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Posted: Aug 6, 2018

Museum Receives Prestigious Sandford Award for Heritage Education for the Sixth Time

The museum has been awarded the Sandford Award for Heritage Education 2018.

Learning team

The museum has been awarded the Sandford Award for Heritage Education 2018. This is an independently judged, quality assured assessment of education programmes at heritage sites, museums, archives and collections across the British Isles and is given in recognition of quality and excellence in the educational services offered by these institutions. The museum is one of the smallest museums to win the award, which it has now won for the sixth time.

The Sandford Award is a 'kite mark' for high quality education provision, recognised by schools and other education institutions across the United Kingdom and recognised nationally among the heritage sector community. The Judge's Report summarised: 'The museum places learning at the heart of all it does, and imagination and care have gone into the programmes on offer. The judges were particularly impressed with the use of real, and replica, objects from the museum to enhance the children's learning, as well as the dedication of a large number of experienced volunteers.'

Emma Ayling, Director of the Priest's House Museum, said: "To win the Sandford Award for a sixth time bears testament to an exceptional programme of learning opportunities for Dorset schools and the expertise and dedication of the volunteers who make up the Education Team. Our volunteers are committed to delivering hands-on and creative workshops using the museum's collections and building as inspiration."

During 2017, around 3,000 schoolchildren visited the museum, mainly from First and Primary Schools. Workshops and resources support the delivery of Key Stages 1 to 4 of the National Curriculum and cover a wide range of curriculum-linked topics. Sessions are provided on-site and in schools.

Emma continued: "As part of the museum's Revival Project, which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, we plan to offer an even more vibrant activity programme including more learning opportunities for age groups 8-16, 16-24 and students and increased and more comfortable learning spaces. We will also expand the museum's lifelong learning programme through new learning packs, planned cross-curricular and creative tailor-made learning sessions, outreach, events and activities. All these will enable the Trust to work more closely with families, young people, minority groups, students, disabled groups and rural communities."

For further information on the museum's education programme, contact Rachel Vivian, Learning Officer, on 01202 882533 or email

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