The Industrial Revolution and Living History Learning

This year, the Rumble Museum is working with a Year Eight History class, exploring ways to introduce artefacts and Living History learning into the curriculum.

The Year Eights have been learning about the Industrial Revolution and life in the workhouses, and the Rumble Museum helped design a Living History lesson on the Victorian workhouses.

 The Victorian workhouses were portrayed most famously and influentially by author Charles Dickens in his novel Oliver Twist. We began by placing the contents of a typical workhouse meal on each table. Everyone was given a spoon, and set in front of them was a bowl of gruel and some bread. In the rather ironic menu, butter was listed, but this was not on our menu list for Tuesday after all (and also not offered to men), so it was simply bread and gruel!


The History of Cheney School

This year, the Rumble Museum at Cheney has been working with Cheney alumni, students and staff on exploring the long and fascinating history of Cheney School.

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.


Living Museum

We are delighted to be launching a new project, the Living Museum, which enables students to explore, introduce and display objects from their own lives at the Rumble Museum.

The initiative involves children, staff and members of the wider community choosing an object from their homes and lives, and writing about why this object has become important to them, and what the object is. The objects they choose are then displayed in the Living Museum cabinet in the Rumble Museum for a period of time. Their stories will appear in display boards and also online on the Rumble Museum site.
 
The aim is to encourage children to engage with the objects in their own lives, exploring them from the perspective of the items as both personal and historical artefacts. 
 
Every term, the objects in the cabinet will change, as previous display objects will be returned to their owners, while new objects will appear, chosen, researched and written about by different students, staff and members of the wider community.
 
If you would like to submit an object for the Living Museum, please get in touch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

Artefact Story Trails

One of the most exciting new projects we are developing together with the classics centre this year involves the design and creation of a number of murals which will explore possible biographies for some of the many Roman artefacts we have on display at the centre. 

Most of the items we have are pieces of much larger objects, and the idea behind these mural trails is to show the story of how some of these items would have been made and used, and eventually broken, and discovered centuries later as fragments. Each trail will consist of three murals which trace these stories; the artefact itself will then appear in small cabinet at the end of the mural trail. The trails will eventually appear all across the school campus, as well as in feeder schools. 


Westgate Project

During 2015, a group of Year Nine students had the opportunity to be involved in an exciting archaeological project run by Oxford Archaeology.The project involved two in-school workshops followed by a tour of the Westgate Centre site and excavation finds.

In the first session, Ben Ford (Project Manager of Westgate excavations at OA) used historic maps to show how the area has changed over time. Pupils used the maps to identify different land use, known buildings, road layouts, and rivers and they saw how the area around the Greyfriars and St Ebbes has changed. This showed how archaeologists learn about what is in an area before they start excavating.

In the second session, Jane Harrison (Oxford Castle Unlocked - Outreach and Education) looked at the historical background of the Greyfriars and the area. This gives archaeologists the background information about the type of site and remains that they could encounter.