Museums Worcestershire is still supporting schools, home educators and SEND learners during the current uncertainty with tailored activities. Please see the regular activities we offer - in the museum, in schools & loans boxes - and get in touch to see how we can make these resources work for you. Please keep an eye out for new bespoke activities you can do with learners here.

Schools at the County Museum at Hartlebury

A Great Day Out at Hartlebury

“Hartlebury is really great. There’s so much to see and do” KS1 teacher

A visit to the County Museum at Hartlebury is a step back in time for learners of all ages. Through role-play and immersive learning, pupils can discover over 1000 years of history in this castle location and intriguing stories of Worcestershire’s past.

Whether it’s a lesson with the school teacher in the Victorian Schoolroom, or meeting the servants in the Scullery, children will find out first-hand what life was really like in historic Worcestershire. From costume to caravans, travel to toys there is something for all ages to explore.

Schools Activities at The County Museum

We offer the following topics for schools. Please bear in mind that these sessions are guidelines but can be adapted to suit your pupils’ ages and SEN requirements or to suit your educational programme.

Early Years Foundation Stage

We’re going on a shapes hunt

Guided by the museum puppet, John Boy, children will explore the museum’s collection of historic Gypsy caravans, looking for shapes in the structure and decoration of these amazingly colourful homes. John Boy will talk about his family and lifestyle as a Gypsy at the start of the last century. They will also experience a hands-on exploration of 2 and 3 dimensional shapes, exploring characteristics of objects and using mathematical language to describe them. They will learn about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions. Sessions can be adapted to suit all ages and ability groups.

Curriculum links:
Mathematics – Recognise, create and describe patterns; explore the characteristics of objects; model shapes and patterns they have observed. Personal, social and emotional development: self-confidence and -awareness; share ideas within a familiar group; choose resources they need; say when they do or don’t need help; critical thinking.

Early Years Foundation Stage, 45 minutes, maximum 15 children.

£70 per half day, £130 per full day plus £3.25 per child admission.

Enquire about this session

Key Stage 1 – 2

Below Stairs

Apply for the positions of Boot Boy and Scullery Maid; use authentic equipment in our reconstructed scullery and laundry. Children will gain an insight into life ‘below stairs’ as if starting their working life in service. Our Housemaid will explain about the conditions of employment, contrasting a servant’s life-style with that of his or her employer. The children will be prepared for the wide variety of duties performed in a typical upper-middle class household in the late 19th century by demonstration of equipment from this period, before taking part in a number of practical activities.
Sessions can be adapted to suit all age and ability groups. Content can be used to focus on an overarching study on the lives of children in the past; were their lives better then or now?

Curriculum links:
History: know where people and events fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences with different periods; understanding changes within living memory and in national life; a study of British history beyond 1066. English: listen and respond appropriately to adults and peers; ask relevant questions to extend understanding and knowledge.

Key Stages 1 & 2, 1 hour 45 minutes, maximum 30 children.

£70 per half day, £130 per full day plus £3.25 per child admission.

Enquire about this session

Toys From the Past

A hands-on activity looking at the similarities and differences between toys today and toys in the past. To reinforce concepts of ‘old’ and ‘new’ and to provide a wide range of opportunities for children to develop their speaking and listening skills.

Curriculum links:
History: develop an awareness of the past; discover where the people and objects studied fit within a chronological framework; use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms; understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and how it is represented. Science: identify and name a variety of everyday materials; describe the simple physical properties of a variety of everyday materials. English: ask relevant questions to extend their understanding; articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions; maintain attention and participate in conversations, initiating and responding to comments.

Key Stages 1, 45 minutes, maximum 15 children.

£70, plus £3.25 per child admission.

Enquire about this session

Homes from the Past

A hands-on activity looking at the similarities and differences between our homes today and during Victorian times. To reinforce concepts of ‘old’ and ‘new’ and to provide a wide range of opportunities for children to develop their speaking and listening skills. To provide an understanding of elements of life in the past.

Curriculum links:
History: changes within living memory of national life; know where the people and events fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. English: ask relevant questions to extend understanding and knowledge; articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions; maintain attention and participate in conversations, initiating and responding to comments.

Key Stages 1, 1 hour 45 minutes, maximum 30 children.

£70 per half day, £130 per full day plus £3.25 per child admission.

Enquire about this session

Classroom at War

Using the schoolroom at Hartlebury, children while have the opportunity to learn about the life of a Wartime evacuee, suitably attired with their gas mask boxes. Our ‘WVS leader’ or ‘ARP warden’ will talk about evacuation and children’s experiences. Once the children have found out about life during WW2, they will be able to take part in a series of hands-on activities including packing an evacuee’s suitcase, sending Morse code messages, playing with wartime toys and shopping with WW2 coins.

Curriculum links:
History: a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066; a significant turning point in British history; events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally. English: listen and respond to adults and peers; ask relevant questions; articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions; maintain attention and participate in conversations.

Key Stages 2 (can be adapted for KS1), 1 hour 45 minutes, maximum 30 children.

£70 per half day, £130 per full day plus £3.25 per child admission.

Enquire about this session

Make Do and Mend

The Scullery at Hartlebury has been created for children to experience a day in the life of a Wartime child. Housewife Dolly Tubb, will lead the activities. The room is equipped with a variety of make-do-and-mend items to give a real flavour of the period, and children will have a gas mask box each. Once the children have found out about life during the Second World War they can take part in a series of hands-on activities including finding out about ration food and tasks for children around the home. These activities give the children an opportunity to learn and develop new skills.

Curriculum links:
History: a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066; a significant turning point in British history; events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally. English: listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers; ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge; articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions; maintain attention and participate in conversations, initiating and responding to comments.

Key Stages 2 (can be adapted for KS1), 1 hour 45 minutes, maximum 30 children.

£70 per half day, £130 per full day plus £3.25 per child admission.

Enquire about this session

Bringing the Museum to You

If you aren’t able to get to the County Museum at Hartlebury for the day, you can still access the county collection through loans boxes or find out more about how we can create the experience of a Museum in Your Classroom.

Plan Your School Visit

Why bring your class to Hartlebury?

Hartlebury is full of potential for learning and creativity. A visit can bring learning to life by providing sensory experiences of handling real objects, looking at genuine works of art and artefacts and exploring an historic building. All of our activities are led by experienced staff and support specific schemes of work whilst also helping pupils to make cross-curricular links between different subject areas. Following their visit, pupils could be encouraged to create a poster, a piece of artwork, design a museum leaflet or produce a piece of drama or poetry based on their experiences of Hartlebury. They could even create their own museum in their classroom!

Preparing to Visit

Careful preparation and follow-up are essential if the visit is to provide a learning experience rather than just a day out.

  • Contact the museum to check availability on your preferred date, when we can provide an outline of museum admission and activity costs. Free preliminary visits for teachers are available (highly recommended).
  • Please inform us if any of your pupils have specific learning needs as we can tailor activities to suit your pupils.
  • We request a supervision ratio of 1 adult to every 10 children, 1 to 6 for very young children.
  • A timetable of your visit, including any special arrangements, will be sent to you prior to your visit.

Facilities and General Information

  • Toilets are available in the Museum Reception Building and in a separate block next to the main Museum. Disabled facilities can be found in both locations.
  • The museum building can be accessed by use of the lift or stairs.
  • There are two lunch rooms available for school use. One or both of these will be allocated to your group on booking, depending on the duration of your visit and size of your group.
  • There is both a museum cafe and shop on site. The shop contains a selection of gifts suitable for your pupils’ pockets.
  • We require a minimum of 3 working days’ notice to 2 weeks notice to cancel your visit to Hartlebury. In the event of this notice not being given (with the exception of inclement weather), admission charges will be waived but session and role-play fees will still be charged.

Booking your session

The Learning Team can provide further information via Teachers’ Packs and ideas for pre- and post-visit activities if required. For more information, to discuss or make a booking for Worcestershire County Museum, please click here to submit an enquiry form. A member of the team will be with you shortly.

If your query is urgent, contact the Learning Team on 01299 250416.

  • Victorian Schoolroom – Experience a typical school day in our Victorian schoolroom
  • Below Stairs – Discover what life would have been like for the servants working in a large Victorian house
  • Toys Through Time – A hands-on activity comparing toys today and toys in the past
  • Classroom at War – An opportunity for children to experience a day in the life of a Wartime evacuee
  • Make Do and Mend – Discover what life was like for children during World War Two
  • Homes Long Ago – A hands-on activity comparing our homes today and homes in the past
  • We’re going on a shapes hunt – a chance to explore the museum’s collection of historic Gypsy caravans