Virtual Visits

Bring the history curriculum to life with a Virtual Visit to the Vale & Downland Museum.

We understand that school groups are not able to visit us at the moment, so let us bring our collection to you!

Sessions are based around the fascinating objects in our collection and explore key questions within each topic.

Our Virtual visits are aligned with the National Curriculum and delivered by a qualified teacher based at the Museum.

What do sessions cover?

Key Stage 1
  • Mary Anning, Fossils and Dinosaurs
Key Stage 2
  • Changes in Britain from Stone Age to the Iron Age
  • The Vikings and Anglo Saxon struggle to rule England
  • A Victorian Christmas

If you are interested in a topic that is not covered by the sessions listed above, please do get in touch! We are keen to work with schools to use our collect to enrich your teaching, and very happy to design bespoke sessions for your classes.

How Does it Work?

Sessions are 45 minutes long and delivered via Zoom or Microsoft Teams from the Museum to the classroom.

Schools will need to have a smartboard, computer with Zoom or Teams, speakers, a webcam and microphone.

After booking, schools will be invited to arrange a video and audio test prior to the session.

Worksheets will be emailed in advance along with clear instructions to the class teacher.

To find out more please contact Hannah Mack, Learning Officer at learning@valeanddownlandmuseum.org.uk, or complete the booking form Virtual Visits Booking Form PDF 155.7 KB and email it to Hannah on the email above.

 

Below are examples of the sort of sessions we will be able to resume once things return to normal.
We are so looking forward to welcoming schools and groups back to the museum.

We offer a range of fun and interactive primary and pre-school sessions. These all incorporate practical craft activities, introducing history, archaeology and geology. Our sessions are specifically tailored to fulfil criteria in the Key Stage 1 and 2 National Curriculum or to support the EYFS seven areas of learning.

Pre-School and EYFS

Singing Wantage!
Singing, signing and role-play through the galleries. Travel through the galleries and meet some of the people in Old Wantage. They will sing your favourite songs. Songs include ‘Horsie, Horsie, Don’t You Stop’, ‘The Wheels on the Tram’, ‘Wind the Bobbin Up’, ‘Polly Put the Kettle On’, ‘Wantage Wall is Falling Down’ and ‘Miss Molly had a Dolly’.
After singing in the galleries, ‘Funky finger’ craft activities will be set up in the Barn.

Little Red Hen on the Lockinge Estate
Come and join Little Red Hen and share the story of her surprise party! Follow her as she meets some of the characters from the Lockinge Estate. Learn about life in Victorian England by handling objects and spotting shapes, materials and colours all around the museum.

Key Stage 1

Changes in Living Memory
Learn how people lived between the 1940s and today. Looking at cooking, cleaning, shopping, dress and entertainment.

Wantage People
Explore the galleries to discover people from the past who are famous in the Vale for their passions and achievements.

This may be bespoke if the class is focusing on a particular famous person, e.g., Lord Wantage and his good friend Florence Nightingale.

Key Stage 2

Stone Age to Iron Age
Explore the changes in Britain between the Stone Ages, Bronze Age and Iron Age. Look at and compare evidence from each time period. Use your detective skills to match the mystery person. Make a Neolithic clay cremains pot.

Life in Roman Britain
Discover the changes in Britain after the Romans arrived. Investigate objects used in Roman Britain and learn about everyday life by playing some Roman board games. Make a large replica of a Roman coin in clay, adding a Latin inscription.

Anglo Saxons and King Alfred
Meet King Alfred and hear stories that were told about him. Look at objects in the galleries and our handling collection and investigate how the Anglo Saxons lived. Learn the ancient art of weaving and make your own woven bracelet.

Victorians in the Vale
How did the Victorians cook and wash? Look for evidence in our Downland Kitchen. Meet Lady Wantage and find out why the Lockinge Estate was so important in Victorian Wantage. Make a heliotrope to create your own optical illusion!

Wantage People Through the Ages
Meet John Ormond (apothecary), Paul Sylvester (tannery owner), Edward Davey (Victorian fossil collector), Martin Tupper (Victorian King Alfred enthusiast), Lady Wantage (owner of the Lockinge Estate) and Sir John Betjeman (poet).

Science – Year 3 Rocks, Fossils and Local Landscape
How were rocks and fossils formed? Learn about the different kinds of rocks in our local landscape. Get your hands on our geology collections and find out!

About School Visits

We charge £3 per child (minimum charge £60). No fee is charged for supervising adults/leaders. Visits typically last around 2 hours. This can incorporate a practical session of an ancient craft. Should you wish your visit to include a craft and/or access to the picnic area and gift shop, just ask and we can organise this. We can also provide details of walks around the town/locality, should you wish to extend your stay.

Bespoke Sessions
All existing sessions can be adapted or combined to meet your needs.

Additional topics can focus on specific time periods or individuals:
• The Lockinge Estate
• Rich and Poor Wantage (bespoke timescale)
• Metal Casting Through the Ages
• Wheels Through the Ages – from Wheelwright to Williams
• Williams Formula 1 in the Vale

How to Book

For further information, please ring the reception desk on 01235 771 447 to speak to our Learning & Access Officer, or complete the booking form and email it to school.bookings@valeanddownlandmuseum.org.uk.

Please book well in advance so that we can offer you a range of practical, hands-on activities and flexible/out of hours sessions.