Interactive in-school workshops are available to schools in Somerset throughout the year and cover a variety of topics from Egyptian Adventures to Victorian Childhood.

The workshops are 90 minutes long unless otherwise stated and are suitable for up to 35 pupils.

Great Fire of London KS1

Discuss how the fire started and discover why the flames spread so quickly. Create a visual timeline, handle artefacts and experiment with how the fire was put out! Dress up as key figures and investigate the diary of Samuel Pepys. Find out what he buried. Have a go at writing with a quill pen and discover how Somerset people responded to this disaster.

Pirates Ahoy! KS1

Avast, me hearties, are you ready for this swashbuckling workshop? For younger children, this workshop explores the exciting world of pirates. Discover more about William Dampier, the famous Somerset buccaneer, create your own pirate treasure, and dress up in period costume for imaginative play.

At the Seaside KS1

An action-packed workshop exploring seaside holidays of the past. Get hands-on with history and discover old photographs, artefacts and costumes, all with a nautical theme.

Dinosaurs and Fossils KS1

Discover more about fossils, bones and dinosaurs with this science-based investigation. Explore prehistoric life by handling fossils, building a plesiosaur skeleton and decorating your very own ammonite.

Please note: this workshop can be adapted to feature an activity about Mary Anning, Dorset’s famous fossil-hunting pioneer.

Toys and Games KS1

Explore and play with toys from the past in this lively investigation. Take part in Victorian playground games, find out what’s similar and what’s different between old and new toys, and have a go at some Victorian animation too!

Gunpowder Plot KS1/KS2

Using archives and artefacts discover who was behind the Gunpowder Plot. Investigate how their plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament was uncovered and learn about their gruesome punishments. Find out why we still celebrate 5th November by exploring its important links with Somerset carnivals and make your own guy.

Egyptian Adventures KS1/KS2

Explore Ancient Egyptian life through this amazing archaeological investigation. Discover what Egyptians believed, learn about famous archaeological pioneers, handle real Egyptian objects, and create crafts inspired by the culture of the Pharaohs.

Teeth and Bones KS1/KS2

Discover the importance of teeth and bones through this hands-on science-based workshop. Identify and handle a variety of artefacts, understand what bones do for humans and animals, and construct a skeleton using what you’ve found out.

Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole KS1/KS2

Compare and contrast the lives and work of the world’s two most famous nurses, using artefacts and archival documents to investigate their history. Dress up as a nurse or a soldier, pack a suitcase for Florence’s travels to the Crimea, and find out how she changed hospitals and medicine forever.

Victorian Christmas KS1/KS2

It’s often said that the Victorians invented Christmas. You can learn more about their festivities through this unique seasonal workshop. Investigate where traditions come from, handle real historical artefacts, play parlour games and make your own decorations to get into the Christmas spirit!

Please note: this workshop is only available during the second half of autumn term.

Crime and Punishment KS2

Find out about crimes committed in the past and their punishments. Find out about thefts by Victorian children and riots in Wellington.This workshop uses amazing archives from prisons around Somerset. You will even discover what the prisoners looked like!

Build like Brunel KS2

Find out about Isambard Kingdom Brunel in this STEM and history interactive workshop. Discover his key role in Britain’s industrial revolution and became a 19th century engineering giant. Design and make your own bridge, find out why boats float, dress up as Brunel and handle a variety of artefacts.

Rocks and Fossils KS2

Discover more about rocks and fossils with this interactive investigation and develop your scientific and geological skills. Explore unique rocks and fossils from our collections, learn about how these artefacts are formed and create your own fossil.

Please note: this workshop can be adapted to feature an activity about Mary Anning, Dorset’s famous fossil-hunting pioneer.

Victorian Childhood KS2

Life for children in Victorian Somerset was very different from today. Dress up in historical costume, learn about Victorian schools and investigate nineteenth-century childhood through drama, object-handling, sewing and archival sources.

Somerset in Wartime KS2

Explore life in Somerset during the Second World War through this engaging and action-packed workshop. Put out an incendiary bomb using a real stirrup pump, learn about rationing and life in the Home Guard and discover the experience of evacuees.

Archive Explorers KS2

Our expert archivist can visit your classroom and deliver tailor-made workshops on a range of topics. Previous subjects have included the First World War, transport, crime and punishment, and an introduction to archives. These workshops last one hour and include a selection of original materials from the archives. For more information and the cost for this workshop please see Somerset Archives Education and Learning.

Booking and Contact

To enquire about booking a workshop, please complete our booking enquiry form.

Tel: 01823 347451