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The Council for British Archaeology named Leeds Museums and Galleries’ Primary School Membership scheme the winner of the Archaeological Achievement Award for learning, training and skills.
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Museums team digs deep to win top award for archaeology project

An inspiring project giving young people in Leeds a chance to unearth the ancient secrets of the past in their classrooms has scooped a top National Archaeology Award.

The Council for British Archaeology named Leeds Museums and Galleries’ Primary School Membership scheme the winner of the Archaeological Achievement Award for learning, training and skills. Thanks to the team, pupils in classrooms across Leeds have had the chance to get hands-on experience of objects tens of thousands of years old taken from the impressive Leeds Museums and Galleries collection.

They included Palaeolithic hand axes which are between 15,000 and 100,000 years old, ancient Egyptian figurines and beads, Roman pottery and Ancient Greek ceramic figures. As part of the project, teachers were also given support to learn some new archaeology skills to pass on to pupils and schools were encouraged to engage with local archaeological sites like Dalton Parlours, a Roman villa in Leeds, as part of their lessons.

Emily Nelson, Leeds Museums and Galleries’ learning and access officer, who led on the project said:

“We’re absolutely thrilled that our work with local schools has been recognised by such a prestigious organisation as the Council for British Archaeology. Giving local pupils the chance to see and learn about real objects from our collection means they can engage with ancient history and archaeology in a totally new and exciting way.

“It’s our hope that that will spark a lifelong love of history and inspire a new generation of archaeologists to discover more about the ancient world.”

This is the latest in a string of awards won by Leeds Museums and Galleries over the past two years. The service’s innovative Closing the COVID Gap project, the only one of its kind in the country, won a prestigious Museums and Heritage Award for learning outreach earlier this year.

Last year, Careers for All, also run by Leeds Museums and Galleries was named Museums and Heritage Award Learning Programme of the Year 2020. In 2019, The Leeds Curriculum learning resource also won Educational Initiative of the Year.

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education said:

“Leeds Museums and Galleries continues to go from strength to strength, showcasing the city’s world class collection to audiences of all ages and backgrounds in new and exciting ways.

“It’s particularly inspiring to see the service’s work with young people and schools given so much prestigious recognition and to know the history lovers of the future are being nurtured and encouraged so well here in Leeds.”

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