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 Rachel Vivian, Learning Officer, on 01202 882533 or email us at

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. 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 and New
  • Houses and Homes
  • Local Studies: How Do We Find Out About the Past?
  • Stone Age to Iron Age: Life in Ancient Dorset
  • 'Dig It!': Life in Iron Age Dorset
  • 'Dig It!': Roman Life
  • Life in Victorian Dorset: A Royal Visit
  • A Victorian Dorset Christmas
  • World War One Stories
  • World War Two: Dorset and the Home Front
  • A World War Two Dorset Home Front Christmas

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.


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.

Resources and costs

We have loans boxes available for you to borrow for two weeks on a range of themes. 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.


£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.