School children in Bootle are taking part in a unique project that brings Ancient Egypt to life … in their school.
The Atkinson is working in partnership with Christ Church Primary School on Writing Through Time, a project that uses the remarkable Goodison Egyptology collection to develop children’s writing and literacy.
As part of a celebration event in the school on Friday 10 February at 9am, The Atkinson will be unveiling a remarkable new acquisition Trial Piece of Akhenaten/Nefertiti, so that the teachers and children will be the first to see before it goes on show at The Atkinson.
Merseyside’s very own prize-winning poet Mandy Coe and Egyptologist Claire Ollett have been working with pupils at Christ Church primary school on Writing Through Time. Mandy is helping the children to develop their ideas and understanding about Mrs Goodison and her superb collection of Egyptology. They have been finding out about this ancient civilisation and making a personal connection with the past.
Writing Through Time was funded by The Atkinson Development Trust and it aims to develop children’s writing skills and levels of literacy across the curriculum at Key Stage 2; it is hoped to share the project outcomes with all Bootle’s primary schools.
Mrs Goodison – the local enthusiast who put together an astonishing collection of over 1000 Ancient Egyptian objects – lived in Waterloo during the late 19th century and had a museum in her house. So it is only right that school children learn about their local hero and use her collections to inspire their own creative writing.
Very little is known about Mrs Goodison, not even what she looked like. But The Atkinson has done some sleuthing and discovered some of her letters in a museum in New York. This has made Writing Through Time a brilliant opportunity for letters from the past to inspire stories about the journeys embedded in simple objects from long ago – and how these have ended up far from home – on Merseyside.
Trial piece of Akhenaten/Nefertiti was originally owned by The Met in New York and will have a central role in The Atkinson’s major exhibition later this year commemorating 130 years since Mrs Goodison first visited Egypt.
This important acquisition for The Atkinson was only possible because of the generous support from The Atkinson Development Trust, the Art Fund and the ACE/V&A Purchase Grant Fund.
Christine McGregor, Chair of The Atkinson Development Trust said:
“The Atkinson Development Trust is passionate about supporting access to these remarkable collections and to encourage their use to inspire children to enjoy writing and reading. Projects like this are vital if we are to test how children learn and engage and to see if we give them confidence and a love of words!
The Atkinson Development Trust was set up to make a difference using The Atkinson and its collections, to work across communities and to be at the centre of learning for those who may not normally get the opportunity. This project has had amazing success and the children and teachers have been incredible. “
Writing through Time has shown how Museum objects can be used to nurture young inquisitive minds and inspire imaginations as well as the project aiding children’s confidence in using words. The other side of the 5 week residency was to equip teachers with new knowledge and skills to apply in their teaching making it more fun for everyone!
For more information on this project or if you would like to support The Atkinson Development Trust and the work it delivers please visit theatkinson.co.uk.
If you would like to arrange a school visit to The Atkinson please email firstname.lastname@example.org . Workshops themed on our Egyptology Gallery are available.