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The Novium Museum celebrates national award nomination for innovative virtual field trips

An innovative digital learning programme, developed by Chichester's Novium Museum, has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

The museum's 'Virtual Field Trips' programme, which benefits primary schools across the Chichester District, has been shortlisted from more than 140 entries in the Digital Culture Awards' 'Content Creation and Distribution' category.

The Digital Culture Awards — from Arts Council England's Digital Culture Network — celebrate creativity, resilience and digital innovation of the arts and culture sector. The awards are a chance to showcase and recognise the best in digital transformation, digital engagement and use of technology.

The virtual field trips were developed by The Novium Museum in 2020, in response to the challenges faced by primary schools as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Bringing history to life with a combination of collection objects, actors and cross-curricular interactive activities, they are designed to bring high quality, engaging museum learning directly into the classroom.

"This is a fantastic achievement for The Novium Museum," says Councillor Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Culture at Chichester District Council. "The Content Creation and Distribution category for which the Virtual Field Trips programme has been shortlisted celebrates creativity and innovative uses of digital technology to deliver cultural content, and the programme certainly delivers all of that and more.

"Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the museum has embraced digital technology to keep Chichester's history accessible to all. In a time of continued uncertainty and challenges for schools everywhere, our Virtual Field Trip programme enables children to continue to benefit from our enriching learning programme and extensive museum collection without needing to leave their classrooms. The feedback we have received from school groups that have already benefitted from our virtual field trips has been overwhelmingly positive and demonstrated a real need for our dynamic virtual learning offer.

"The programme isn't solely a digital offering either, as each virtual field trip comes with an option to access an accompanying loan box containing real and replica artefacts, providing real hands-on learning, as well as a virtual Chichester City tour.

Tina Hill, Senior Manager of the Digital Culture Network, says: "The Content Creation and Distribution category was very highly subscribed (we received over 140 submissions) and Virtual Field Trips from The Novium Museum has been selected as one of our four final shortlisted projects.

"We were incredibly impressed by the imagination and creativity in how the project brings physical museum field trips to children and young people virtually to support a wider curriculum during such a challenging time and in such an engaging way."

The Novium Museum has been shortlisted alongside The Old Vic, Alexander Whitely Dance Company, and Open Clasp Theatre Company. The winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on 20 January 2022.

A series of Roman themed virtual field trips, including Roman Army, Roman Daily Life and Britain Before the Romans, aimed at children aged 7-11 years old are available to hire from The Novium Museum now. To find out more, visit: https://www.thenovium.org/vft

Information about The Novium Museum's learning programme, including loan boxes, workshops, and Covid-secure measures, can be found online: https://www.thenovium.org/learning or by emailing noviumlearning@chichester.gov.uk

 

Notes to editors:

 

The Digital Culture Network

Launched in June 2019, The Digital Culture Network is an initiative to increase the digital skills and capability of the arts and cultural sector; originating from one of the commitments from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Culture is Digital report. The report focuses on the use of digital technology to drive our cultural sector's global status and the engagement and diversity of audiences. It recognises that there is scope for cultural organisations to develop digital skills, infrastructure and resources and leadership training, and that digital experiences are transforming how audiences engage with culture and are driving new forms of cultural participation and practice.

For more information, visit: https://digitalculturenetwork.org.uk/

 

Art Fund's Respond and Reimagine Grant Programme

In 2020, The Novium Museum received grant funding of £21,646 through Art Fund's Respond and Reimagine programme to develop a series of three Roman history themed virtual field trips aimed at Key Stage 2, for children aged 7 - 11 years old.

Art Fund's Respond and Reimagine grants offer flexible and responsive funding designed to meet immediate challenges connected to the Covid-19 crisis and reimagine future ways of working.

Developed in consultation with museums and galleries, the grants meet needs in four priority areas of collections, audiences, digital, and workforce. They may also cover costs to support reopening, as well as encouraging creative and innovative projects as organisations look to reopen with fundamentally different operating models. Respond and Reimagine Grants will provide £1.5m in 2020 to support museums, galleries, historic houses, libraries and archives, and non-venue-based visual arts organisations, and is part of Art Fund's £2m package of funding to support museums through crisis.

 

The Digital Innovation and Engagement Fund

In 2021, The Novium Museum was awarded a grant of £32,923 to expand their series of innovative virtual field trips.

The Novium was one of just 14 museums across the UK to benefit from The Digital Innovation and Engagement Fund, designed to explore and expand digital innovations developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Digital Innovation and Engagement Fund is a collaboration between The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and The Museum's Association. A total of £600,000 will support the 14 museums to kick-start, scale up and evaluate the innovations they designed through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Digital Innovation and Engagement Fund grant will enable the museum to develop a further three virtual field trips aimed at Early Years, KS1 and KS2 with new themes Prehistory and Toys and Games, which will be ready for hire in 2022.