A POPULAR children’s club will relaunch online tomorrow as its university operator expands its digital resources to help people of all ages keep learning through the lockdown.

Under normal circumstances, Durham University’s Little Dragons club meets at the Oriental Museum each Wednesday, with songs, stories, crafts, role play, gallery hunts and object exploration for children under five.

The university has had to close all its museums and visitor attractions due to Covid-19 but last week launched “Museum From Home” – a suite of free online resources to encourage creativity and personal development during the current pandemic.

As part of this, the first live streamed edition of Little Dragons will take place from 10am tomorrow (Wednesday, May 4). Downloadable resources to support the session are available online now.

The Museum From Home package also includes creative family activities inspired by the Oriental Museum collections, downloadable resources for community groups that might be meeting virtually and an online gallery featuring art by young people involved in University projects and participants in Creative Age, a weekly dementia-friendly workshop at the Oriental Museum.

The Northern Echo:

There are resources designed to support the school curriculum, both for primary and secondary school-aged pupils, particularly around history and art. These resources include videos and downloads.

The university is also continuing to support post-16 learning during lockdown, by publishing materials to help students improve their research skills, essay writing and revision and running online learning sessions through Microsoft Teams.

All the resources are designed to require minimal equipment, in many cases only a pencil and paper, and not require home printing.

Although the package was launched last week, the university says more materials and resources will be continually added over coming weeks.

The Northern Echo:

Liz Waller, the university’s Director of Library and Collections, said: “Although the Covid-19 restrictions mean we can’t welcome visitors to our museums and attractions right now, we’re determined to keep supporting learning and interaction with our collections during the lockdown.

“We’re excited to launch the ‘Museum from Home’ suite of free online resources and looking forward to seeing how schools, community groups and people of all ages explore and enjoy the activities we’ve made available.

“The team has worked really hard to make a wide range of resources available online in a short time. While nothing can replace visiting a museum or handling an artefact for real, we hope the package we’ve put together will be a great tool in the current circumstances, and we look forward to learning together in-person again as soon as the pandemic restrictions allow.”

The Northern Echo:

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the university’s “4schools” team was inspiring learning in more young people than ever before.

In the past year, they worked with a record 24,506 young people from nursery children to A-level students, organised 648 visits and worked with 503 schools – all connected with the university’s museums and attractions, which include the Oriental Museum, Palace Green Library, the Museum of Archaeology, the Botanic Garden and Durham Castle Museum.

To access the “Museum from Home” package, please visit: www.durham.ac.uk/4schools/learningonline