• 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
  • 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

Primary school children take over at the National Army Museum

Kids trying on uniforms in Society gallery

On Thursday 22 November 2018, 26 school children from Year 6 at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Chelsea will take over the National Army Museum in the nationwide, annual Kids in Museums Takeover Day. Running a schedule of arts and crafts, poetry and story-telling, the sessions are dedicated to entertain and educate the under 5s, and themed around the role of animals in the First World War. 

The children will take over the learning programme at the National Army Museum from 10.15am until 2.15pm on Thursday 22 November to engage younger children through a uniquely curated schedule of activities.

Led by Tracey Weller and Lily Dean, from the Learning team at the National Army Museum, the children of Year 6 have been working since September 2018 with the Museum's poets-in-residence, Lieutenant Colonel Jo Young and Isabel Palmer, to write their own poetry for performances on Takeover Day. In addition to this, they have been making 3D trenches, PowerPoint presentations and posters, as well as undertaking training in customer service in order to greet and host guests at the Museum. 

Philip Mould, Kids in Museums President, broadcaster and author, said: 

'I’m delighted that we can continue to encourage and empower young people through our annual Takeover Day. Since Takeover Day started, nearly 30,000 children and young people have taken part. This year I hope we can inspire the next generation of cultural leaders, as well as show organisations the huge value of involving young people, who bring new energy and perspectives.'

Working towards achieving their Arts Award Explore, the children of St Joseph's have used the Kids in Museums opportunity conjointly to encourage others to use the arts as a way of learning about the First World War, which ended 100 years ago. The day will go towards their portfolio for submission to the Arts Award Explore, which will be moderated in early 2019.

Press opportunities

  • Photography and filming at the National Army Museum, 22 November from 10am - 3pm
  • Interviews with students and teachers of St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, as well as National Army Museum staff
  • Follow-up filming and photography, as well as interview opportunities at St Joseph's or the Museum, throughout and until March 2019, when the students will receive their Art Award Explore certificates

Notes to editors

  • St Joseph's Catholic Primary School takeover at the National Army Museum on Thursday 22 November from 10.15am to 2.15pm
  • Entrance to the Museum is free
  • Kids in Museums Takeover Day activities include: arts, crafts, poetry, music and gallery tours
  • Activities are aimed at pre-school/under-5s, but all ages are welcome and will be offered gallery tours by the children throughout the takeover
  • Museum opening hours are: 10.00am – 5.30pm

Description of activities


Each performance will be about 20 minutes long so will begin about 10 minutes into the allotted time segment and finish 10 mins before the end so that the children will have time to settle themselves, pick up props, papers etc. Isabel and Jo will be around to help support these performances.


Each group has picked which craft their group would like to do.  We will prepare craft packs for each activity in order to facilitate quick switches between different crafts.  Between 11.40-12.20 there won’t be a group of children running the craft table due to the lunch break, however, two members of staff will be required to remain with the table while the craft winds down and to re-set for the afternoon session.


A team of children will be stationed by the main entrance. They will give out the schedule for the day as well as welcome visitors to the museum and explain that they have taken over NAM. We will roleplay this with them on the 19 November.

Trench exhibition

The children have been making 3D trenches, PowerPoints and posters at school about the WW1 trenches. These will be put on display with some of our handling objects. The children will act as gallery guides and explain to visitors what they have been doing this term. This will be hosted in Foyle 2.1.

Museum jobs

An opportunity for the children to find out about a museum job. They will greet visitors and walk around the galleries to aid enquiries, alongside the Visitor Experience team.

Takeover Day

  • Friday 23 November is Takeover Day, when many museums and heritage sites in England will be run by children
  • Established by charity Kids in Museums, Takeover Day is when museums, historic homes, galleries, libraries and archives invite young people in to work alongside staff and take over jobs normally done by adults
  • In 2017, over 139 heritage sites and almost 4,000 young people took part in Takeover Day across the UK
  • From Tyneside to Torquay, keep your eyes peeled for toddler curators, teenage tour guides, primary school press officers and secondary school CEOs
  • You can follow the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #TakeoverDay and following @KidsInMuseums. kidsinmuseums.org.uk/takeoverday
  • Supported by Arts Council England, Kids in Museums launched Takeover Day in 2010 to help historic institutions give children meaningful roles in their organisations.

For more information, please contact:

Claire Blackshaw | PR & Communication Manager | cblackshaw@nam.ac.uk | 020 7881 2433

National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4HT

About the National Army Museum

The National Army Museum is the leading authority on the history of our Army. Founded in 1960 by Royal Charter and established for the purpose of collecting, preserving and exhibiting objects and records relating to the Land Forces of the British Crown, it is a museum that inspires, engages and educates. The Museum seeks to tell the story of our Army, the personal experiences of the soldiers who have served in it and to connect the public and its Army, demonstrating how the role of the Army and its actions are still relevant today.  

About Kids in Museums

Kids in Museums is an independent charity dedicated to making museums open and welcoming to all children, young people and families. We support and champion family friendly organisations through wide-ranging initiatives, including the Family Friendly Museum of the Year Award and Takeover Day. We invite heritage organisations to sign up to our Manifesto, which sets out simple guidelines for making museums easy to reach for all ages. www.kidsinmuseums.org.uk

Find us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram

About Arts Award and Trinity College London

Arts Award supports young people to develop as artists and arts leaders. Young people aged up to 25 of all abilities and interests can gain an Arts Award through any arts, media or cultural activity. 

Arts Award can be achieved at five levels, four qualifications and an introductory level. The award assesses art form knowledge and understanding, creativity and communication skills and helps to prepare young people for further education and employment. Trained Arts Award advisers (usually a professional artist, teacher or youth worker) support young people to achieve their aspirations. For more information about Arts Award, call 020 7820 6178 or visit www.artsaward.org.uk

Arts Award is managed by Trinity College London in association with Arts Council England working with 10 regional Bridge organisations.

Trinity College London is an international exam board that has been providing assessments since 1877. With a rich heritage of academic rigour and a positive, supportive approach to assessment, Trinity provides recognised and respected qualifications across a unique spectrum of communicative skills, including English language, music, rock & pop, drama and arts activities. www.trinitycollege.com

About Arts Council England

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk

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