We’re working on an exciting partnership with Museums Northumberland to bring unique learning opportunities directly to our learners in prison. This programme, which seeks to enhance the general learning experience and increase engagement, will link into existing projects that are currently out of reach.
First up is an inventive educational opportunity with the Union Chain Bridge Project, a Northumberland-based conservation project involving the famous Union Chain Bridge to enhance STEM learning.
The bridge, which opened in 1820, spans the border from England to Scotland and serves as a symbol of a unified Great Britain and has historically promoted culture and trade in the border region.
Throughout January and February, representatives from the museum’s education team delivered sessions with our learners where they shared videos of the bridge and lead discussions on the renovation process, and the skills it takes to carry this out. Through this project, we are aiming to demonstrate the wide range of roles available and inspire our learners to take up a career in a STEM-related field.
Learners were given several activities to engage in, like project management work which tested their maths skills and logic skills. After the lessons, they were given resources to help them understand the kinds of roles that are available and what they can do to get there.
Prison learners engage in creative education opportunities
We’ve had some great feedback on the sessions so far from our learners who have been excited at the challenge and new information.
“I felt that I benefited from going, I hadn’t realised just what project management entails - it seems very interesting”, said one, while another added, “I really enjoyed it, it was a fun team building project”
Many learners taking part in our provisions have a weak history of engaging in education. Many of these learners may feel unmotivated or unsure of themselves and it’s incredibly important that we provide them with the inspiration to know that they can achieve success in life and go on to work in some exciting fields so long as they have the support and guidance to get there.
Our upcoming creative enrichment activities for prison learners
Moving forward, we are working with the Museum to bring their exhibition of the Union Chain Bridge to HMP Northumberland and then on to our other locations across the North. This project is expected to commence in April, and will be followed by other enrichment activities like the “Bridge Bake Off” which HMP Northumberland’s catering class will compete in.