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Key Stage 1

Discovery Sessions: KS1

Discovery Sessions – Victorian or Beyond Living Memory

Brunel and Stephenson - The Great Engineers

KS1: Why do we remember Isambard Kingdom Brunel?
Focus: The lives and achievements of the inspirational engineers, George and Robert Stephenson and Isambard Kingdom Brunel, changes in transport and the coming of the railways.
Overview: Pupils assume the roles of George and Robert Stephenson and Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The class help to retell the fascinating story of the invention of the railways and early locomotives (e.g. Locomotion, Rocket) using costume, role-play, original objects and unique railway artefacts. Your class will face the challenge of finding solutions to the obstacles encountered by the three railway builders such as rivers, mountains, valleys, raising funds, winning support and overcoming opposition. Pupils go on to recreate some of the new jobs that the railways brought and some of the very strong points of view for and against the railways.
Curriculum Links 2014:
• Events beyond living memory that are significant nationally
• The lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements
• Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality

Time Travellers – The Story of People in the Past

Choose from the following two options:

Time Travellers-Seaside

KS1: What can we learn about the past and present seaside?
Focus: How Seaside Holidays in the past were different from today.

Time Travellers-Victorian Childhood

KS1: How are our toys (and childhood) different from those in the past?
Focus: How Childhood and Toys in the past were different from today.
Overview: Using role-play, story telling and costume, pupils explore the ways of life of people in the past either at the seaside or at home or at school and at play. Detective work handling original objects helps pupils to understand the similarities and differences between the past and the present. Pupils ask and answer questions and develop their understanding of old and new, then and now and changes over time.
Curriculum Links 2014:
• Events beyond living memory

Discovery Sessions – World War Two

A Wartime Childhood – The Coming of War brings Change to the Family

KS1: Britain since 1930
Focus: What it was like for children living through the Second World War.
Overview: Using narrative, storytelling, original objects, costume and hands on activities, pupils explore what life was like for children during WW2, looking at life for evacuees and host families. Find out what changes have happened to the daily life of a child and the impact of war on home life, including rationing, making do and mending clothes and toys.
This session has been particularly designed to enable children (and teachers!) to 'do' rather than listen. It involves 'up and moving' activities with many opportunities to handle a variety of objects and talk to each other and together in small groups.
Amongst other activities, all children will play with WW2 toys, role-play being an evacuee, learn how families got around rationing and investigate mystery objects from the era.
Curriculum Links 2014:
• Changes within living memory. Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life

Self-Guided Visits

STEAM features fantastic historic and interactive displays exploring the history of Swindon and the Great Western Railway. It is ideal for visits linked to the history of transport, the impact of the railways, industrialisation, local history, art, engineering and figures of historical significance, including Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
School bookings for self-guided visits are available for any Key Stage.

Making a Booking

Take a look at our ‘Planning Your School Visit’ page to find out more about booking your visit.
To make a booking call 01793 466640 or email
Alternatively, click on the following link for our: Learning Enquiry Form

STEAM - Museum of the
Great Western Railway

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