An Education Working Group for the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site was set up in November 2007. It continues to meet on at least a termly basis pursuing joint projects, sharing best practice and developing initiatives to unlock the potential of the site as an educational resource and establish a more collaborative approach to educational provision across the WHS. Terms of Reference for the group have been agreed.
Key projects have included:
An e-learning resource funded by Derby Museums through Renaissance East Midlands for History and Citizenship at Key Stage 3 and 4 entitled ‘Mill Workers and Owners’ which is now live on the Learn With Museums website (www.learnwithmuseums.org.uk)
An Early Years storytelling partnership project funded by Derby Museums through Renaissance East Midlands between Derby Museums and Strutt’s North Mill entitled ‘Millie the Mill Mouse and the Belper Mill Fire’ has resulted in better relations between the two sites, a higher profile among the local community and entry into the Derbyshire Renaissance Heritage Awards 2009. The project has involved 19 local nurseries and play-groups and 465 children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old so far, with the total by the end of the project expected to reach at least 400 children.
A collaborative project between Derby University Year 4 B. Ed students and sites in the Derwent Valley. This project involved groups of student teachers producing resources for the sites and presenting this to the site staff and their peers in a session at the University. The group is currently reviewing these resources for how they could be adapted into the educational offer at each site.
Development of a Young Historians Competition about the Derwent Valley for Key Stage 1 and 2 with prizes donated by Masson Mill, Derbyshire County Council, Cromford Mill, Derby Museums and Strutt’s North Mill.
A method of sharing best practise by visiting each others sites and offering feedback on education sessions.
Developing a Learning Plan for the DVMWHS. In addition to this, each site is working on their own individual site Learning Plan which will feed into the Learning Plan for the whole of the WHS and will add structure and direction to the educational offer.
Developing ideas for joint DVMWHS site wide educational projects and beginning funding investigations, for example looking at a textiles and factory project with global dimensions and international links.