Excited pupils visit Ely Museum for first time since £2.2m revamp
- Credit: Ely Museum
Over 40 pupils became the first school visitors to a revamped Ely Museum after it reopened its doors for the first time in nearly two years.
The museum welcomed year six pupils and their teachers from the Isle of Ely Primary School on Monday, May 24 for a day of learning about the Second World War.
Pupils learnt about the story of evacuee children who came to Ely from the Jews Free School in 1939, alongside practicing an air raid drill and learning about rationing.
Volunteers at Ely Museum also played various roles such as Mr Goff, Ely’s air raid warden, as children made their own wartime toy using items from around the home.
Louise Crawley, year six teacher at Isle of Ely Primary School, said: “The children have been looking forward to this visit to the museum.
“The activities the children have enjoyed on their visit is a great way to bring their learning to life and connect their classroom learning to our local history.”
Ely Museum reopened for the first time since September 2019 on May 21 following a £2.2 million redevelopment supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The city attraction was due to reopen after a 13-month closure, which was delayed due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
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Sarah Kerrison, learning officer at Ely Museum, was pleased to welcome back visitors once again.
She said: “It’s exciting to be opening our doors to schools once more, especially to enthusiastic classes.
“The revamped galleries mean we have more flexibility to use the space with school groups, and it’s been great to see them full of children for the first time.
“With a few tweaks for Covid safety, we are running our full programme of sessions and we’re getting lots of enquiries.”
Galleries and interactive exhibitions are among the new features at the museum, as well as facilities including a new education space.
One year six pupil praised their visit following the museum’s reopening.
They said: “I enjoyed the role play where we learnt what it was like for children in Ely during the war.
“It gave me a real sense of what it would have been like for them and I’m looking forward to coming back with my family for a visit to the museum."
For more information about Ely Museum’s learning programme, visit: https://www.elymuseum.org.uk/schools/.