This blog is written by members of a wide and multi-skilled Learning & Engagement team; among them learning experts, content producers, event managers, designers and publishers. Here we share with you what we’ve learned ourselves (sometimes painfully!) as we strive to create high-quality, distinctive and transformative learning programmes for all ages at Historic Royal Palaces.
Here you can browse our advance booking calendar for our popular learning events, talks and workshops and book via our website; learn about forthcoming family festivals and touring shows, and catch up on anything you may have missed with our post-event reviews and podcasts.
Are you working in heritage education, or are you studying or teaching in schools or colleges, or simply fascinated by the controversial arena of life-long learning? This blog is for you, and we would love to hear what you think, so please add your comments.

The challenge!

We want to be recognised for our high quality, distinctive and transformative learning programmes, which are central to how our visitors explore the stories of our palaces, on- site, off-site and on-line.
Our new approach will transform the scale and impact of the learning and engagement strategy at Historic Royal Palaces, and our capacity to deliver it. This is a three-year strategy: in 2013 we carried out early changes, this year we are in transition, and 2015 will be our transformational year.
There are five key strategic drivers guiding the changes to our programme:

  • Creating distinctive learning experiences with new and surprising approaches that delight our audiences : on-site, off-site and online
  • Working in new ways, which includes creating more holistic experiences for our visitors and building more efficient and effective collaboration internally
  • Seeking creative partnerships to leverage our expertise, extend our reach and increase impact
  • Focusing our resources on bigger programmes that can deliver outstanding quality. This means new audiences, more ambition and more platforms and channels of delivery.  To do this we’ve also stopped a number of smaller activities and are putting in place new processes to help to ensure we focus on the top priorities. Or, as we now say in shorthand, ‘Fewer, Bigger, Better!
  • Developing a ‘Learning Journey of Discovery, Participation and Transformation’: an innovative way to measure consistently the impact of all our work. We believe it will be a breakthrough in the sector.

Now in year 2 of the strategy, we are seeing more clearly the shape of the ambitious framework through which we will create and deliver major participation for all audiences. We have created four key ‘pillars’: our formal learning ‘Explorer’ missions for 0-19 year olds; Big Events, including family festivals and touring events for all ages, the Uncover Programme for adults and publishing. To support all these areas our Multi-channel Content team,  working along the lines of an in-house design agency, produce targeted digital content, created and delivered in ways that specifically reflect the needs and wants of our identified audience groups.