Schools

We provide active hands-on sessions which support subjects across the National and International Curriculum, and topics to suit a creative curriculum.

Sessions can be adapted to suit all Key Stages. All the themes and topics link to the building and collections. If you have a theme or topic you would like us to support, please contact Arlene Monteith, Learning & Community Outreach Officer, on 01202 882533 or email us at museum@priest-house.co.uk.

Groups will rotate around three or four different activities which last approximately 20-30 minutes each. Most of the sessions will be led by our learning assistants who all have enhanced DBS checks. Some trail and craft activities will be self-directed, but full instructions and materials will be provided. There are facilities for schools who would like to stay for lunch.

The Learning Service has been awarded the Heritage Education Trust's Sandford Award for Excellence in Heritage Education five times, which recognises the high standards and quality provided in our school sessions.

Toys Old & New

Discover the stories of some of the old toys at the museum. Hold them in your hands and imagine what they would have been like when they were new. This session also includes activities in the childhood gallery. A museum trail, games or art and craft activities can also be chosen.

Houses & Homes

Find out what houses and homes were like in the past. What clues can the museum building and collections give us? What sort of household jobs did people in the past do and what did they use to do them? How are these objects different to ones we use today?

Local Studies: How Do We Find Out About the Past?

Use your museum detective skills to discover how we find out about the past through our rich and fascinating collections from prehistory to today. Who lived here in the ancient past and what did they leave behind? What can old maps and photographs tell us about how the area has changed? What can the history and development of the 16th century building that today houses the museum, tell us about the past?

Handle objects from our archaeology collection to find out what they can tell us about ancient life, discover the history and development of the museum building through a structured trail, and investigate what the building can tell us about the history of the area. Use old maps, photographs and evidence to work out how and why the area has developed over time, and discover our ancient history. Find out what archaeologists do and how they do it with our hands on realistic indoor archaeology dig. Unearth the different layers and make deductions about what the finds tell us about the past.

Young Curators: How Do We Find Out About the Past?

What goes on behind the scenes in a museum? What collections does the museum have? How do we look after and keep our collections? What makes a good exhibition? Have a go at making your own exhibition!

Handle objects from our collections to find out more about where they came from and how we look after them, examine the museum's displays and find out what makes a good exhibition, put together your own display using objects from our collections, and ask the Curator and members of the museum staff about what they do and why they do it.

'Dig It!' Archaeology: Finding Out About the Past

Discover what archaology can tell us about the distant past. What was life like before the Romans came? What did people eat and do in the past? What do archaeologists do? Why is archaeology important?

Handle objects from our archaeology collection to find out what they can tell us about ancient life, discover the history and development of the museum building through a structured trail, and investigate what the building can tell us about the history of the area. Use old maps, photographs and evidence to work out how and why the area has developed over time, and discover our ancient history. Find out what archaeologists do and how they do it with our hands on realistic indoor archaeology dig. Unearth the different layers and make deductions about what the finds tell us about the past. Make a model of a wattle and daub wall, clay coil pot and paper mosaic. Use our quern stones to make flour.

Stone Age to Iron Age: Life in Ancient Dorset

Discover what life was like from the Stone Age to Iron Age. What can we tell about ancient people from what they left behind? What were their houses like? How did they survive? What did they eat?

Handle objects from our archaeology collection to find out what they can tell us about ancient life. Find out what archaeologists do and how they do it with our hands on realistic indoor archaeology dig. Unearth the different layers and make deductions about what the finds tell us about the past. Make a model of a wattle and daub wall and clay coil pot. Use our quern stones to make flour.

'Dig It!': Life in Iron Age Dorset

Discover what life was like in the Iron Age. What can we tell about ancient people from what they left behind? What were their houses like? How did they survive? What did they eat?

Handle objects from our archaeology collection to find out what they can tell us about the Iron Age. Find out what archaeologists do and how they do it with our hands on realistic indoor archaeology dig. Unearth the different layers and make deductions about what the finds tell us about the past. Make a model of a wattle and daub wall and clay coil pot. Use our quern stones to make flour.

'Dig It!': Roman Life

Discover what the Romans really did for us. What can we tell about them from the objects and settlements they left behind? How did they cook and what did they eat? Where did they live? And how do you wear a togo?

Handle objects from our archaeology collection to find out what they can tell us about the Romans. Find out what archaeologists do and how they do it with our hands on realistic indoor archaeology dig. Unearth the different layers and make deductions about what the finds tell us about the past. Make and taste Roman food including a savoury dish, a sweet treat and a spiced drink. Make Roman pottery and use our quern stones to make flour.

Life in Victorian Dorset: A Royal Visit

The Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) was a regular visitor to Dorset when his mother, Queen Victoria, was on the throne, visiting Crichel House and Kingston Lacy for shooting, sport and social activity. Find out what preparations were made in the area for a special royal visitor and how Dorset celebrated the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Hands on activities in the Victorian kitchen, ironmonger's and stationer's. Take part in a Victorian washday and handle real Victorian domestic objects and toys. Find out about some of the famous people and their houses in the area.

A Victorian Dorset Christmas

The Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) was a regular visitor to Dorset when his mother, Queen Victoria, was on the throne, visiting Crichel House and Kingston Lacy for shooting, sport and social activity. Find out what preparations were made in the area for a special royal Christmas visitor.

Children can enjoy the festive decorations at the museum and take part in Victorian Christmas themed activities.

World War One Stories

The Wimborne recruits have paraded through town and are on their way to training camp and then the Front. Discover what life was like on the Home Front during World War One and uncover some of the real stories of men who fought in the war.

World War Two: Dorset and the Home Front

Wimborne is preparing for the arrival of evacuees. Take part in the preparations and welcoming of Wimborne's new residents. Find out what life was like for a child during World War Two. What was it like to be an evacuee? What did they cook and eat when everything was rationed? What was it like to be a schoolchild? What was gas mask drill?

Hands on activities in the World War Two kitchen. Handle World War Two objects from our collections. Find out about the war with our learning assistants who were 'real life' World War Two children.

A World War Two Dorset Home Front Christmas

Wimborne is preparing for the arrival of evacuees. Take part in the preparations and welcoming of Wimborne's new residents.

Children can enjoy the festive decorations at the museum and take part in Home Front Christmas themed activities.

Cross-curricular creative sessions

The museum's collections can be used across the curriculum to creatively support a range of subjects and topics across all Key Stages. We have worked with schools on a range of cross-curricular sessions, for example, art and design projects using the building, objects and photographs; design and technology using the costume collection; creative literacy using objects and the Victorian Valentine card collection; and citizenship using our library and collections.

Outreach

We can provide outreach sessions in school on all these topics, with some adaptations. A member of the Learning Service team will visit your school with suitable items from the collections. In addition, we provide a talk about the topic and answer any questions the children may have.

We have loans boxes available for you to borrow for two weeks on the following themes:

  • Life in Victorian Britain
  • Toys Old & New
  • World War Two: The Home Front
  • The Romans
  • Archaeology
  • Domestic Objects Old & New: The Development of Technology
  • Crime & Punishment
  • Britain Since 1940
  • School Days

They contain handling objects from the collections, some replica items, photographs, pictures, documents and interpretation on the topic to support sessions or as a stand alone resource.

If we have items available in the collections we may also be able to create loans boxes which link to your themes and topics.

Costs

£3.50 per child. Accompanying adults are free. Some sessions will incur extra charges for materials or ingredients; these will be discussed at the time of booking.

Loans boxes are free of charge for two weeks before or after your visit, or £10 for two weeks if you do not visit.