Cathedral education team honoured with national award

A national award, which recognizes excellence in education programmes at heritage sites, has been achieved by Durham Cathedral’s Education team.

The prestigious Sandford Award has been bestowed in recognition of Durham Cathedral’s broadening range of educational activities and the high quality of its delivery, encompassing workshops and activities in the main body of the Cathedral, within the brand new Open Treasure exhibition experience, out on the Woodlands and Riverbanks and as part of outreach programmes.

The Cathedral offers a wide range of educational activities for all ages and regularly welcomes school and community groups as well as individuals to their courses and celebration events.

Head of Education Charlotte Rowbotham, and Learning Officer Caroline Johnson received the award on Monday 21 November at Worcester Cathedral.

Charlotte Rowbotham, said: “I am delighted that the hard work of the Education team here at Durham Cathedral has been recognised by the Sandford Award judges.

“We have an experienced team who have created new and relevant resources and sessions for children and adults, including our popular toddler backpacks available at the Cathedral’s visitor desk, our Young Curators programme in Open Treasure, which allows young people to learn more about curating and our wonderful collections, study days, history and health walks on the riverbanks and themed family fun events.”

The work of the Cathedral’s Education Team has received significant support from the Heritage Lottery Fund through its Heritage Grants programme and First World War – Then and Now fund.  Other generous supporters include the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation, Magna Carta Trust, Sir James Knott Trust, Friends of Durham Cathedral, Durham Area Action Partnership, Derwent Valley Area Action Partnership, the Ernest Cook Trust, The Geological Society, HDH Wills 1965 Charitable Trust, Sylvia & Colin Shepherd Charitable Trust and Swinburne Maddison LLP.

The Sandford Award is an independently judged, quality assured assessment of education programmes at heritage sites, museums, archives and collections across the British Isles.

More than 350 sites, including historic houses, museums, galleries, places of worship, gardens, landscapes and collections, have received a Sandford Award since the scheme began in 1978.   The awards focus on formal, curriculum-linked education opportunities offered to schools by heritage sites, although recognition is also made of informal learning such as family programmes.