[Skip to content] [Skip to main navigation] [Skip to user navigation] [Skip to global search] [Accessibility information] [Contact us]

Previous Next
of 5 items

Makings Masks

Pupils from Erith Secondary school have been taking part in a project with the Horniman to design and make a mask.

  • African masks that provided inspiration for the students, Photo by Jessica Light
    , Photo by Jessica Light

African masks that provided inspiration for the students

Mrs R King, Head of Art at Erith School said:

"Each year the whole of Year 8 take part in an extended cross-curricular project which seeks to enhance and develop the students’ knowledge and understanding of African art and artefacts, in particular the masks collection."


The students' display

This is an exciting trip for the students who spend the whole day at the museum not only viewing the extensive collection, but the students get the chance to handle them as well. Students make sketches in the galleries and handling session and then return to the classroom to develop ideas for designing and making their own masks.

The museum gives the students a unique learning experience which is both thought provoking and informative.

Some fantastic new masks

Back at school one of their tasks is to design and create a mask using inspiration form their visit to the Horniman. Some of these are now on display in the museum’s education centre and also online as part of our schools flickr page.

The school are already planning a repeat visit for next term.

Design and Technology Week at the Horniman

Last week was Design and Technology Week, so, in partnership with STEM London East, Key Stage 3 pupils from schools across London East visited the Horniman to take part in an Olympics-inspired activity.

We asked the pupils to design their own Olympics logo, mascot and products using our Natural History collection and Aquarium as inspiration.

Our Natural History keeper Paolo and Aquarium keepers Jamie and James entertained and amazed students with stories of extraordinary athletes in the natural world. Did you know that a cheetah is as fast as a car on the motorway? If a flea were the size of a human, it could jump straight from the Museum to Forest Hill station?

All the students did a fantastic job, showing a real eye for design and drawing. With the help of a few staff members as judges, the students' work was presented on a mood board, with the following winners selected from each school:

Monday, 25 June - Haberdashers’ Askes’ Hatcham College

First place: Proud

Second place: Team Roo


Monday, 25 June - Little Ilford School, Ilford

First place: Sabrina Rocks

Second place: The Incredibles


Tuesday, 26 June - Our Lady’s Convent High School, Hackney

First place (tied): Courage the Fox

First place (tied): Synchro


Tuesday, 26 June - St. Paul’s Way Trust, Mile End

First place: Gorilla and Frog

Second place: Diverse


Friday, 29 June - Eltham Foundation School

First Place: Going 4 Gold

Second Place: Dizzy Doughnuts (Big Cats)


Friday, 29 June - The Chafford School, Rainham, Essex

First Place: Peregrine Falcon

Second Place: Ostrich


Science Week at the Horniman

As part of our STEM London East activity, we celebrated Science Week here with secondary schools across London East. Key Stage 3 pupils went behind the scenes of the Natural History Gallery and the Aquarium to see science in action.

Our keepers, Paolo, James and Jamie, entertained and amazed students with stories of their travels in exotic places, and fascinating insights into their research. 

  • Science Week at the Horniman, Keeper Paolo talking to pupils
    Keeper Paolo talking to pupils

During the visit to the Aquarium with James, students were in awe of the aquarium creatures, especially the mysterious poisonous cuddle fish that lurks behind the tanks.

  • Science Week at the Horniman, Pupils looking into aquarium tanks
    Pupils looking into aquarium tanks

The highlight for many was meeting a real-life palaeontologist and handling some of our impressive fossil collection.

  • Science Week at the Horniman, Keeper Paolo showing a fossil
    Keeper Paolo showing a fossil

Students also participated in a practical activity - dissecting owl puke! Every day, Barn Owls produce pellets filled with fur and bone - leftovers from last night’s dinner. After much poking and prodding, skulls and skeletons of rodents and shrews were found. One student discovered over 70 bones!

  • Science Week at the Horniman, Pupils dissecting owl vomit
    Pupils dissecting owl vomit

  • Science Week at the Horniman, Pupils looking at taxidermy owl
    Pupils looking at taxidermy owl

Students and teachers alike had a fantastic time and the week was a great success! A big thank you to Paolo, James, Jamie and Emily for volunteering their time to help create such an exciting week!

STEM Ambassador Networking Event at Eastlea Community School

Our STEM Ambassador networking event at Eastlea Community School was a great success with nine teachers from five different schools in attendance. Teachers had a chance to meet seven ambassadors with backgrounds ranging from the film industry to civil engineering, share ideas, and work together to design activities. One teacher mentioned: “It was such a great evening, really informative! It was great being able to meeting ambassadors from such a variety of backgrounds and understand the range of expertise STEM ambassadors have to offer. I enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it.”

Some the great activity ideas that came out of the evening include:

  • Inviting students on trips to the ambassador’s workplace
  • Facilitating STEM insets for students
  • Assisting classroom investigations, and providing work-based examples of how the activity is used in the workforce
  • Bringing maths to life with games and puzzles

If you weren't able to make it, we will be hosting another networking evening on 27 March at Loxford School of Science and Technology in Redbridge. Hope to see you there!

Previous Next
of 5 items