An Innovative new school programme kicks off with style at the Lion Salt Works

Much Ado workshopOn February 25-26, the Lion Salt Works Museum near Northwich in Cheshire launched an innovative new schools programme aimed at helping junior school pupils with their transition to secondary school. Putting the course through its paces were two classes from Hartford Primary School and Hartford High School. The two-day project was devised and delivered by Northwich-based creative arts business, Much Ado Workshops*. For information about this course, call Much Ado Workshops on 0844 288 9805 or email info@muchadoworkshops.co.uk

Over a two-day period, pupils from the primary schools and ‘mentor’ students from Hartford High mixed together with a Much Ado’s team* to devise their own performances. The aim was to have fun and learn about industrial history whilst forging links between the children and their new school. The final promenade performance took place on the last day and was based around a variety of themes including life in the salt works, working conditions and community life.

The step from junior school to senior school is one that many children find difficult and stressful – and so do many parents. In particular, children worry about not being with their friends and how they will cope. By the end of the day, the children mixed together easily and had learnt a lot about the salt industry.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Wellbeing at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “The Lion Salt Works Museum is a perfect setting for this course and I am delighted that Museum staff are continuing to find new ways of bringing the Museum to life for children and young people. It is good to think that children left this course with the confidence that they could make new friends and we wish them all well in their new school.”

The Lion Salt Works is an award-winning museum that opened after a £10m restoration in June 2015. It gives a fresh insight into the story of salt, explaining the national significance of Cheshire’s salt industry and how it shaped the local people, economy and landscape. The Museum is full of fun, interactive and imaginative educational exhibits, including a walk-in ‘subsiding house’. Theatrical lighting, sound and film also evoke the giant clouds of steam once produced by the site’s huge salt-boiling pans.

The Museum has a café, a well-established butterfly garden and a play area that are free of charge. In addition there is a well-equipped conference centre, located in one of the renovated Stove Houses. Information about year-round events can be found at westcheshiremuseums.co.uk

Caption: Children from Hartford Primary School and Hartford High School at the Much Ado workshop.