Jo Arnott 2

Joanna Arnott was with us before Christmas….

Earlier this year I began a twenty-five day student placement with the learning department at the museum, and what an exciting and interesting experience I had! I am a part time student at Bath Spa University studying for an MA in Heritage Management, which I began in September 2016 after a 25 year career as a primary school teacher and adviser. I had heard about the excellent outreach work that the learning department at Salisbury Museum were doing and felt that this would be really useful for me to learn about.

Along with Owain Hughes (the Salisbury Museum Learning Officer) and the learning volunteers, I visited several schools to help with the Mini Museum project. Each school was different in the way they approached the project and I helped children to make a variety of objects for their own school museum, everything from Roman sandals to a desert island! It was really interesting to see how museum learning could take place in the community. At the same time I carried out some research for a university assignment called “The Town Museum: Making a difference or just a ‘bad habit’.” I used data collected from visitors to several Wiltshire town museums and Salisbury Museum came out very positively in being viewed as making a difference to the local community. Through helping with the Mini Museum project I was able to see this in action.

I was also asked to design a trail for young children for the Terry Pratchett exhibition. I devised a trail where the children have to tear a hole in their trail to look through, and then have to hunt for the bronze Nac Mac Feagles which are hidden in the museum galleries. I also helped Joyce Paesen (the Salisbury Museum Exhibitions Officer) set the exhibition up which was a very exciting experience especially when the BBC arrived to film! I learnt how to prepare paintings (thank you Joyce for being patient with my terrible screw driver skills) how to hang them at eye level and how an exhibition unfolds. It was an honour to attend the private viewing of the exhibition.

I would like to Richard Henry for letting me design the trail, and Owain for his support and advice throughout the placement, which I very much appreciated. And a big thank you to all the staff and volunteers who made me feel so welcome.

Thank you Joanna, and best wishes