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History workshops for schools

Learning opportunities for adults and children at The Oxfordshire Museum - or in your school.

Booking a workshop

Schools can book a workshop at The Oxfordshire Museum or in school. All workshops feature a range of practical, hands-on activities using a wide variety of artefacts and photographs.

Your workshop leader will run the session and provide all necessary materials. A detailed teacher’s pack is available for all sessions.

We can also offer virtual sessions for in-school learning, theses can be pre-recorded videos or live Q&A sessions.  Pleases contact us to discuss your requirements.

To book a visit, or discuss your options contact us.

We can only provide in-school workshops for schools in Oxfordshire.


Schools will be invoiced.

Workshops at The Oxfordshire Museum (available Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) cost £89 per class.

Workshops in school - the museum comes to you

  • FS and KS1 - 1-hour minimum, cost £104 per class, per workshop
  • KS2 - 1.5-hours minimum, cost £126 per class, per workshop 
  • Virtual workshops for schools, cost £35 per session
  • Virtual workshop with loan box for schools, cost £56 per session

Please note all charges apply to 8 April 2023 and are subject to an annual review by the county council.

Workshops at the museum

All workshops feature a range of practical, hands-on activities using a wide variety of artefacts and photographs.

Dinosaur Workshop FS, Years 1 - 3, 10am - 12noon

See the life-size Megalosaurus, the museum's unique dinosaur garden, and genuine fossilised footprints in this workshop. The interactive gallery, fossil role-play and practical measuring tasks ensure that the children are constantly engaged.

Roman Workshop KS2, 10am – 12.30pm

Along with our fascinating Roman Gallery, dress up as a Roman citizen and learn what your clothing says about your status in this workshop. Handle genuine Roman artefacts found in Oxfordshire. Learn what made the Roman army so effective before being drilled and, possibly, decimated!

The Anglo-Saxons in Oxfordshire – invasions, settlements and kingdoms KS2 10am – 12.30pm

The formation and development of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms up until the time of the first king of England is complicated and confusing. That’s before the Vikings get involved!

Armed with helmets, swords and a good dose of role-play, we will help to make sense of it all. Marvel at amazing discoveries such as the Hanney Brooch, enamelled spear and pattern-welded sword then make your own treasured grave goods.

Life Within Living Memory/Victorian Workshops KS1 & 2, 10am - 12 noon

Sit up Straight (Victorian Schoolroom)

A costumed schoolmistress will drill your pupils in Victorian rules and regulations in a traditional Victorian schoolroom experience. School uniforms, slates, dip pens and punishments all provided!

Spit and Polish (Servants/Houses and Homes)

Put on your aprons and roll up your sleeves as you are put to work doing the laundry, polishing the silver and cleaning the boots. Also, handle a wide selection of genuine artefacts.

Time to Play (Toys and Games)

Experience the world of play as it would have been enjoyed in Victorian times. Try your hand at a wide variety of indoor and outdoor toys then make a peg doll of your own.

The Marvels of Invention KS2

Say cheese! Explore some of the early developments in photography, cinema and 3D images. Pose for a photograph in Victorian costume and watch a magic lantern show. An amazing opportunity to get close up and hands-on with vintage equipment, including a magic lantern, stereoscopic viewer and camera obscura.

Workshops in school

Key stage 1 workshops - 1-hour minimum

Castles - Tales from towers and turrets

How and why were motte and bailey castles were built, and what it was like to live inside them? Pupils will have the opportunity to handle real objects found by archaeologists, feel the weight of trying on a knight’s helmet and join in with the story of a famous siege at Oxford Castle.

Oxford’s Motoring Legend

Follow the amazing story of William Morris, Lord Nuffield, from a lad mending bicycles to the creator of one of the longest established car plants in the world.  A flurry of activities and artifacts shows how Britain’s greatest benefactor changed the face of Oxfordshire.

Are we nearly there yet? (Transport)

This hands-on, drama-based workshop is an ideal introduction to history and object handling for the youngest members of the school. Looking back to the early days of motoring, we take a day trip, complete with horn, goggles, and starting handle!

Have seaside holidays changed?

Climb aboard the charabanc to ’travel’ back in time and compare seaside holidays from 100 years ago, 50 years ago, and the present day. A wide variety of photographs, objects, and costumes help bring this topic to life as we investigate beachwear, entertainment, and early photography.

Have toys changed?

What would your grandparents have played with? Compare and sort old and new toys, play with a wide range of replica items then make an old-fashioned toy to keep.

School Days

How has schooling changed since the introduction of the 1890 Education Act? Slates, dip pens, free milk, poetry, the abacus, and the cane! Photographs, objects and lots of practical activities help bring the past to life.

This workshop can link with the 'Have Toys Changed?' workshop to create a whole ‘Changing Childhood’ experience.

What happened on washday?

Experience all the different stages of Great Grandma’s washday using authentic washday items. Shoulder the yoke to collect your water from the river, pound the clothes in the dolly tub with a posser then put them through the mangle. Once the clothes have dried on the line, use flat irons and sock stretchers to make them look as good as new.

The Two Queens

Find out how life changed from the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1 to that of Queen Victoria. Model the latest fashions, see how everyday objects developed and try your hand at writing in the manner of yesteryear.

Key Stage 2 workshops - 1.5 hours minimum

Stone Age to Iron Age

Discover how people’s lives changed over 1000s of years, as we look at the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, and Iron Age. Take part in a timeline drama, handle flint tools, and have a go at ‘soap’ knapping.

Anglo-Saxon village life

Discover how the Anglo-Saxons made and decorated their clothes and try on the latest fashions! Each child will make their own pot and weave their own braid during this workshop.

Anglo-Saxon - Art and culture

Learn about the styles and patterns which were used on Anglo-Saxon jewellery and use this knowledge to design and make your own copper brooch. Explore the kind of grave goods which have been found in burial sites around Oxfordshire and follow the fascinating story of the Hanney brooch.

Anglo Saxons and Vikings

The formation and development of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms up until the time of the king of all England are complicated and confusing. Armed with helmets, swords, and a good dose of role-play, we will help to make sense of it all. Find out more about the Anglo Saxons and Vikings in Oxfordshire


Deduce what made the Roman soldiers so effective by examining our fantastic replica armour and weapons. Handle genuine Roman objects found in Oxfordshire and dress up as a Roman citizen to learn what your clothing says about your status.


With codpieces, bum rolls, and pork pie hats, raise a smile as you try on Tudor fashions for the rich and poor. Discover some of Shakespeare’s more colourful language, writing, as he did, with a quill and ink. Handle intriguing artifacts and learn more about the Golden Hind from our fabulous model.

Oxfordshire at War (WW2)

What did it feel like to wear a gas mask? How terrifying was an air raid? Why did they make rag rugs? Using a huge range of local documents and photographs from the time and a fascinating collection of authentic objects, discover the answers to these questions and make a rag rug of your own.

Life in Britain 1950s - 1970s - From Elvis to Abba

Pupils are encouraged to engage with the spirit of the 50s, 60s, and 70s using a huge range of authentic artifacts, focusing on major historical events, technological change and everyday life. Who will become the Decades Quiz Champions?

Life in Britain 1900 – 1970 - Pop-Up Exhibition (Who was who?)

Create your own fantastic exhibition in just half a day! A box of intriguing artifacts, documents, and photographs holds the key to the life of a mystery person. It is up to each group to piece together the evidence, make deductions and organise the information in order to produce and present their display. This engaging workshop encourages higher-order reading skills and provides the teacher with a wealth of follow-up material.

Rockin’ Rocks and Fabulous Fossils

This practical, hands-on session covers many elements of the Science curriculum, including rocks and fossils and evolution. Pupils will learn to distinguish between a rock and a mineral and identify different samples according to their characteristics. We consider what we can learn from a fossil and have the chance to handle some amazing specimens, including a mammoth tooth!

Museum box loans

Unlock the past with our exciting range of boxes you can borrow for your classroom. Download our box loan catalogue (pdf format, Kb) or contact us.