Learning

Learning is at the heart of our museums. The objects we look after and the stories they tell bring learning to life and inspire curiosity and creativity.

We have created the ‘Bristol 50’, a unique approach to help teach the new National Curriculum from September 2014.
Covering art, history and science for Key Stages 1-4, the programme offers four kinds of learning experience:

  • Handling
  • Immersive
  • Meet the expert
  • Creative curriculum

Place-based learning is at the heart of our programme. It makes learning relevant by developing a sense of place and connection with our amazing city.

For bookings and information, please contact the Learning team using our contact form.

Sign up to our Teacher’s Newsletter to keep up to date on our schools programme, offers and exhibitions – sent out every term.

To see what we offer at each of our museums, choose from the list below:

Discover: Colour, Shape & Pattern

One hour
The world is an exciting palette of pattern, colour and shape. Investigate this more closely by studying the paintings, objects and architecture housed in this amazing Edwardian Baroque building. Suitable for keystage 1

Discover: Portraits & Identity

One hour
What can we tell about a person from studying their portrait? Happy, sad, aloof,confused, afraid? This session is a great starting point for learning how to ‘read’ paintings and explore the thoughts and feelings behind the face. Includes paintings from the ‘Bristol School of Artists’. Suitable for keystage 1,2,3

Discover: Dinosaurs

One hour
210 million years ago Britain’s oldest dinosaur roamed Bristol – the Thecondontosaurus antiquus or Bristol dinosaur. Young learners will meet him and others as they unearth some fascinating facts about fossils both big and small. Suitable for keystage 1

Discover: Eyes, Ears & Noses

One hour
Touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing. Using some of their senses young learners will investigate the similarities and differences between human and animal senses. They will find out which animals have very well developed senses and discover what they are used for. Suitable for keystage 1

Discover: Landscapes

One hour
Landscape paintings are like windows with a view into the past. Walk through historical and fantastical places to investigate and appreciate the construction of a landscape through the artist’s eye. Includes paintings from the ‘Bristol School of Artists’. Suitable for keystages 1,2,3

Discover: Pharaoh’s People

One hour
Complete Pharaoh’s Challenge by handling and then identifying mystery objects from ancient Egypt, before matching them with their correct owners.
New! Ancient Egypt themed gift bags
Pre-order from our shop and collect on the day of your visit.
Teacher £10/pack – Hieroglyphs poster, Make Your Own papyrus kit, 6 postcards, a large scarab beetle
Pupils £3.50/pack – small scarab beetle, postcard, papyrus bookmark, small figurine of an Egyptian
god. Suitable for keystage 2.

Discover: Rocks & Minerals

One hour
Discover a fascinating world of minerals and crystals including the Bristol Diamond. Investigate how rocks and minerals are used in everyday life. Compare and contrast their properties by handling and studying them closely. Suitable for keystage 2.

Discover: Skulls & Teeth

One hour
Osteology – the scientific study of bones, an osteologist studies animal bones to learn about their life and death. During this session learners will discover how birds and mammals can live in different environments by handling and studying original skulls and teeth. Suitable for keystage 2.

Ancient Greeks

One hour
Investigate Greek pottery by handling and observing original pots, and enquire into what they can tell us about life in Ancient Greece. Suitable for keystage 2.

Discover: Ships & Sailors

One hour
In 1675 the Bristol Merchant sailed for Smyrna in Turkey. Laden with goods intended for trading the ship never returned. In this workshop drama, objects, maps, images & historical evidence are used to recreate the voyage & reveal the fate of the Bristol Merchant.
Wearing of appropriate costume is encouraged.
Please note this workshop does not cover any aspect of Transatlantic Slavery.
You might be interested in studying this song about a Bristol ship as part of your project:
The Ballad of the Angel Gabriel. Suitable for keystages 1,2

Discover: Chocolate!

One hour
Like chocolate and want to find out more? Led by our own Fry’s Angel this workshop explores the history of the chocolate industry in Bristol using objects, images and activities. This workshop includes wearing costume. Sponsored by Bristol Water. Suitable for keystages 1,2

Discover: Tudor Exploration

Two hours.
Tudor explorers sailed from Bristol on voyages of discovery.
Who were they? Why did they go? What did they find?
In our enquiry-based workshop we investigate these stories, using objects, maps, images and first-hand accounts. Suitable for keystage 2

Made in Bristol

Two hours.

Pottery, boots, chocolate, Wallace & Gromit, printing and much more all made in Bristol.
Book now for our new 2-hour workshop for £7 per child, launches Term 6, 2014.

Or book a combined workshop and visit to the exhibition ‘Wallace & Gromit’ from the drawing board for only £8.50/child.
(Accompanying adults free, maximum of 1adult:6 children.)

Made in Bristol sponsored by Bristol Water. Suitable for keystage 2

Bristol at War: The Home Front

Two hours
On 24th November 1940 Bristol city centre was blitzed and a quarter of the medieval city destroyed. Find out more about everyday life on the Bristol Home Front and how ordinary people coped with extraordinary circumstances. Free WWII learning resource including primary source material and lesson plans is available to all teachers booking this workshop. Resource to be collected at the workshop. Suitable for keystage 3

The Port of Bristol

Two2 hours
‘In the middle of the street, as far as you can see, hundreds of ships, their masts as thick as they can stand by one another,’ Alexander Pope, 1732 describing Bristol. At one time the second largest port in England Bristol port has a long and fascinating history. Using a range of evidence find out more at this session covering port, people, trade and ships. Visit bristolfloatingharbour.org.ukfor more information, resources and activity ideas to support your project. Suitable for keystage 3

Discover: Bristol & Transatlantic Slavery

Venue: M Shed
Examine Bristol’s involvement in Transatlantic Slavery by selecting from a menu of resources including a visit to both the galleries and a taught workshop at M Shed museum. Your students will develop skills including how to use and evaluate both primary and secondary sources of evidence, gain an understanding of cause and consequence and explore a diversity of points of view.

Free resource pack ‘Unlocking Perceptions’ available to all teachers booking this workshop. Pack to be collected after workshop. Please let us know in advance if you would like to have a pack reserved for you.
Visit http://discoveringbristol.org.uk/slavery/ to find out more about Bristol’s role in Transatlantic Slavery. Suitable for keystage 3

Bristol at War: The Home Front

Two hours
On 24th November 1940 Bristol city centre was blitzed and a quarter of the medieval city destroyed. Find out more about everyday life on the Bristol Home Front and how ordinary people coped with extraordinary circumstances.

Free WWII learning resource including primary source material and lesson plans is available to all teachers booking this workshop. Resource to be collected at the workshop.

WWII Workshop glossary
Visit http://bristolblitzed.org/ for more information, resources and activity ideas to support your project. Suitable for keystage 3

The Port of Bristol

Two hours
‘In the middle of the street, as far as you can see, hundreds of ships, their masts as thick as they can stand by one another,’ Alexander Pope, 1732 describing Bristol. At one time the second largest port in England Bristol port has a long and fascinating history. Using a range of evidence find out more at this session covering port, people, trade and ships. Visit bristolfloatingharbour.org.uk for more information, resources and activity ideas to support your project. Suitable for keystage 2,3

Georgian Bristol: At home with the Pinney Family

Two hours
Imagine traveling back in time to join the household of the Pinney family at their Georgian home. In our workshop you learn about family life upstairs and the hard-working staff downstairs who kept everything running smoothly. Suitable for keystage 2

Tudor Bristol: at the Red Lodge

Two hours
Elizabeth I has arrived at the Red Lodge! Work with an original portrait, dress as an Elizabethan and investigate aspects of Tudor life. Suitable for keystage 2

Discover: Toys

One hour
‘Sing a song of sixpence a pocket full of rye…’ Once upon a time children played with spinning tops, tinplate toys, building blocks, and hobby horses. Rediscover the forgotten toys in our toybox and bring them back to life. Play, investigate, learn and have lots and lots of fun! Suitable for keystage 1

Discover: The Victorian Schoolroom

One hour
Slates, chalkboards, pinafores and the cane. A Victorian schoolroom was very different to classrooms today. Step back in time to meet our stern schoolteacher and take lessons in Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. Don’t forget to stand up straight, be very quiet, work diligently, and keep your boots shiny. Suitable for keystage 1,2

Discover: Life in the Past

One hour
This workshop will use real & replica objects to explore everyday Victorian life. Themes covered include: washing, cooking, cleaning, clothing & play. Children will work in groups & have time to find out about at least three of these themes
Wearing of appropriate costume is encouraged. Suitable for keystage 2

Discover: The Victorian Schoolroom

One hour
Slates, chalkboards, pinafores and the cane. A Victorian schoolroom was very different to classrooms today. Step back in time to meet our stern schoolteacher and take lessons in Reading, writing and arithmetic. Don’t forget to stand up straight, be very quiet, work diligently, and keep your boots shiny. Suitable for keystage 1, 2