Children set to shine as they take over museum

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Schoolchildren will soon rule the roost at the Museum of London Docklands.

Year Six pupils from Harbinger Primary School, in Tower Hamlets, have been learning about eight periods of history, including the Tudors, pirates in the 1700s and life in the Docklands during the Second World War.

The clued-up group of 45 pupils will then put their knowledge to good use either by managing the information desk, presenting to visitors in galleries or acting out a play as part of the West India Quay museum's Children's Takeover Day, on November 23.

Staff helped the youngsters practise their performances at a rehearsal day last week.

Pupils Naimah Khatun, 10, and Kian Knight, 11, have pooled their acting skills to play poor children Elizabeth and George in a drama about the Second World War, to be held in the museum's mock-shelter.

Kian said: "This is an Anderson shelter which was normally in the back garden - if you heard the siren go off you would quickly run out of your house and go into it.

"You could stay in it for seven hours and people normally had board games or books."

Naimah said: "We are going to teach the audience and give them advice to wear their gas masks."

Nina Sprigge, primary school project manager at the museum, said: "We did it last year for the first time and it was really successful.

"Those children were really involved and felt they owned the museum."

Visitors can enjoy the youngsters' performances at the museum between 10.30am and 2pm.