When I started this blog a year ago, I was a brand new intern and was already thoroughly enjoying everything that Quarry Bank had to offer, excited at the prospect of what I would experience and learn. That experience landed me my current job here as Visitor Services Assistant, and we still have interns here across several departments soaking up all the experience and knowledge they can get. This week I’m handing over to our current Education Interns, Marie and Rachel…
Over the past six months, we have been completing an internship with the Education office. We both began our time at Quarry Bank in May, organising school bookings during term time. Working directly with pupils and students from as young as 4 and above has been the most satisfying aspect of our time here.
Over the summer holidays we were involved with family and public activities which entailed developing a suitable craft and mill trail in August. Due to a high increase in visitor numbers since the release of the television series ‘The Mill’, we were asked to collate data from our Apprentice House visitors, to find out about their experiences, and generally make our audience aware of the developments happening on site as part of the Quarry Bank Appeal.
And finally, for the last part of our internship we were both given an individual project to research linked to the interpretation of one aspect of the mill.
“I enjoy working with children and young people and have loved being able to bring the Mill to life for students as a Mill guide. This internship has provided me with a “behind the scenes” look at what it takes to run a busy education department and has enabled me to gain many useful skills and unprecedented experience in this area.
This summer I had lots of fun devising twirling toy craft activities around my theme “All in a Spin” along with a trail around the Mill based on the same theme.
For my individual project I was given the task of researching a new Key Stage 1 tour to coincide with changes to the existing primary History curriculum. The working title for my tour is “Significant people and Ways of Life at Quarry Bank Mill”. It has been fascinating to learn about the different people who were involved in life at Quarry Bank, from the Apprentice children right up to Samuel Greg himself.
I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to spend 6 months working in such a diverse and interesting place where every day brings a new challenge.”
“Engaging with people is something I have always loved, and being able to see the result of students getting excited about the history of the Mill has been most rewarding. My role has also allowed me to foster relationships with the education guides through my involvement in preparation days, classroom sessions and hands-on activities.
For my summer craft I was given a somewhat broad (and odd!) theme, ‘Aliens have landed’ inspired by our Sparkle and Spin exhibition. Developing an inexpensive and easy craft activity that children of all ages could try out and take home was refreshing. Designing a mill trail to match, gave me the reigns to be really creative.
The most challenging aspect of the internship has been developing an informative hand-out on the Greg’s involvement in the slave trade. It’s about balancing the tone and facts to portray Samuel and Hannah Greg as prime examples of eighteenth-century leaders in the cotton industry.
Finally, taking part in an art workshop for the Mill’s ‘Summer of Fundraising’ is just one aspect of how unusual a place like Quarry Bank really is. It is an exciting environment where staff and volunteers share knowledge and enthusiasm. It is not often that people can say that they have had the opportunity to actively contribute to a bustling learning environment, get access to the rich archives and hitch a buggy lift all in one day!”
Our 10 most memorable moments as Learning Interns:
1. Laboriously unpicking vinyl panels and repainting the Lady of Letters gallery with Roger, Craig, Andy, Jennifer and Laura.
2. Tracking down missing costumes and education props.
3. Teaching how to card and weave during a textile session with an SEN class.
4. Free cake in the staff room.
5. Finding Ranger Tim with an oversized Salmon in the Mill Yard one morning.
6. Cleaning the lunchrooms with Roger after a disaster spillage.
7. Learning to French knit with hands-on volunteers.
8. Enjoying a sun tan whilst collecting surveys in the Apprentice House gardens.
9. Accosting a power volunteer to fix Marie’s bike in the car park. (Top tip: if you need tools, chances are a Power Volunteer will have some in his boot!)
10. Picking prizes from the shop for summer trail winners.
If you’re interested in interning for the National Trust, follow the link below to search for current opportunities.