Making it Real

A Literacy Project with the British Motor Museum


Kineton High School has been working with British Motor Museum (formerly  The Heritage Motor Museum) on a project focusing on developing Literacy skills. Earlier this year the school met with Adela Thomas, Community Engagement Officer at the museum to talk about collaborative projects that small groups of students might be interested in courtesy of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

It was decided that a small group of students Blake Taylor-Sass, Michael Court, Coran Gray and Sam Robeson that were participating in improving their literacy sessions could create a blog for a project called the Big New Store. Five years of vision, planning and fundraising by the museum has culminated in the build of a new Museum Collections Centre where the many cars collected and stored, can now be put on display for the public.

In September Mrs Scruby took Blake, Michael and Sam to visit the British Motor Museum. This first visit was to document the existing space in the museum, meet the staff involved in the relocation and to look at the new building. The students listened to an introduction about who the British Motor Museum are and what they want to achieve. They met with Paul Gilder, the workshop manager, and viewed the existing museum space. They saw 100 cars in storage sheds waiting to go in the new building. The boys were fascinated to find out that storing the cars costs the museum £50-60,000 a year as they need to maintain environmental conditions to avoid further degeneration of the cars.

The boys then went on to see the new building site which was still closed to visitors. Paul shared the difficulties of getting 100 cars from the sheds to the building – not all the cars have working engines! The students recorded their visit with photos and videos. They then had a tour of the main museum and time to explore it on their own. Then it was back to school and time to write up reports for the blog recording everything they had seen.

Visit two took Blake, Sam and Coran back to the British Motor Museum to interview the curator. The boys recorded their interview and then back in school had to type up a transcript. Visit three took them back to the museum to complete a before and after survey – looking at the old and then the new and completing a comparison. Visit four was all about making a poster to advertise the new museum. The boys had to particularly highlight what they had enjoyed and learnt from their visits.

We are very grateful to the British Motor Museum and the Heritage Lottery Fund for supporting us with this project. It is a proven successful strategy to use ‘real’ experiences to support engagement with literacy. Students are more motivated to and find it easier to start to write when they have actually experienced the topic. The boys have had an inspiring experience and their writing has clearly benefitted from it.

Use the buttons below to read the boys’ first foray into blogging