A PRIMARY school has taken part in a regional project which encourages children to develop a passion for history.

Pupils from Firthmoor Primary School, Darlington, visited the town’s Head of Steam Railway Museum in October to learn about their local history.

While on their visit, the students signed up to take part in a regional project launched by Tees Valley Museums, which runs Head of Steam, called Museums by Me in which young visitors were asked to choose one object from the museum they were connected to, sketch it and explain why they had chosen that particular piece.

The pupils whose entries were chosen were then given the chance to work with artist Suzie Devey at workshops held across the Tees Valley Museums to re-create their object, and then display it at one of the museums as part of an exhibition.

Vicky Morrow, deputy headteacher of Firthmoor Primary School, said: “Seven submissions from pupils at Firthmoor were chosen to feature in the Museums by Me.

“It was a really rewarding experience for all those children involved.

“They had the opportunity to take part in the workshops and spend time with local artist Suzie Devey at Preston Park, who helped them turn their sketches of their chosen artefact into prints ready to show at the exhibition.

“Parents and families were also invited along to join in on the workshop, so it was a great day out for everyone.”

Ms Morrow said school visits to museums were essential to the children’s learning about their local history and helped inspire them.

“Some of the children had never even been on a train before, so touring the museum was really interesting for them,” said Ms Morrow.

“Most of them had not realised until the trip just how influential Darlington had been to the history of our railways.

"They were able to learn all about George Stephenson too.

“The children really respond well to learning about local history because they have a personal connection to it.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, museums across the country have been forced to close resulting in the Museums by Me exhibition, which was due to launch at Preston Park Museum in April, being postponed.

Tees Valley Museums has instead shared the children’s sketches online via their website, and has promised to relaunch the exhibition once the venues are able to reopen.