The following article comes from Pauline Stirling, Education Consultant and Author in the Isle of Wight.

The Earth Museum has an office and public gallery in the beautiful town of Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight. Take the Lymington to Yarmouth ferry, stop in Yarmouth for a while, and you won’t regret it with its cobbled streets, pretty buildings, good pubs and walks along the River Yar. It’s the perfect setting for any museum, exploring stories from the past and connecting with people and places across our beautiful planet.

However, as great as a trip across the Solent is, you don’t have to make that journey as you can find all that The Earth Museum has to offer online:

The Earth Museum is a not-for-profit virtual museum. It connects stories of communities and places through digital heritage and creativity for C21st discovery, helping us understand each other and the planet better, inspiring and helping equip global citizens for 2050 and beyond. Many of the resources link to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. There are opportunities for creativity, collaborative projects and school visits.

The Earth Museum platform of resources is growing. New content is being added all the time and The Earth Museum is keen to hear from educational and cultural partners who would like to work with them.

The resources are primarily digital heritage maps, learning programmes and other digital resources, which support the digital heritage maps and the learning programmes. This includes Create The Earth Museum, a simple to use platform that supports teachers and students creating their own digital heritage maps in the classroom. Free digital heritage map resources include:

  • Global stories: World Civilisations; Fragments of Hope (Belize coral reefs); World War 1 Explorer; National Holocaust Centre and Museum; Rapanui (Easter Island) Heritage; D.H. Lawrence; Charles Darwin
  • Local stories: Isle of Wight; East Midlands; London Borough of Bromley.

The Earth Museum is also developing learning programmes for delivery over one term.

However, the programmes are flexible so teachers can dip in and out as they wish, selecting some activities and getting ideas and inspiration for curriculum planning and projects.

A range of learning programmes are being developed for use across the key stages. These involve a mix of learning activities centred on exploring digital maps, linking into a museum or heritage landscape and creating your own digital heritage map content for sharing with teachers, parents and wider public, if you wish.

The first learning programme to be developed is Take Two (UNESCO) Islands; the two islands being the Isle of Wight and Easter Island. The programme is designed so that it can be delivered in form or tutor time, PSHE sessions, Citizenship Studies or global citizenship lessons. The programme can incorporate a museum visit or field trip (come to the Isle of Wight!) or not. Take Two (UNESCO) Islands is aimed at KS3 learners. At the end of the summer term, I visited a school on the other side of the Solent to see how a Year 8 class had got on with Take Two (UNESCO) Islands. The class, who I felt could be challenging, were   on what they had learnt and, in particular, what is means to be a global citizen. To hear a learner say, “I enjoy learning about different places and cultures” was music to my ears!

The Earth Museum also offers online, and face-to-face, CPD training on how to use its resources in the classroom.

The digital maps, online CPD and learning programmes are all free to access (though learning programmes will include optional use of Create The Earth Museum for which there is a small annual subscription to cover costs and other service fees may be payable for extra IT/in person support).

The Earth Museum has a continuous ambition to develop and improve experience for students and educators and are very keen to get feedback on its resources and programmes. Why not take a look at the resources on offer? You will find resources that support a range of subject areas.

Please share your thoughts on what you liked and how things can be made better based on your experiences of using The Earth Museum resources in the classroom, by emailing: