Thanks to the Association of Independent Museums ‘Tackling Inequalities Hallmarks Grant Award’ supported by Arts Council England, we’re launching ‘What’s in the Box?’, part of a new outreach programme that allows us to offer school pupils in Thanet free access to the use of a museum loans box, including objects, activities and curriculum links, as well as a virtual session with one of our Learning and Engagement Officers.

As part of this programme we’re offering two loans boxes, ‘Trading Textiles’ and ‘Natural History’. They are available to book now. If you are interested in booking one of these loans boxes and a virtual classroom session, please contact us at

Natural History

If your class is learning about Animals and their Habitats, Adaptation, or Teeth, this loans box is a fantastic learning resource. The loans box contains seven natural history specimens: rhinoceros’ molar tooth, a collection of mounted butterflies, sheep horn, caiman skin, crocodile skin, rabbit skin, and a replica chimpanzee skull, and a set of picture cards. Object notes, a guide to handling objects safely, and a Teacher’s Pack with suggested learning activities and resources are also included.

Science Curriculum Links: Living things and their Habitats; Animals and Humans; Evolution and Inheritance.

Trading Textiles

Learn about printing and designing textiles with our Trading Textiles loans box. This loans box contains Kente textiles, Adinkra textiles and Kanga textiles, and traditional adinkra printing stamps. Discover how and why these beautiful textiles were made and the significance of the different colours, patterns, and symbols. The loans box is a perfect starting point for inspiring children to design and print their own textile. Object notes and a Teacher’s Pack with suggested learning activities are included.

This box includes lots of hands-on craft activities. Schools will need to provide some basic resources, such as paints. A resource list will be sent to you in advance of the box so that you have time to acquire your resources. Please note that anything we think you’ll need will be something you already have in school, or something low-cost and easy to source.

Curriculum Links: Art and Design; Design and Technology; PSHE and Citizenship; Global Education.

Who is eligible to hire a loans box?

This is a new offer and at the moment, we are only able to lend boxes to primary and secondary school settings. We are working on alternative activities for home-school and other settings.

The scheme is available to any primary or secondary school in Thanet and all loans are free of charge.

Is the loans box COVID-safe?

The loans box scheme has been developed in a COVID-19 safe manner. All boxes are quarantined for 72 hours between schools and will be delivered and collected by a member of Museum staff with appropriate PPE precautions. A risk assessment will be provided to you prior to receiving the loans box to help you with your planning.

How long will we have the box for?

All boxes are loaned to the school for a two-week period (term time only) to allow the maximum benefit of all the activities included. Drop-off and pick-up of boxes will be on a Friday.

With thanks to the Association of Independent Museums ‘Tackling Inequalities Hallmarks Grant Award’ supported by Arts Council England for funding this outreach element of ‘Breaking out of the Museum’.

Our loans box service has its own co-ordinator

Emily will ensure your loans box is safely delivered to your school and will arrange collection at a time convenient to you.

Emily Anderson

Loans Box Coordinator

The Powell-Cotton Museum

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