Learning and Community Engagement Officer, The Rural Life Living Museum

Closing date:28/02/2020 Job Description:

The Rural Life Living Museum is a unique independant open-air countryside museum with learning at its heart.  Our collection is based on objects associated with farming and goods used by local craftsmen circa 1750-1960. Many aspects of village and rural life are on show, recalling a way of life once common to the local people. The museum is distributed over ten acres of fields, woodland and barns and is surrounded by the RSPB Farnham Heath Reserve and the Countryside Restoration Trust.   The museum has an extensive learning programme including school and community visits, Forest school, Vanishing skills courses, family activities and trails and holiday activities. We also offer a full programme of events that offer the perfect way to experience the museum as volunteers set about to bring the museum alive with crafts, demonstrations and hands-on activities.


Job title: Learning and Community Engagement Officer


Responsible to: Director


Purpose of the job: We are looking for a dynamic individual to develop and expand our Learning and Community Engagement programme to ensure the collection and the rural environment in which the museum is located is used as a learning resource for people of all ages. Topics that are of particular significance and relevance to today include Food, Environment, Sustainability and Biodiversity.  The programme will be achieved through leading an enthusiastic team of dedicated Education Volunteers to deliver school and community group visits, holiday activities and other family activities and ensure that learning is encompassed into all areas of museum activity.


Main Duties and Accountabilities


  • Sustain, develop and expand the current Learning and Community Engagement programme to include food, environment, sustainability and biodiversity through cross – curricular learning including Art, Science, Technology
  • Develop a new learning programme to engage with secondary schools, local colleges, universities and other community groups through extra-curricular activities, clubs, competitions, and project-based work, e.g. “Take Over” Days
  • Expand the learning programme to reach more schools, particularly inner-city and SEN schools
  • Work with partners including the RSPB, Farnham Beekeeping Association, Countryside Restoration Trust, Surrey Gypsy Forum and Wonderwood Explorers to develop new opportunities for learning and knowledge sharing
  • Develop relationships with schools, colleges and other community groups and consult with them about future developments to ensure that we are meeting their needs
  • Liaise with new audiences to promote and expand the existing learning programme to include dementia friendly sessions, deliver outreach in care homes and other community settings
  • Represent and promote the museum on external educational bodies in order to establish a network of useful and productive partnerships
  • Develop family activities and handling collection for schools and community groups
  • Liaise with staff and volunteers to incorporate learning into all aspects of the museum e.g. interpretation and events.
  • Liaise with teachers/leaders to plan and organize visits
  • Ensure that all administrative tasks associated with bookings are undertaken e.g. liaising with volunteers, assessing risk, ensuring the availability of adequate resources etc.
  • Manage volunteers to ensure that we deliver an outstanding learning and community engagement programme
  • Ensure excellent customer service
  • Undertake regular evaluation of the Learning and Community Engagement programme and ensure that learning from the process is incorporated into future activity
  • Develop and deliver workshop sessions within school and provide cover for the delivery of workshops on site as required


Person Specification


  • Essential – Be aware of relevant Health and Safety issues and be able to take appropriate responsibility and action.
  • Desirable – have a good knowledge of a wide range of topics
  • Desirable –  Qualified Teacher Status



  • Essential – Successful teaching experience in schools, or the heritage sector.
  • Desirable- An understanding of “Learning Outside the Classroom”, “Active Learning” and an interest in the museum sector.


  • Essential – Outstanding and creative teaching skills


  • Essential – Ability to develop good working relationships with both internal and external stakeholders
  • Essential – Excellent organisational and time management skills
  • Desirable- Leadership skills
  • Desirable – Ability to manage resources

Personal Qualities

  • Essential – Dynamic individual with good interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Essential – Be self-reliant, adaptable and able to work independently
  • Essential – Committed to equal opportunities for learning and demonstrate enthusiasm for working with diverse audiences
  • Essential – Excellent communication skills
  • Essential – Own transport
  • Essential – Ability to work in a team
  • Desirable – Willingness to take a flexible approach to work
  • Desirable – A demonstrable commitment to continuous personal and professional development


  1. Full time and part-time staff members as well as ancillary staff (cleaners, data inputters, gardeners) as needed.
  2. Numerous volunteers throughout the year.
  3. Collection of over 40 000 artefacts plus archive.
  4. Visitors to the museum – 30 000 including volunteers, public and other users.

Decision Making/Scope for impact

  1. Ensure that Learning is incorporated into all aspects of the museum’s activity.
  2. Help coordinate the planning of future learning and community engagement projects.
  3. Help determine the long- term Learning and Community Engagement strategy for the museum.

Hours of work

  1. Thirty hours per week, some flexibility will be required including some weekends
  2. Holiday entitlement is 25 days (pro rota) in addition to 8 public holidays with no more than two weeks to be taken consecutively unless by prior agreement.


  1. Up to £20 000 pro rota per annum payable monthly in arrears.
  2. The Old Kiln Museum Trust operates the NEST pension scheme.

This is a part-time position (0.8FTE) on a one-year fixed-term contract with a possibility to extend. To apply, please forward a CV and a covering letter to info@rural-life.org.uk by 5pm on the 28th of February.

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