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Welcome to the final newsletter of the Sandford Cascade project. After four years packed with skill-sharing visits to Sandford Award winning sites, best practice workshops, filming on location at some of your wonderful venues and Sandford Award and SAIL celebrations we say goodbye as the project draws to a close on December 31. In this edition we look back at some of the project’s highlights and say a big thank you to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and our supporter sites and Sandford judges who shared their valuable expertise and experience with over 100 Sandford Cascade sites!
Thanks a million  
On behalf of Bishop Grosseteste University and the Heritage Education Trust we want to say a huge thank you for the contribution made by National Lottery players – without the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund the Sandford Cascade project would not have been possible.
We are sincerely grateful to the learning teams at the Sandford Award sites who hosted workshops at their amazing venues, gave their valuable time to lead training sessions and tours of their education facilities, and let us observe their own inspiring best practice in action with visiting schools. Our gratitude also goes to the Sandford Award judges who gave advice and useful tips. We also acknowledge the support of Historic Royal Palaces and Museum Development East Midlands, our partner in several joint training activities.
Lights, camera, action!
You may have spotted Rick Holland of Blink Creative filming discreetly in the background at some of our workshops and events. We are grateful to all those of you who overcame your camera shyness to be interviewed by Rick for our ‘Sandford Shorts’ films. Pictured here is Rick with Sally Bleasdale, Education Outreach Officer on location at Lincoln Cathedral.
Rick captured perfectly the essence of best practice in heritage learning - we are thrilled with the results and thank Rick for his advice and guidance! You can download and watch our series of film shorts here:

Sandford Cascade Highlights

With the support of a fantastic group of experienced heritage learning officers and volunteers from 15 supporter sites we were able to offer training, hosted at their Sandford Award winning sites, that ranged from planning learning sessions and object handling to costumed role play and engaging with early years groups. ‘Go and See’ site visits gave the chance to take ideas from best practice in action during their sessions with pupils. Expert-led workshops in special educational needs, dementia and marketing to schools offered continuing professional development opportunities. Here’s some snapshots from a few of these lively events which also resulted in some excellent networking …

Any opportunity to dress up! Signing the Magna Carta during role play at Belton House National Trust
Your highlights
We’ve been delighted to hear about the imaginative sessions, events and activities that the Sandford Cascade project has supported through building confidence, enabling new resources and helping you to enhance the quality of your formal and informal learning offers. Your passion and creativity are inspiring pupils, families and lifelong learners to understand and take part in heritage, arts and culture at your site. Many of you feature in our Sandford Short films and here’s what others have been busy doing …
Flintham Museum volunteers work with people with dementia using objects from the 1960s linked to fashion, food and music
New art materials helped The Collection reinvigorate their learning offer with activities linked to the gallery’s exhibitions and family and early years sessions

The Erewash Canal Preservation and Development Association have renewed community interest in the last lock keepers’ cottage along the canal through events and new interpretation

Doddington Hall’s new ‘Map of Imagination’ has increased informal learning and enjoyment of the gardens for family visitors
Photo: Instinctive Photography
Nottingham News Centre was able to create and produce new educational material about potentially lost or forgotten industrial, social and cultural heritage.

Staff and volunteers from across the teams at Belton House worked together and learned new skills to help develop and deliver new informal learning for young people and families

Congratulations and hurrah to our 2019 Sandford Award winners!
Huge congratulations to all of our Sandford Cascade Advancer museums and heritage sites who received the Sandford Award during the life of the project. This year’s presentation ceremony was held on 18 November at the V&A Museum of Childhood. We wish all of you planning to enter the 2020 awards the very best of good luck!
Sandford Awards 2020 now open for applications
The Sandford Awards have celebrated high quality in heritage education since 1978 and are the only scheme that provides independent quality assurance to sites in the UK and Ireland. The Awards provide national recognition and participants welcome the publicity and motivation winning brings. Current award holders include the International Bomber Command Centre, the M&S Company Archive, Fota Wildlife Park and Hampton Court Palace. Visit the Sandford Award website to find out more. Closing date for entries is Friday 14 February
Sandford Award for Informal Learning
Many congratulations to our worthy winners of the Sandford Award for Informal Learning who were recognised at a special celebration for their creative and innovative work with hard to reach audiences. We were delighted to welcome guest speakers Caroline Marcus, Chair of the Group for Education in Museums, and Professor Scott Fleming, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Bishop Grosseteste University who said:
“The awards event was a wonderful celebration of inspiring work from across the East Midlands. So much of what’s been achieved is exactly what BGU is all about – inclusive education, outstanding learning, sharing heritage and changing lives. We’re delighted to have been involved.”
The Sandford Award for Informal Learning presentations took place at the National Civil War Centre, on 3 September 2019
Sandford eLearning course
A free online course is currently in development that will be beneficial to anyone working in heritage learning in a museum, gallery or historic site.
Launching in 2020 the course will give an overview of the six principles of best practice upon which the Sandford Award is based. Case studies, films and other content will act as a refresher and guide to the most effective ways to develop formal learning programmes that inspire and engage pupils and meet the needs of teachers visiting your site. For further details about joining the course contact Becky Bull
Museum Development East Midlands
Find out about accreditation and the support MDEM can offer through small grants, advice and information, training and targeted intensive support in working with children and young people, audience development, digital strategies,     business development and collections.
Group for Education in Museums: GEM is for everyone interested in learning through museums and heritage. We champion excellence in heritage learning, believing that heritage organisations and the learning opportunities that they provide, can contribute to and enhance the welfare of the individual and society.
Association for Heritage Interpretation: AHI believes that interpretation enriches our lives through engaging emotions, enhancing experiences and deepening understanding of places, people, events and objects from the past and present.
Kids in Museums: Our mission is to work with museums nationwide to make them more welcoming of children, young people and families. Heritage organisations can sign up to our Manifesto, which sets out simple guidelines for making museums easy to reach for all ages. We empower children and young people to take an active role in museums through our Digital Takeovers and on Takeover Day.
And finally …
From all of us in the Sandford Cascade team - Rachel, Jayne, and Lorraine – we’ve loved working with you and wish you a Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2020!