History - Museum involves all pupils in the past

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Pupils with special educational needs will be able to play with 19th- century toys and try on 1930s clothes as part of a new scheme to get them involved in history.

The Vamp;A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, east London, has produced a set of free teaching packs to help pupils with acute special needs to develop an understanding of history and to learn as much from a museum visit as their classmates.

The set includes individual packs that focus on clothing and toys. The clothing section contains photographs of Victorian outfits on display in the museum as well as a variety of replica items that pupils can try on themselves. These are made from various textures so that visually impaired pupils can also learn from the experience. And clothes are specially adapted in order to fit over wheelchairs if necessary.

The moving toys pack also includes photographs of items from the museum's collection. Again, there are replica items that pupils of different abilities can play with. From this month, the museum will set aside one day every term for organised visits by special schools. This is intended particularly for autistic children, who can sometimes be intimidated by the noise and crowds involved during days out at mainstream schools.


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