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Museums for schools - Key Stage 2 (KS2) activities

Sandwell Museums has a range of exciting activities to inspire children in our fabulous evocative buildings.

Find out more information by emailing museumarts_tourism@sandwell.gov.uk or you can phone the relevant site to make a booking and we will then send you the booking form and guidance notes.

Living history at Oak House Museum

Living history is one of the best ways to learn about life long ago. The children step into the shoes of people 400 years ago, in costume and character and learn about life at Oak House with hands on activities. The session is ideal for topics around creative writing, history and local history and can be the springboard for other work around art, science and maths. Topics such as Best of British, treasures etc can also be taught involving a living history session.

  • Standard Version 1 – Rich and Poor in Tudor times: In costume the children become rich or poor Tudors during the reign of Elizabeth I and undertake hands-on activities such as writing, laying the table and making pomanders immersing themselves in the period. Max 60 
  • Version 2 – Set in the time of Henry VIII: The session is similar to the rich and poor session but staff make reference to the issues of Henry VIII’s reign. In the afternoon the children look at portraits and image. Max 60 
  • Version 3: Living History Houses and Homes/buildings: The children undertake living history in the morning session with a focus on how people lived in houses and how they functioned. In the afternoon the children discover more about how buildings were made, materials and why there are such huge chimneys! Max 60 
  • Version 4: Tottie’s Wedding 1650. (A local history study, which can include geography etc). This session is ideal as part of a local history study as it centres around the Turtons, who were the real family to live at Oak House in the 1650s. We see the Turton’s on the cusp of becoming gentlemen and as they are adding flashy accessories to their house. There is a teacher’s pack with this session which gives you ideas of other ways of expanding this local history topic across different subjects such as geography, art and creative writing. 10am-2.30pm contact museumarts_tourism@sandwell.gov.uk for info and the teacher’s pack. Max 33

Oak House Museum – 10am-2.30pm (one class sessions Tues, Weds, Thurs / two class session Thurs only where applicable) Please inform staff which version you would like to book – 0121 553 0759

Victorian living history – at Haden Hill House Museum 

A full day session based around Victorian domestic life where children learn about children their own age from different social classes by becoming Victorians themselves – Some children become the offspring of local gentlemen, while some become servants and the final group become urchins from the workhouse. The children have different experiences of being a Victorian so there is much to discuss in class later! The session is a great springboard for all sorts of topics. Haden Hill House – Max 33 – 10am-2.30pm – 01384 569 444.

Home Front – Haden Hill House Museum

A day of sessions based around life on the Home Front during world war II. The day involves some role play sessions and the examining of real objects and photographs from the period, with activities around evacuees, rationing, and air raid shelters. The session can be used as part of topics such as ‘Best of British’ and makes a great springboard for work around literacy and creative writing, drama, art, citizenship etc. Haden Hill House – Max 33 – 10am-2.30pm – 01384 569 444.

SPOOCS

Visit the Oak House and use the museum which is the building featured as Tudor House in the project documents to investigate ghostly goings on and enhance literacy skills and development. This session is just hiring our space, you deliver the session you want to in our space. Max. 2 classes on site – with only one class in the house at once – no clipboards on furniture. Oak House Museum – 10am-12:30pm or 10am-2:30pm – 0121 553 0759

Junior Ghost Hunting  Oak House Museum. 

This session is led by the museum staff and involves a ghostly tour of the house with ghostly storytelling and gives the children the opportunity to get inspiration for literacy based follow up work and creative writing, discussion and team work. There is also an investigation in the afternoon. Oak House Museum – Max 2 classes (one at a time) – 10am-2.30pm – 0121 553 0759

Ghosts and Gothic: Haden Hill House Museum. 

A literacy session in the surroundings of our evocative, Victorian House; enjoy our gothic stories, be inspired by our historic museum gothic objects and gothic rooms – we have some seriously weird stuff and a strange imagination! A session designed to inspire creative writing in the fabulous surroundings of our Victorian gentlemen’s residence using our museum objects. It is fantastic to compliment a book you may be reading in class or topics around gothic, the macabre or ghosts – talk to us about your themes. email museumarts_tourism@sandwell.gov.uk to book or find out more. Haden Hill House – Max 32 – 01384 569 444

Our Manor House – Bromwich Hall – the Manor House – a local history study. 

Children get to explore 750 years of history and discover how the site is much more than just a building! Students explore maps, photographs and primary source material to piece together the story of the house. Children also learn about life in Bromwich Hall when it was a medieval hall and learn about the people who lived there, there is also some role play as we re-enact some of the court cases the Lord of the Manor would have heard in the great hall 400 years ago and examine some real historic mystery objects. A great session to inspire critical thinking and supporting self-esteem. Bromwich Hall, Max 32 – 9:30- 2:30pm

Tours at all sites

We offer tours and tours with workshops of our historic houses tailored to your individual needs but we do recommend one of our hands on sessions above for a more exciting visit. Call the relevant site for details. 

The Mummy’s head

For this session we come to you (schools within 5 miles of Haden Hill House or Wednesbury Museum only). A letter arrives at your school from the head of the museum service saying they are sending in a member of staff with some ancient Egyptian objects found in the museum stores. The children get up close with some real Egyptian objects from our museum collection and are able to examine them and learn a little about how objects have been preserved and how they end up in museums and are looked after. The session also encourages group discussion, problem solving and discovery and can be a great springboard for art projects, creative writing tasks and science lessons around materials. This session is designed for children in the middle or towards the end of a topic as they need to be able to explore and examine the objects with some knowledge for the discussion to work.  Email museumarts_tourism@sandwell.gov.uk to make enquiries. There is also a handling collection of replica items which can run alongside this session and can be left at school. Max 33 children. Session 1.5 – 2 hours.

Handling collections

We have a selection of handling collections which are great for use in the classroom after your visit or as a standalone activity to enhance learning across the curriculum. Our world is full of ‘things’ so using objects to inspire, encourage discussion and inquiry, use for drawing or as the basis of creative writing can be a great way to encourage creative learning. 01384 569 444

Bespoke projects

Museums are great across the curriculum and themes and not just for history. We are happy to look at specific projects for your school and individual needs around all subjects just contact us on museumarts_tourism@sandwell.gov.uk. Museums and historic buildings are great for teaching across the curriculum in subjects such as literacy, art and design, citizenship, tourism, geography and history.

William Morris – Patterns in Nature  

The children explore the patterns in the house and the William Morris wallpaper and explore Morris’ work, children undertake sessions around tiles and wallpaper including repeat patterns. Haden Hill House. Suitable for early KS2 only but great for topics around maths and repeat patterns, William Morris and famous people, Victorians, art. Haden Hill House – 10am-2.30pm – 01384 569 444.