Lauderdale House taken over by ‘absolutely brilliant’ ten year olds from St Michael’s Primary
PUBLISHED: 09:48 27 November 2019 | UPDATED: 09:48 27 November 2019
© Jayne Lloyd
Year 5 pupils at St Michael’s Primary in Highgate were given the keys to Lauderdale House last week as part of the now-annual Kids in Museums takeover day.
Ten-year-olds were manning the front desk, social media channels and even showing visitors around the building's art gallery - which had as is customary a special exhibition created by the "every single pupil" at the North Hill school.
This year the exhibition focussed on the diversity of the Rugby World Cup, and with pupils using sport and art to examine everything from indigenous rights in Australia to the abstract work of Russian artist Kazimir Malevich.
Fran Sorapure, assistant headteacher at the school, led their efforts on the project. She told this newspaper: "We tie the event into our creative curriculum.
"We have got quite smart at putting the artwork the children produce onto movable boards so we can set up the day. Parents are involved, and they absolutely love it."
Fran added that: "When the kids who come up get to see their work on the walls, they love it. When you see it all put together the theme of the Rugby World Cup really runs through it. It's so diverse."
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Although Lauderdale House is not technically a museum, the takeover has become a popular fixture. In its first year the theme was "women in science", while in 2018 the children focussed on the UN's declaration of the rights of the child.
Although this year was a less weighty topic, the pupils used it to explore under-taught aspects of culture.
Fran added: "The kids are only ten and their showing people around! It's about getting them out of the classroom. They come early in the morning to help set up and then get to see the other children visit."
This year, Camden's deputy mayor Cllr Sabrina Francis was on hand to sample the artwork and test the children's visitor management skills.
Lauderdale House director Katherine Ives said: "The first time we did this was three years ago. It's absolutely brilliant.
"We get the year 5s in and they take over the social media, the front desk. We teach them how to spot issues and when they might need to open the door, things like that - and there's always a responsible adult around.
"Regular visitors really love the event!"