Active learning programme

Our active learning workshops can complement your work in the classroom and help you meet the requirements of the national curriculum.

Further information

We offer:

  • Access to original objects, paintings and sculptures
  • Opportunities to handle the 'real thing'
  • Stimulating, challenging activities led by qualified and experienced teachers
  • Supporting information sent to all schools on confirmation of booking
  • All teaching materials used in the workshops.

Active learning sessions - Key Stage 1

Led by our experienced teachers, these sessions give pupils the opportunity to actively explore curriculum topics in awe inspiring settings.

New Walk Museum and Art Gallery

  • Dinosaurs - During this session, we look at two different dinosaurs displayed in the gallery; the Cetiosaurus and Neovenator. Children will engage in hands-on activities to explore how we find out and learn about dinosaurs. Pupils will also look at the specific differences between the two contrasting dinosaurs.

This is available throughout the year.

  • Rutland the dinosaur (interactive story) - Accidently locked in the museum at night time, Mrs Penelope Pumpernickel meets Rutland the dinosaur. Find out about their night time adventure in the museum through an illustrated story and props. This highly interactive session helps pupils explore literacy, sound and movement.

This session is available all year and is suitable for reception year classes.

Newarke Houses Museum

  • Toys: Playtime past and present - Children explore, compare and even play with a variety of toys and games, which date from the Tudor period to the present day.

Available all year.


 

Key Stage 2

Led by our experience teachers, these sessions give pupils the opportunity to actively explore curriculum topics in awe-inspiring settings. Each of the following sessions last either one and a half or two hours.

New Walk Museum and Art Gallery

  • Egyptians: Meet the mummies - This popular session investigates ancient Egyptian beliefs and lifestyles. Pupils examine the collection of mummies and handle a range of 3000 year old artefacts. Activities include using an Egyptian style bow-drill, removing the organs from a purpose made mummy and making a clay amulet to take back to school.

Available all year. 

  • Looking at paintings (narrative, composition and materials) - Held in the impressive Victorian Art Gallery, this session focuses on the broad aspects of the 19th Century paintings, such as the importance of narrative, subject matter, composition and the use of materials. The session engages pupils in various practical activities to help them gain confidence to look at and evaluate a painting.

Our session leader will guide pupils through a range of hands on activities during this 90 minute session. Children will also make a piece of art work to take back to school which will relate to the themes of this session.

Available all year.

Jewry Wall

  • Roman life: Stuck in time - our Roman tile maker, Primus, needs your help to remember all about his life in Ratae Corieltavorum (Roman Leicester). Learn about Roman objects, clothing, games, language and marching and return Primus to his own time. This session also features an interactive film to contextualise a fun and active session.

Available: 1st February - 31st October.

  • Saxon Leicester: Life and death of a Saxon lady - In 1866 a skeleton was uncovered at a gravel pit near Glen Parva, which turned out to be the final resting place of a high status Saxon lady. Pupils examine the remains of the Glen Parva Lady and the objects that she was buried with to piece together the story of her life, death and ceremonial burial in Anglo-Saxon times. Pupils also have the opportunity to explore local Anglo-Saxon place-names, examine and handle burial urns and create a clay rune necklace to take back to school.

Available: 1 February - 31 October.

Abbey Pumping Station

  • Victorian washday - Our hands-on session will explore how people used to do the washing in Victorian times. Real objects and costumes compliment this session.

Available from 1 February - 31 October, Tuesday - Friday

  • Victorian health and hygiene: Beaming with health - Pupils discover the gruesome side of Victorian Leicester, when open sewers flowed down overcrowded streets and over two-thirds of children didn't survive to the age of ten. They examine why the Abbey Pumping Station was built and how it changed the lives of Leicester’s Victorian residents. Pupils are also given a tour of the magnificent steam engines, including areas usually off limits to the public.

Available from 1 February - 31 October.

Newarke Houses Museum

  • Second World War witness: A childhood at war
    This session aims give a real sense of what life would have been like for children during the Second World War by exploring the museum’s Home Front galleries. Pupils will begin to understand the impact of rationing by visiting our replica street to purchase goods with their ration book. During the session, groups can also try on gas masks and create their own luggage label and ID card to get a feel for how it would have been for an evacuee.

Available all year.

The Guildhall

  • Tudor crime and punishment: Court in the act
    Discover the atmospheric Guildhall and step back to the Tudor era when the building housed the town’s law courts. This session uses drama activities that involve pupils learning Tudor language, investigating social structures and exploring attitudes to crime and punishment through re-enactment of real courtroom scenes.

Available from 1 February - 31 October.

  • The Trial of King Richard III
    Put King Richard III on trial. Was he a good and fair King or an evil tyrant? Teams will evaluate contemporary evidence from the medieval period, and later evidence from secondary sources, to make the case for the prosecution and the defence. Pupils will also learn about crime and punishment through the ages, and handle historical artefacts from prisons.

 

Key Stage 3 and 4

Newarke Houses Museum

  • World War I: Life in the trenches (KS3 and 4)
    The life of a World War I soldier is explored through handling kit, reading from a local soldier's diary and exploring a replica trench. Pupils also take part in activities about recruitment, and the causes and consequences of war. Suitable for pupils studying World War I at KS3 or exam level.

Available all year.

New Walk Museum and Art Gallery

  • German Expressionism object box (KS4/5+)
    The objects in this box relate to the powerful story behind why some of this art first came to Leicester and the conditions under which many of the artists lived. Available as a facilitated resource.

The Guildhall

  • Medieval realms: Living, fighting and dying in the Middle Ages (KS3+)
    This session can provide either a great introduction to the medieval period, or a unique experience to consolidate classroom learning. Pupils explore medieval town life, the power of the church and the strange instruments of medieval medicine while in this atmospheric 600 year old building. The session includes opportunities to handle and assess armour, read medieval maps and try on the chains of the town guild.

Available from 1 February - 31 October.

Teacher-led visits and guided tours

Abbey Pumping Station can be used to bring to life many aspects of the national curriculum. A teacher-led visit allows you to plan your own activities to fit in with the needs of your classes.

For example, you may want to bring a GCSE History group who are studying Victorian public health; a group of art or photography students who can enjoy the architecture, patterns and shapes of the building or a science group who can find out more about power, optics, forces or energy. It is also a great site for illuminating local history.

Teacher-led sessions are free and can be booked between 1st February and 31st October. Once you have planned your activities, let us know and we can provide a guide to give the group a tour of the site as part of your time at the museum. This will be both entertaining and informative, providing pupils with a unique insight into the pumping station and visiting areas not usually open to the public.

Available from 1 February - 31 October.