Durham University’s Oriental Museum has won an ‘Investing in Children Award’, which was presented on 28 October.
The accolade was given in recognition of the museum’s creative engagement with children and young people. It was awarded after an assessment process during which judges spoke to children involved in Little Dragons, Durham Archaeology Explorers and drop-in activities.
Little Dragons is the museum’s group for children under 5, hosting sessions involving songs, story time, crafts, gallery hunts and object handling. The Durham Archaeology Explorers, also known as DAX, aims to work with older children, aged 7–11, in order to inspire an interest in archaeology and people of the past.
Their meetings are hosted on the first Saturday of each month, each focusing on a different historical period, in the hope of giving children a sense of how and why society changes and develops.
The Oriental Museum is the only museum in the North of England featuring art and archaeology of Northern African and Asian cultures, and celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2010.
In response to their recent award, the museum curator, Dr Craig Barclay said: “This award matters to us because it is the children and young people themselves who are given the opportunity to express their thoughts and opinions.
“We are very proud that the assessor was able to note that even the very youngest children have the opportunity to have their voices heard and are able to actively shape the programmes we offer.”
The Oriental Museum is situated just off South Road in Durham and is open Monday-Friday from 10pm-5pm and 12pm-5pm on Saturdays and Sundays, with free entry for Durham University students. It includes a shop and café.