Centres for focused study

9th June 2006 at 01:00
Discovery corners

Three corner galleries contain discovery centres on the environment, art and history. Visitors can walk through them but they can also be closed off for school parties.

The centres are laid out for curriculum use, with about half a dozen stations in each, all with different interactive displays and original objects.

In the environment discovery centre, for example, the Habitats and Food Chains section has displays on the seashore and woodland and the related food chains.

There are cases about what a plant is or a vertebrate or an invertebrate.

For invertebrates there are about nine specimens with a key to work out what's what, and there is a model outline of a fox, into which you can place the brain and vertebrae.

Investigating stations allow visitors to use magnifiers and study trays of specimens.

The art discovery centre introduces its theme with an area containing a painting, sari, sculpture, vase and vacuum cleaner to get visitors thinking about design. An art connection wall of details from paintings, words and colours encourages them to explore words like mood, line, shape and form.

Activity stations focus on specific topics. So, a painting of a Dutch domestic interior encourages spectators to consider perspective: to look at the tiles on the floor and, using 3D models, relate the fireplace at the back to the dog in the foreground.

The history discovery centre covers from the Bronze Age to the Victorians, with a range of objects that illustrate how people's lives have changed.

Each discovery centre will have a learning assistant to help visitors - children and adults - to explore the exhibits.

Study centre

A study centre upstairs reflects various aspects of the museum's Expressions and Life displays and is mainly for older students. Different drawers cover different themes and a reading room and reference material are available.

Computer terminals allow students to follow up stories that interested them with further background and websites. CD-Roms and films are also available.

Staff are on hand and curators for the different collections will be around on different afternoons. Members of the public can bring along objects they have found and enquire about them.

Education suite

The basement, which once contained stacks of treasures hidden from view, has been opened up, with a new ground level entrance from the park. On one side of a passage - lined with almost 200 tiles made by primary and special schools children around Glasgow - is a big temporary exhibition space; on the other is an education suite funded by the Hunter Foundation.

A pavilion has been built on to allow a separate entrance for booked school parties, with room for coats and bags.

The education space can be used as one large area or closed off into smaller rooms for nursery groups. The main workshop space, with a sink, can accommodate two classes.

Kelvingrove has more than 20 learning assistants to work with pre-5s up to secondary classes and 20-30 workshop ideas, for all ages.

Education officer Anne Wallace says: "Early years children can visit sculptures, paintings and the heads suspended from the east court roof of the museum and do a workshop on Feeling Faces.

"P6-P7s can visit the Creatures of the Past gallery, role-play hunters, environmentalists, business conglomerates and tourists, and debate the future of wildlife. And Higher drama pupils studying The Letterbox by Anne Marie Di Mambro can use the Glasgow Stories gallery to explore issues of violence against women."

School groups can visit a gallery and a discovery centre, or a gallery and a workshop in the education centre. Glasgow's cultural entitlement for all policy means local schools do not have to pay for visits but there will be a small charge for other schools.

Glasgow schools will soon be invited to pilot workshops taking place from August to October. For all other schools, information will be included in the What's On publication that will reach them at the beginning of the new session. Bookings will start in August.


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