There is always a moment when you know instinctively that something new is working and that all that hard work is paying off. For me, it was when I had to literally drag my children away from the ‘Tudors at the Tower’ family festival earlier this year and promise they could come back the next day. We also spent the trip home negotiating ‘screen time’ to find out more about the Tudors and to agree when we could go to the library to get some books about Anne Boleyn.
We’ve come a long way since May 2013 when we agreed a new strategy with our Executive Board. Since then we’ve embarked on a bold and ambitious expansion of our programme that is transforming the scale and impact of learning and engagement for all audiences. We’ve re-organised the team, created new roles, rebranded and plunged into an intense period of creative development and change. This hasn’t always been easy — change doesn’t happen overnight — but we are moving. We are developing, testing, launching and learning, as we grow from strength to strength.
This year we put the new strategy into action, as we roll out an exciting new programme of talks, workshops, missions, events, festivals, publications, digital products, resources and training.
So we’re re-launching our blog now in order to share our progress and thinking and to invite dialogue. It was important to allow our work to speak for itself, so we haven’t made big announcements about change and our intentions and plans. Rather we have just started to make it happen. The team are thrilled with the response from our audiences as we launch new programmes and improve our existing ones.
Our new approach is making learning even more central to how our audiences explore the stories of the palaces on-site, off-site and on-line. Our programme has something for everyone and is designed to meet their needs and interests. It is broad and inclusive. We work with all ages and varying levels of interest, knowledge and ability. There are both informal and formal learning opportunities and we cater for a range of learning styles.
The future is exciting. For the first time we will deliver learning beyond our current visitor footprint via large scale events and digital content.
We already welcome a quarter of a million formal learning visitors on-site. We are re-inventing this offer in light of changes to the curriculum in England that we will expand nationally via digital products. Other innovation will come from new projects, such as taking the Tudors on tour and pioneering a new approach to digital learning within the heritage sector. We aim to double our reach with this new strategy, engaging people in a meaningful way with our new programme.
Please join us on the learning journey and watch this space!
Elizabeth McKay, Chief Learning & Engagement Officer