Yorkshire Museum Workshops
The Yorkshire Museum has exciting and vibrant exhibitions on Roman and Medieval York as well as the science of Extinctions. With dedicated learning labs and lunch spaces it is an unmissable venue for a school visit.
Primary School Workshop Programme
Workshops have been created by teachers and are based on the National Curriculum covering Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Vikings, Medieval and Tudor life as well as Science and Art.
We offer interactive and informative workshops for Early Years Foundation Stage (FS), Key Stage One and Key Stage Two pupils.
You can download our new brochure covering all of York Museums Trust’s sites:
Each workshop is for a maximum of 30 pupils, unless otherwise stated. Each workshop has its own risk assessment which can be downloaded in PDF form.
Please telephone Group Bookings on 01904 687633 for up-to-date information when planning your school visit.
Prices depend on the length of the workshop, there is no minimum number of pupils required. Workshops are for a maximum of 30 pupils.
1 hour workshop – £60
1 hour 30 minutes workshop – £70
2 hour workshop – £80 (prices vary during Special Weeks, see below)
We require a minimum of two working days notice of cancellations for sessions not to be charged.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Discovery Hampers are available for use with early years groups on the museum galleries. These are FREE to use but must be booked. Hampers contain books, puppets, soft or plastic props, magnifying glasses, song sheets and activity ideas. Options are Animals or Dinosaurs & Fossils.
Dinosaur Dig (FS) 1 hour
Children will dig for fossils and identify the fossils they find. There is chance to handle real dinosaur fossils and discover how fossils are made. Activities include making a fossil cast to take home, designing their own camouflaged dinosaur and doing the dinosaur walk!
Roman Life (FS) 1 hour
Children will discover what life was like in Roman times through handling Roman objects, dressing up as a Roman soldier and doing Roman jobs. They will take part in activities including being put through their paces in a drill session, making a mosaic and using a quern stone.
The Classical World
The Ancient Greeks (KS2) 1 hour 30 minutes
Pupils have to plan a festival of celebration for their new city state in this interactive workshop. The first decision is to decide which God they want to represent them. They are assisted in this by a proud, retired Greek athlete who helps the children discover more about everyday life in Ancient Greece, through handling genuine museum artefacts. Pupils take part in a circus of hands-on activities included rehearsing a play telling the story of Perseus, practising the long jump for the celebration games, making a peplos and dressing for the festival.
The Egyptian Way of Death (KS2) 1 hour 30 minutes
The group meet a Victorian Egyptologist who is investigating the mysterious tomb of Kemmet. To discover the lost statue of Anubis pupils must work through a series of challenges including the mummification and embalming process in using our specially constructed mummy, wrapping a mummy and making their own amulet. Pupils also handle genuine Egyptian artefacts to explore Egyptian beliefs about death and the afterlife. If they can decipher the final hieroglyphiAc message of Kemmet and apply their knowledge of the Egyptian Way of Death they may discover where the statue is hidden.
Prehistoric Progress (KS2) 1 hour 30 minutes
This workshop covers how we know and find out about the past before written history. Pupils can handle prehistoric objects from the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age and discuss what life was like in each period and identify some of the key developments. There are hands on activities to take part in for pupils to explore some aspects of every day life including; building a stone age shelter and dressing for a ritual, making and decorating a bronze age pygmy cup and creating colourful iron age jewellery.
The Real Romans (KS1) 1 hour
Pupils will meet a well to-to Roman citizen and find out about their life in Eboracum (Roman York) and what possessions they owned. Pupils will handle real artefacts from the collection. Then the pupils dress as Romans and take on the work of slaves; including using a quern stone, designing a mosaic and writing roman numerals.
Exploring Eboracum (KS2) 1 hour 30 mins
Pupils meet the Censor for Eboracum, who has needs their help to complete his records and correctly identify the citizens from the slaves. Pupils dress as Romans and then through handling real artefacts and taking part in hands on activities the pupils investigate the lives of six characters who lived in Roman York. The activities include using a quern stone, creating roman hairstyles, building a roman arch, trying on replica roman armour. The session brings to life how both the rich and poor lived and involves pupils in teamwork and problem solving.
A Legionary’s Life (KS2) 1 hour 30mins
Pupils discover what it was like being a soldier in the Roman army and living in the Fortress of Eboracum (Roman York). Pupils will explore Roman military artefacts and learn about soldier’s equipment, armour, battle formations and weapons before being put through their paces in a drill session.
For £25 extra, add…
Fire Away! (KS2) 45 minutes
In groups, pupils design and build their own model catapult to discover who has the most fire power! This is a special session that can be added onto Legionary’s Life for £25.
Life in Anglo Saxon York (KS2) 1 hour 30 minutes
Pupils will meet Oshere the Thane or his wife Aelle, and decide if they are willing to be Oath Helpers for Eadgar, accused of stealing bread made for the Thane’s feast. The session explores life in Anglo Saxon York in the 11th century. Pupils can handle museum artefacts and take part in activities to find out about home life, manufacture, artistry and religion in Eoforwic. Activities include braiding, taking part in a ‘feast’, dressing up and practising intricate engravings.
Viking Voyages (KS1 &KS2) 1 hour
Pupils are prompted to imagine that they have travelled back 1000 years in time to experience Viking life first hand. Costumes and Viking names help to set the scene of a Viking village in Denmark whose inhabitants have to vote on whether or not to set sail in a longboat for a new life, and decide what to take. The class act out a saga of a perilous voyage to Jorvik and on ‘arrival’ make some leather belts to sell.
Jorvik Life (KS2) 1 hour 30 minutes
Who were the Vikings? When did they come to York and how did they live? In this workshop, the class are introduced to a family of six characters and explore everyday life in Jorvik, from food and clothes to playing and working. Hand’s on activities include grinding grain on a quern, playing trip trap troll, weaving and writing; children will also handle genuine objects.
The Struggle for York (KS2) 1 hour 30 minutes
This session explore Anglo Saxon and Viking invaders and settlers. Pupils will discover the story of the Anglo Saxon and Viking struggle for England and how rule in York changed between 410 AD (when the Romans left) and 1066 AD. Pupils will handle museum artefacts which demonstrate why York was an important target for Viking raiders and take part in practical activities to reinforce the chronology of the period, including participating in a costumed timeline. The session also includes the stories of Kings and Rulers such as Athelstan, first King of England and Eric Bloodaxe.
All Aboard the Beagle! Life of Charles Darwin (KS2) 1 hour
Actor led session – £90
Meet Charles Darwin and sail with him across the Southern Seas, a journey that open his mind and challenges his perceptions of the natural world. Share his discoveries of how species adapt to suit their ever changing environment. Handle objects (from the Yorkshire Museum collection) and help Darwin apply his theories of evolution.
All Aboard the Beagle! Risk Assessment Form – Available soon
Telescopes (KS2) 1 hour 30 minutes
This session complements a tour of the Observatory and explores what stars are and how they have been used throughout history; as navigation and as a source of superstition and stories. Pupils will look at Victorian telescopes and explore how telescopes work. All pupils will have chance to make their own to take home.
20 Minutes Groups of 15 – £20
Housed in the observatory that nestles in the Museum Gardens, children have the opportunity to get up close to the working telescope made in 1850 to understand how it works and moves. This session is for small groups, which allows better access to the telescope and also includes a fun and informative video. For a class the other half can do a Star trail inside the museum, this will be sent out with the booking information.
Cosmodome (KS1 & KS2) 30 minutes
Groups of 20 – £40 (available to book in December and January)
Take a trip through space inside our inflatable Cosmodome and learn more about the planets and their moons that make up our solar system. After which the class can see what to look for in the November night sky and also how to find it!
Special Space Days in December and January
Book the Telescopes workshop, Cosmodome session and the Observatory tours for a full space day for your class! Includes Star trails and a special dressing up box.
£150 for the day
Dinosaur Designs (KS1) 1 hour
Pupils wear white coats and become scientists to discover what fossils are and what we know about the dinosaurs by studying them. They will handle fossils and dinosaur bones – and there is chance to see and hold fossilised dino poo! Pupils will make their own fossil casts and design their own camouflaged dinosaur to take home.
Dinosaur Detectives (KS2) 1 hour 30 minutes
The museum needs help to identify a box of mystery dinosaur fossil bones. Pupils become assistant curators in this interactive investigation; handling dinosaur fossils and taking part in five mini investigations to uncover clues to the identity of the mystery dinosaur. The investigations will use problem solving and maths skills.
Forensic Science: Who Were You? (KS2) 1 hour 30 minutes
A skeleton has been found in the Museum Gardens. The pupils become forensic scientists to investigate the evidence to find out who that person was: a Roman child, a Viking warrior or a Medieval monk? The groups will undertake a number of scientific and archaeological investigations to determine the gender, age and means of death of the skeleton. Look out for the Red Herrings too! Pupils have the chance to handle real artefacts and examine real human remains.
Slime! (KS2) 1 hour 30 minutes
This is a fun but practical investigation on states of matter, which involves making slime! In groups they will design and carry out their own experiment investigating viscosity and the flow rate of slime. Pupils will discover which animals rely on slime for their survival and why, with examples from the museum spirit collections; including gastropods, newts, seaweed and the ‘doctor fish’.
Portraits in Your Pocket (KS1 & KS2) 1 hour 30 minutes
Looking at miniature portraits from York Art Gallery’s collection and coins from the Yorkshire Museum collection, pupils will consider why we carry portraits and what they can tell us about the people they portray. Pupils will search for faces in the Museum displays and design their own portrait coin on shrinkable plastic.
Sensing the Gardens (KS1 & KS2) 1 hour 30 minutes
Take a tour of the museum gardens using all your senses and discover the sounds, smells and textures all around. Pupils will record their tour on a sensory map and then paint a watercolour of their favourite flower or part of the garden. Please come prepared for wet weather.
Photographs of the gardens during different seasons will allow pupils to consider how the gardens change. KS2 groups will also use historic photographs to consider how the gardens have changed over time.
Museum Tours – New!
We now also offer tours and object handling for school groups based around the following themes:
KS1 and KS2 Dinosaurs
Tours and object handling sessions are for a maximum of 15 pupils at a time; so when one half of your class is on a tour, the rest can use one of our self-led resources linked in with the theme (which we will provide for you). Groups can then swap over so that each child will have completed both activities.
Tours are 30 minutes and cost £30.
Add an optional 15 minute object handling session for £15.
If you book two tours and object handling sessions for a class of 30 we can offer a special rate of £70.
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