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Horniman wins Sandford Award

The Horniman Museum and Gardens in Forest Hill, south London, has secured a Sandford Award for Heritage Education, the UK’s ‘kite mark’ for high quality education provision by heritage venues.

The Horniman welcomes 46,000 pupils each year, from schools across London, Kent and further afield. Teachers can freely explore the galleries with their class or choose from around 40 different taught sessions, linked to the national curriculum and based on the Horniman’s extensive collections of natural history, musical instruments, anthropology, and living plants and animals.

Formal and informal learning at the Horniman is also benefitted by its Handling Collection, housed in a dedicated gallery where more than 50,000 visitors each year can not only look at, but also touch, smell and listen to 3,500 real museum objects, from an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus to a shark’s jaw.

The Sandford Award, which lasts for a term of five-years, is only granted after a personal on-site assessment by one of the Award judges, to ensure the standards of quality are met. Judging criteria include not only the quality and range of taught school sessions, but also:

  • the range of additional learning and volunteering opportunities – for families, community groups and young people
  • the involvement of teachers and other stakeholders in developing the education programme
  • the quality of administration
  • on-site facilities for visitors.

Nina Sprigge, Sandford lead judge, says: 

The Horniman Museum and Gardens is highly recommended for a Sandford Award. It offers a delightful cornucopia of fascinating, eclectic collections, which engage visitors with World Heritage: Making connections and celebrating cultures, people, and environments across the world. The extensive schools programmes support learning across the curriculum, encouraging child-centred learning in History, Science, Music, Art and Geography. Impressive family and community engagement is an integral part of the ethos of the organisation. It is a gem, well known and loved by its local community, as well as by many visitors from further afield.

Kate Oliver, Schools Learning Manager at the Horniman Museum and Gardens, says:

A school trip to the Horniman has been an essential part of South London childhood for many years, and today our school visitors hail from across the capital and neighbouring counties. We have a long history of providing quality education – and a lot of fun – to young visitors, and we’re so pleased to have that formally recognised by this Sandford Award.

For information about school visits and other education sessions at the Horniman, visit horniman.ac.uk/learn.