At Learning Unlimited we take a broad view of learning. Learning is about making sense of the world, yourself and your place in it. It is a life long process influenced by environments, people, emotions and culture. When we create learning experiences we seek to see things from the learner’s perspective: to make connections, to maximise the potential learning outcomes and to take account of the different ways people learn.

We have up-to-date knowledge of current thinking in both the formal and informal learning sectors and expertise with Early Years, primary, and secondary students. We regularly provide training on learning - our resources page includes summaries of some key initiatives.

learning projects

Making a Mark partnership - Learning Advisor

Jo is the Learning Advisor for Making a Mark: a regional-national partnership between Tees Valley museums and the National Portrait Gallery. Part of the DFE/ACE funded Museums and Schools programme, Making a Mark seeks to deepen relationships between museums and their local schools. Jo’s role is to advise on best practice development of the programme, facilitate a strategic approach to promotion and advocacy, and identify opportunities for strategic collaboration.

2012 to present

MLA - Training on the revised primary curriculum

Jo worked with Nicholas Garrick of Lighting Up Learning to deliver a comprehensive introductory day to the revised primary curriculum. Guidance materials for schools were published by the QCDA in February 2010. This timely course provided insight for museums and archives of the new opportunities and challenges that a changed curriculum will bring.

"All speakers were focussed, engaging, fast moving with relevant information to impart."
"Very prepared and clear. Excellent mix of talking, presentation and group participation."
"All very good, knowledgeable and entertaining."
"No jargon, just useful stuff."
"All speakers very inspirational and enthusiastic."

Feedback from participants


Renaissance West Midlands - museums4schools

Jo and John worked together to develop museums4schools.org - a ground-breaking regional online database that establishes first contact between teachers and 150 museums in the West Midlands. Our first hand experience of teaching, plus user consultation, enabled us to devise a site that is intuitive for teachers to navigate, giving them relevant and timely information. Live since 2005, the website has received very favourable feedback from teachers and museums alike and has attracted over a quarter of a million visits.

“Brilliant idea for busy teachers searching for an appropriate visit to support a topic.” Primary teacher

“Overall a great website. Clear and easy to navigate. Very useful.” Trainee teacher

South West Museums Hub - Learning Advisor

Jo has just been reappointed to provide strategic support on learning for the Hub Learning Team. The role entails horizon scanning to inform planning, facilitating meetings, coordinating joint projects and supporting the evaluation of collaborative work.

2004 - 2011

Black Cultural Archives - Learning Plan

BCA are a largely volunteer organisation working to create the UK’s first Black Heritage Centre in Brixton. Following a successful Stage 1 bid to HLF, their thinking on learning had developed but their policy and strategy had not changed. Jo worked with BCA to develop a new Learning Policy that reflected their commitment to participation and crystallised their learning principles into an achievable activity plan.


Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum - Learning Policy and Plan

Working closely with the management team Jo created a Forward Plan that provided a route for the sustainable development of the learning service. This included an assessment of the current service (including benchmarking against ILFA), an options paper on service models, a service pricing structure and a Learning Policy. The focus of this project was to provide recommended ways to maximise partnership delivery, particularly within the Local Authority context.

“The Learning Policy & Forward Plan have helped determine the direction of travel for taking Learning & Engagement forward in the Museum. Your work has enabled us to maximise the opportunities to work in partnership with other agencies to provide exciting new learning projects.”

Learning & Engagement Manager


Renaissance South West – Parents as First Educators research

A ground-breaking research programme involving six museums across the South West. The study explored how museums might best support parents to engage their children with collections and buildings, rather than relying on staff-led provision. Jo coordinated the programme, developing a planning and assessment framework, providing professional development for participants and writing the report, which can be downloaded from the resources page.


Inspiring Learning for All - training

In 2007, MLA South West commissioned training looking at how ILFA could be used practically in museums and archives. In 2009, Jo developed and delivered a session for Gloucester Archives at which archive and library colleagues explored what ILFA might mean for their practice. Jo combined this session with a series of focused one-to-one sessions with members of the Archive team.


National Maritime Museum – EYFS and Key Stage 1 Teachers' Pack

This Teachers’ Pack provides activities for children from 3 to 7 before, during and after a museum visit. All the activities are skills based, making them easy for teachers and practitioners to differentiate. This pack promotes children as active learners in museums and their settings, giving creative and playful ideas for ways young children can explore maritime history and the museum environment.


Canterbury Museums Service - Learning Advisor, HLF Stages 1+2

Jo supported the Canterbury team to develop audience centred plans for the new Beaney art museum, from the initial ideas at Stage 1 to the detailed plans for their successful Stage 2 submission. She liaised with designers, helped structure content and develop the interpretation approach (particularly the hands on activities), provided curriculum advice, supported the team to evaluate prototype activities, up-dated the service-wide Learning Policy and wrote a community engagement strategy.


Scholastic publications – Teacher magazines

Jo and John have written numerous articles for teacher and practitioner publications, including complete issues of Junior Focus magazine. Articles have appeared in Junior and Child Education, Infant Projects, Nursery World, Practical Pre-School, Practical Parenting and Right Start magazine. Jo has also written activity books as part of the “All About” series and John has written extensively for other major publishers including the BBC and Kingfisher Publications.


Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site – Learning Strategy

Jo supported the partnership team at the World Heritage Site to agree their first Learning Strategy. Having written the original strategy, Jo was delighted to be asked to work with them again to renew their strategy in 2008.

RAF Museum – Learning Policy

Magna, Rotherham – curriculum audit

Discover – exhibition and outreach development

Jo was the Learning Advisor for Discover: the UK’s first Centre for Curiosity and Imagination. Working with and for its East End community, Discover developed as a hands on centre for children under 7 whether in education or family groups. Jo was involved in creating and evaluating Discover’s outreach through which it engaged with communities prior to opening. She also wrote design briefs, policies, exhibit briefs and gallery text, set up a Learning Advisory Group and ran staff training.


Science Museum, London – Education Manager

As Education Manager Jo managed the Education Bookings Office, the CPD programme for teachers and ITE students and the events programme for formal education groups. She also researched and established the Museum’s first Teachers’ Advisory Panel.