Aith Junior High Pupils curate new exhibition at Shetland Museum and Archives

A new exhibition has been unveiled telling the story of the whaling ship, Diana. The display has been curated by pupils from P4/5 and P6/7 of Aith Junior High, alongside staff from the Shetland Museum and Archives.

2017 is the 150th Anniversary of the Diana returning to Shetland after being trapped in ice for 7 months whilst whaling in the Arctic. The pupils have selected relevant objects, letters and photographs from the Museum and Archive collections. They have also written the texts, chosen graphics and developed designs in order to create an exhibition. Part of the exhibition is a DVD of the pupils performing “The Voyage Of The Diana”.

The story of the Diana returning to Shetland made national headlines at the time as it was presumed that the ship had been lost. A large proportion of the crew were Shetlanders, with some from the school’s local area. Nine of the thirteen crew who died were Shetlanders.

Mark Balfour, P6/7 teacher explained how the project developed. “ This year, to mark the 150th anniversary of the journey, Primaries 4-7 from Aith Junior High School performed a play in the Shetland county Drama Festival telling the story of ‘Diana of Hull’. The play was written and directed by Marsali Taylor and based on the diary of Charles Edward Smith the ship’s doctor.

To deepen our understanding of what it was like to be on a Victorian whaling ship and to gather as much information as we could about the ‘Diana’, we visited the museum and archives to do some initial research.”

The pupil’s enthusiasm and knowledge on the topic led to Shetland Museum and Archives staff inviting pupils to curate an exhibition for visitors.

Ingrid Smith, P4/5 teacher explains the educational benefits the Exhibition project: “We were very pleased to then be invited to work in partnership with the Shetland Museum and Archives on this exciting project. Pupils had the opportunity to explore in depth the history of the voyage of Diana, by having access to primary sources of information, such as original artefacts, photographs and documents. Pupils were able to use a range of skills including - cooperative learning, communication, drawing skills, analysing and evaluation, as they decided how to create an exhibition sharing key aspects of this historical event with a strong local connection, making the learning context relevant and meaningful for all our learners.”

Kirsty Clark, Lifelong Learning Officer, Shetland Museum and Archives said “We hope visitors enjoy this exhibition as the P4/5 and P6/7 pupils were extremely knowledgeable, engaged and creative in their responses to the objects and papers. We are visited by about 2000 pupils a year but this is the first time we have had an exhibition curated by school pupils and we hope to repeat this project with more classes in the future. We’d like to thank Ingrid Smith and Mark Balfour and their pupils for all their hard work and enthusiasm.”

The display is now available to view in the foyer area outside the Archives search room.

Related Posts

Research project commissioned to encourage locals to grow more aets!

Shetland Amenity Trust has commissioned a research project with two local straw makers to understand more about the growing of ...

Read more

‘Logical Confusion’, a retrospective exhibition of Mike McDonnell opens at the Shetland Museum

An ambitious new exhibition dedicated to the artistry of well-known local artist Mike McDonnell opened this weekend at the Shetland ...

Read more

New poetry book - ‘Love in Human Herts’

‘Love in Human Herts’, a new publication celebrating Vagaland’s finest poetry has been launched today by the Shetland Amenity ...

Read more

Film celebrating the achievements of Johnnie Notions launched by Shetland Museum and Archives

A new film which brings to life the incredible story of 18th century inoculation pioneer and Shetland crofter Johnnie Notions has been ...

Read more

Keep a look out for Skeklers this Halloween

We had a great time at our recent Skeklers Hat workshop with local artist Eve Eunson in preparation for Halloween.

Read more

Pre-school Activity Mornings

Bring your little explorers to the Shetland Museum & Archives for our heritage-filled fun sessions, designed especially for under 5's ...

Read more

National Poetry Day

To celebrate National Poetry Day we asked assistant archivist (and poet) Mark Smith to uncover a hidden gem from the archives. This ...

Read more

October Holiday Workshops

Join us this October Holidays for heritage inspired workshops and some spooky Halloween fun! From witchcraft to skeklers and faas ...

Read more

Treasure Trove Comes to Shetland

Members of the public are invited to come along with their ‘treasures’ and meet experts from Scotland’s Treasure Trove Unit ...

Read more

Bold exhibition featuring photography by legendary Diane Arbus opens at Shetland Museum and Archives

A new display of powerful and iconic photographs by Diane Arbus, one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, opened ...

Read more

Shetland Museum and Archives Launches New Online Archive Catalogue

A new online Archives catalogue has been launched today (Tuesday 8 August) at the Shetland Museum and Archives.

Read more

CLOSED: Friday 12 noon - Sunday 12 noon

Shetland Museum and Archives will be closed from 12 noon on Friday 21 July until 12 noon on Sunday 23 July, due to a private ...

Read more

A celebration of Shetland’s maritime heritage at the museum

Shetland’s maritime heritage will be at the heart of Shetland Museum and Archives’ summer programme, with a series of themed ...

Read more

Preparing for the herring – photos from the archives

George Gen and Sarah Mackintosh, members of our Visitor Experience team have pulled together a selection of photos from our online ...

Read more

Online Survey: Have your say on our learning and outreach activities

From exhibitions and workshops to family activities and evening talk, we would love to hear your thoughts on our current offering and ...

Read more