Anthropology and the Living Museum

We have been running new anthropology workshops at the Rumble Museum to engage students in our collections and in our Living Museum project.

When students arrived at these workshops, there were six different objects on your tables and an “archaeological find sheet”. They all explored the objects and imagined they were discovering them as curious archaeologists, looking for and recording as much information as possible.

The Story of Cheney School: Display


Cheney School's earliest roots stretch all the way to around 1797, when four Sunday Schools were started in Gloucester Green. One of these gradually grew, and went on to move into a purpose built site on New Inn Hall Street in 1901, becoming Oxford Central Girls School. Eventually, in 1959 it moved to the Cheney Lane site and became Cheney Girls Grammar School. However, this is only half the story! In 1934 John Henry Brookes created a junior day department of the Arts and Technical College, based in Church Street near st Ebbe's. This later become Cheney Technical School and moved to Cheney Lane in 1954. The two schools eventually merged in 1972 to become Cheney Comprehensive School.

Introducing the Suffragettes: Museum Display Project

This week our Year Eight History students who are involved in the "From Sappho to Suffrage" museum project continued their journey!

They started by presenting some of the wonderful display boards and leaflets they had prepared for their chosen suffragettes. There were some very thoughtful, sensitive and also entertaining ideas and layouts. A range of different suffragettes were chosen. A popular choice was Emily Davison, who famously tried to attach a suffragette's flag to the King's horse and died doing so. We talked about whether she intended to kill herself - her return ticket has suggested it may not have been her intention. Some also looked at people like Annie Kenney, who was a mill worker who campaigned for the right for women to vote.

A Journey through the Festival of Imagined Worlds

On Friday 9th February, we held our Festival of Imagined Worlds at Cheney School! The festival was a celebration of the magical worlds invented by authors, and an exploration of ancient artefacts and archaeology in connected to our myth and imagined worlds. Hundreds of visitors and Cheney school students were able to explore four different main fictional worlds: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll and Harry Potter. A yellowbrick road connected the different worlds, and in each one, there were a very wide range of stalls, workshops, activities and decorations. Outside, there were beautiful owls and other birds of prey, brought by Millets Farm, as well as Quidditch, which visitors could take part in!

Rumble Museum's Green Season Launched!

On Friday 19th January, the Rumble Museum, in partnership with Cheney School's Environmental Impact Team, held a Green Festival. The event involved stalls and workshops aimed at raising awareness of a range of green and sustainable initiatives to the Cheney community. Over the next few weeks and months, the Rumble Museum is working with Cheney School's Environmental Impact Team to explore the vital issues of sustainability and conservation.

Londinium: Amphitheatre and Museum of London visit

This week, Year Eight and Nine classics students set off for the city of London to explore the Roman remains and learn about life in “Londinium”. The students were split into their year groups on arrival to take part in two different activities.
One part of the day involved visiting the Guildhall Art Gallery. When this beautiful gallery was built, about thirty years ago, the developers were fascinated to discover a number of walls as they were digging the foundations. They soon realised that they had discovered an archaeological site which historians had been searching for for many years – the remains of London’s Roman Amphitheatre!

World War One Collection Day

This Friday 10th November, the Rumble Museum held its first ever collection day. In partnership with the University of Oxford, as part of their national Lest We Forget project, the museum opened its doors to the community, who came with a wide range of items, including stories, photographs, medals, letters and diaries.

Living Landscape Exhibition 15th July

Several Year Eight students have submitted photographs from around Oxford, along with paragraphs introducing them, to be a part of the Living Landscape Exhibition this Saturday at the Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock from 10.30 - 4.30pm today (15th July).
The Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock invited the Rumble Museum to be a partner in their Living Landscape Project. This is part of a national project, involving creating an online exhibition of community responses to local areas. 

Linear B workshops for primary school students

This October, we were delighted to welcome two Year Five/Six classes from East Oxford Primary School to the Rumble Museum and Classics Centre to explore the Minoan Civilisation and Linear B!

The Year Fives and Sixes had been learning all about the ancient Greeks this term at school, so these workshops gave them a glimpse into the period of history before Greek civilisation began to emerge - around 3000 - 1200BC when the Minoan Civilisation flourished. The first thing both groups did on arrival was to have a go at chalking the outline of a labyrinth onto the concrete outside! All sorts of different shapes and sizes of labyrinth appeared. We then went across to the Classics Centre to talk about the cilivisation and site in which the labyrinth story originated.

Ancient and Medieval Medicine Days

On Thursday 29th and Friday 30th June, over 500 local primary school children took part in our Ancient Medicine Days at Cheney. The first day involved a series of Ancient and Medieval Medicine Pantomime shows delivered by TV Presenter Simon Watt. These fun, lively and frequently grisly shows included ancient doctors and surgeons from the past, ranging from Hippocrates to Louis Pasteur, talking to the host about their discoveries and practices, a talking and singing rat, maggots, amputations, and many opportunities for lively audience participation!

Imagined Worlds: Writing, Art and D&T Competition for Schools

In celebration of our Iris Festival of Imagined Worlds on 9th February 2018, we are delighted to be launching a competition for schools! The Festival is themed around the fictional worlds of many different authors, and there will also be four distinct 'worlds' which visitors will be able to walk through and explore: J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis and Lewis Carroll.

"Reading the Romans" workshops

This term, the Rumble Museum, in partnership with Egizia-Maria Felice from the University of Oxford, has been holding a series of "Reading the Romans" workshops for primary and secondary school children.

We have been deeply privileged to have been loaned a beautiful fragment from the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus from the University of Oxford. The Temple of Artemis was an enormous and very famous building in classical times, and has been called one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The fragment, which dates to the first century AD, has an inscription in Greek which appears to be listing the names of temple wardens. Year 3s from Bayards Hill primary, Year 4s from St Michael's primary and Years 8, 12 and 13 Cheney students are being introduced to this fragment, and also to a range of other ways in which the Romans preserved writing, including papyri and wax tablets.