Something we all have in common is that we went to school – at least for a certain time. The more I felt it may be fascinating to visit a museum about school life during the last hundred years. The former school building designed by famous Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh hosts exhibitions about this topic. Being a real school from 1906 to 1979, you can now visit old classrooms and learn about the structures and roles at this former primary school. The admission is free, a donation of 5 GBP is suggested, though.
Scotland St School Museum – Location & Times
Scotland Street is South of the River Clyde. The School Museum is located right at the Subway station Shields Road, which is just two stations away from St Enoch / Central Station. Shields Road is also a Park & Ride station, so that parking is comparably convenient.
Scotland Street School Museum – The Exhibition
Unlike the kids, who had separate doors for boys and girls, you enter the building through the main gate and reach the drill hall. The drill hall only hosts some historic toys, which were typical for early 1900s school life, e.g. skipping ropes.
The key part of the exhibition is on first and second floor, though. You may use either staircase, the boys and the girls one. The building is accessible. It is partially used by a theater as well.
The first floor deals with the history of the building. It also explains some of Mackintosh’s idea and the fight between the architect and the school fathers about the design of the school building. On Mezzanine Level, there are also some pictures of the time of the construction of the building and books about the architect’s work.
The second floor is about how the school rooms looked alike in different ages as well as school life. The School Days Exhibition was my absolute favourite, telling a lot of stories from the headmaster, janitor, the teachers and the schoolkids. I felt it was very interesting to see that, for example, Scottish teachers were certified and educated, while this was not the case for English ones. The start of the Brexit? 🙂
There are three different classrooms. The Victorian Classroom is in fact from a time before the Scottish Street School educated children. World War II plays a significant role in the exhibition and so there is also a classroom of that time. The third classroom is a 1950s to 1960s one.
Another classroom is the Cookery Room, which is the largest of all exhibition rooms. This also chose how important household and craftsmen skills were at former school life.
A school museum should be a museum for kids as well. I feel that the Scotlands Street School Museum does an excellent job there and encourage the youngest ones to have a look into how school was like in earlier times. There are a lot of small games, interactive dispays and signs that you are encouraged to try out school uniform replica or “cook” a meal in the cookery. I absolutely loved that. In general, the exhibits are colorful and motivating to read.
The museum also hosted a temporary exhibition about Asian immigrants and their integration to the Glasgow society. I just had a short visit to the comparably small exhibition room, but I felt the items and story told were quite interesting.
Scotland Street School Museum – My View
I never visited a school museum before. The more, I was really curious about what I will learn in that place. The public reviews are really good – but finally, I feel that this place exceeded my expectations. It is a lovely mixture of amazing architecture, history and culture. I loved how many aspects this place is covering and how it tells you so much about school life in general and about that place specifically. Though I just had some 90 minute there, I feel that the Scotland Street School Museum is just a fascinating place and a Flyctory.com Top Pick. Glad that I chose it in favor of other, more well-known attractions.