term 4 in the academic year, April to July, which is a very busy time for P7 pupils with the transition to secondary school. Working with just the P6 pupils might have been better as they could have continued with the project into the following school year.
- Although working with two classes was very rewarding, it does take more planning, time, and resources to run.
- It was sometimes challenging for the pupils to do research at school. They would have preferred to visit again and take some photos of the objects on display.
- Seeing pupils’ enthusiasm when discovering Aberdeen Art Gallery spaces, choosing objects to include in the Weird Trail, and interacting with staff was as much benefit to the staff as to the learners.
- Pupils explored the variety of jobs in the culture and heritage sector and how they can use creativity, research, and teamwork in a variety of ways.
- It gave AAGM learning officers an insight to what the pupils of that age enjoy in Aberdeen Art Gallery and offered a new way for a museum trail to be created by young people.
- Recruiting a designer to create the Weird Trail supported new Scottish talent in creative industries and brought to life the ideas the pupils generated.