Sessions for Secondary Students

All sessions can be adapted depending on Key Stage. Additionally, many sessions can be offered as outreach. Contact for more information.

Anglo Saxons versus Vikings
Dress up and act as well-known figures from Anglo Saxon and Viking history. Handle objects to investigate how they lived. Learn the ancient art of weaving, make your own woven bracelet and explore Anglo Saxon plant dying techniques.

Tudor Life
Play games from the Tudor period. Dress up in Tudor costume and learn about the different jobs people had during Tudor times. Make a Tudor wallet to carry different coins from the Tudor period and explore trading and money in Tudor times.

Public Health – History of Medicine

Investigate the history of health from Anglo Saxon, Medieval, Tudor, Stuart, Georgian, Victorian and Wartime Wantage. Learn about the contributing factors that affected health. Have a go at making perceived cures and meet historical figures who made important medical discoveries.

WW1 Soldiers, Nurses and Civilians
Learn about how soldiers and nurses lived during WW1. Understand VADs and how they trained and served, through role-play. Handle real objects from WW1 and explore how they were used. Make a replica of a medal owned by a real Wantage war hero or explore objects related to Wantage war heroes and the stories that surround them.

WW2 Home and Away
Handle and investigate objects that would have been used on the Home Front and in the conflict. Discover and role-play some celebrity fighters and important political figures from WW2. Make do and mend something to take home or learn in detail about rationing and the challenges of life in town and country during the Blitz.

Creative Writing
Explore different narratives relating to the Anglo Saxon skeleton murder mystery and watch a short play. There is an option to role-play in the Ormond Room or to interpret a variety of transport-related objects (e.g. Williams racing car, Lady Wantage’s bath chair) through creative writing.

STEM in the Galleries
Build a skeleton by using our Anglo Saxon skeleton to help work out where to put bones and organs. Find out how the pulley system in the market place uses forces to move heavy objects. Explore engineering: wheelwright, steam trains and racing cars – how do things work? Understand the chemistry of solar plant dyes. Dye your own cloth to investigate!

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)
From Wheelwright to Williams
Post-war Wantage
STEM at Autotype and Wantage Engineering

Special Educational Needs

We are delighted to welcome students with different learning needs. These sessions can be bespoke to the needs of the children.

How to Book

To book a school visit, please complete the booking form and email it to

Teachers and group leaders are welcome to look around the museum before planning a visit. We have a number of general information sheets about the museum and its exhibits available from the museum reception.

We charge £5 per child (minimum spend of £65). No charge is made for teachers/leaders or accompanying adults. We require an adult/child ratio of 1:5 for ages 4-7 and 1:10 ages 8-11. Payment may be made on arrival. Please make cheques payable to the ‘Vale & Downland Museum Trust’. A receipt will be given for all payments.

Please note that organisers are advised to carry out their own risk assessment prior to the visit. Teachers/helpers are responsible for accompanying their groups at all times in the Museum. The Museum volunteers or staff cannot take responsibility for groups or individual children at any time.

Most areas, including toilets are accessible to wheelchair users. There is an outdoor area available for picnics. A range of souvenirs are available to buy in the gift shop. Small groups of children with an adult are welcome to visit the shop.