Our 2015 education units are hands-on and are most suitable for children aged four to eleven. They are designed to fit in with the National History Curriculum.

At Key Stage 1 children have the opportunity to be pupils in our Victorian School and experience life as it was for infants. The tour of the museum will give them the opportunity to learn more about their city as well as to try out our stocks, pillory and Victorian prison cell. They can find out about Victorian domestic life.

Mary-le-Bow was once a parish church which makes it ideally suitable for staging weddings and baptisms (bring your own doll!) and we have lots of dressing-up clothes for the children to wear on these grand occasions. They can use our giant puppets (made by Trinity School and the museum's education team) to tell the story of John Duck, Durham's very own Dick Whittington. Schools doing this unit are given an illustrated book of the story to take back to school.

At Key Stage 2 you can choose from the following: Each child can do a brass-rubbing, a hobby beloved by the Victorians, and enjoy a full Victorian Day. They can participate in our 'Crime and Punishment' unit. Children can learn, hands-on, about the Second World War or have a Local Studies Day especially tailored for their school. They can have a whistle-stop tour through Durham's history, trying on headgear related to the period and hearing excerpts from fictitious diaries kept by some ordinary citizens of Durham.

The above units come with drama workshops and identities attached to the period, one for each child. The children find out if they are rich/poor, famous/infamous, etc.

Children can handle artefacts and even occasionally taste food related to the period for a small extra charge.

Entry charges for a whole day visit are: £3.50 per child and for a half day visit £2.50.

Outreach: We are happy to come to you, bringing museum artefacts, dressing-up clothes etc. linked to the topics outlined below.

We charge £50 for a 90 minute session.  Outreach is especially popular with Care Homes, Uniformed Organisations, as well as Key Stages 1 & 2 teachers. This is a sample of what is on offer:

  • Local history beginning with the ‘Cuthbert Effect’ on Durham;
  • Remarkable Durham Citizens from the time of  St Cuthbert onwards describing life in the City;
  • Crime and Punishment through the ages (includes a short study of Elizabeth Fry, a national prison reformer, who found Durham’s prison to be the worst she’d ever seen!);
  • The Victorians: e.g. Life in a Durham Village, Rich and Poor Children, Victorian Washing Day, A session in a Victorian School.
(for a further charge of £10 we will bring out some Victorian brasses to do, a hobby beloved by the Victorians)

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