We are delighted to confirm that our exciting schools programme is now back up and running!

Do take a look at the information about our wide range of visits below and contact Caroline, our Learning Officer, with any questions or booking requests at learning@valeanddownlandmuseum.org.uk

We look forward to hearing from you and welcoming you back to our wonderful 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 £5 per child. 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 Officer, or complete the booking form and email it to learning@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.