A new activity area aimed at children under the age of five is now available for visitors at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford to enjoy. The new area named ‘Little Swifts’ has been developed by a team of students at City of Wolverhampton College, who are studying for a range of early years qualifications.

With assistance from the museum’s Education Assistant, students were tasked by the museum to come up with ideas for an activity area, located underneath the wings of the Vulcan inside the National Cold War Exhibition. With a budget of £1,500 to utilise, students worked in small teams to research suitable early learning activities that were in keeping with the museums aviation focus.  Their aim was to provide an area that would enhance the visitor experience for young families.

Now fully installed and in use, the ‘Little Swifts’ activities include; a baby pod with soft baby toys, small interactive helicopter and aeroplane toys, aeroplane and flying themed books, a world map rug, rocket wooden toys, an activity table and even some comfy seating for parents and carers to use whilst the youngsters are having fun.

This welcome addition to the museum’s National Cold War Exhibition building has already been enjoyed by hundreds of families during its trial run over the Easter holidays.  The museum’s Access and Learning team hope this new permanent addition will continue to engage their youngest visitors with the exciting world of aviation.

RAF Museum Cosford Education Assistant Julie Brierley said: “The students were given a scenario and criteria to come up with ideas for the space we had in mind.  My colleague and I went to the college to judge the students presentations and we were overwhelmed by the standard of work. They came up with some fantastic suggestions and after some consideration we selected ideas from each proposal meaning that all students contributed to what we have on offer.”

Nikki Palmer, Curriculum Manager for early years at the college, said: “We were delighted that the museum asked our students to use their knowledge of the development of young children to help them design the new activity area.  We are really pleased with the way it has turned out and hope that it will be enjoyed by young visitors and their families for many years to come.”

The partnership between the RAF Museum and City of Wolverhampton College has grown from strength to strength over the last three years, as they continue to work together for the family days held at the museum.   Students from the early year’s department have been delivering activities at the museum twice yearly at Easter and Christmas offering themed tactile activities to promote the benefit of play, on learning and development to parents.  It also tests the planning, organisational and team work skills students have learnt on their course.   The student run family afternoons are proving increasingly popular as the number of families attending continues to grow year on year.

‘Little Swifts’ is now available for all parents and carers with children under the age of five to utilise during their visit.  For further information about the museum, please visit or call 01902 376200.  The museum is open daily from 10am and entry to the museum is FREE of charge.

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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