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Key Stage 2

KS2 Discovery Sessions

Victorian Discovery Sessions

Brunel and the GWR – the Impact of Steam

KS2: Victorian Britain/How did life change in our locality in Victorian times?
 
Focus: the changes that the development of the railways brought and how people reacted to the changes.
 
Overview: Using artefacts and other source materials, pupils explore the lives and views of real Victorian people. They take on the roles of characters who were affected in different ways by the coming of the railways e.g. blacksmiths, farmers, landowners, travellers, coal miners, canal owners, unemployed people, engineers, navvies, hoteliers, school teachers, doctors and Queen Victoria. The session culminates in a role-play debate arguing for and against the railways presided over by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.  
 
Curriculum Links 2014:
• A study of an aspect of British History beyond 1066: A significant turning point in British history.
• A local history study

Inside the Works – Life in the GWR Factory

KS2: Victorian Britain/How did life change in our locality in Victorian times?
 
KS3: Britain 1750 – 1900
 
Focus: Conditions in a Victorian factory and what it was like to be a Great Western Railway worker building locomotives in Swindon.
 
Overview: Pupils step into the shoes of young GWR apprentices and experience the long hours, strict timekeeping, ruthless discipline, harsh rules and hot, dangerous, dirty surroundings of the locomotive factory. Handling original tools and other unique GWR and factory artefacts, pupils explore the different jobs, materials and physical processes involved in the construction of a colossal loco.
 
Curriculum Links 2014:
• A study of an aspect of British History beyond 1066: A significant turning point in British history.
• A local history study
 
Life in a Victorian New Town – the Railway comes to Swindon
 
KS2: Victorian Britain/How did life change in our locality in Victorian times?
 
Focus: the impact that the coming of the railway had on the small Victorian market town of Swindon and life in the New Town of Swindon.
 
Overview: Pupils are introduced to a family who, along with many others, moved to New Swindon to work on the Great Western Railway. Using role-play, costume, original artefacts and photographs, pupils find out what life would have been like for the family in the community and how it differed from today. Themes include health and disease, church and school, shops and recreation, housing and police, the Mechanics’ Institute, domestic duties at home and factory conditions at work.
 
Curriculum Links 2014:
• A study of an aspect of British History beyond 1066: A significant turning point in British history.
• A local history study.

World War 2 Discovery Sessions

Air Raid Experience

KS2: Britain since 1930
 
Focus: what it was like for children living through the Blitz in the Second World War.
 
Overview: The ARP Warden sounds our original siren to signal an imminent air raid. Inside and outside our meticulously researched reconstruction of a public shelter, pupils interpret a superb collection of original WW2 objects and ephemera relating to the Blitz and bombing, air raid shelters, air raid precautions and the role of the ARP Warden. Pupils experience first-hand the conditions inside a shelter including sleeping and personal ablutions. The class consider questions such as how did people pass the time and how did they keep their morale high? After the anxiety of the raid, the Warden sounds the All Clear and pupils emerge from the shelter to reflect on their experience.
 
Curriculum Links 2014:
• A study of an aspect of British History beyond 1066: A significant turning point in British history.
 
Evacuation Experience

KS2: Britain since 1930
 
Focus: what it was like for children who were evacuated in the Second World War.
 
Overview: Share the anxiety and excitement as your pupils simulate the experience of leaving, travelling and arriving at destination as evacuees. On our station platform and inside our meticulously researched reconstruction of a wartime carriage, the pupils pack an evacuee’s suitcase, school satchel and lunchbox and handle original WW2 objects relating in particular to gas and blackout. The session finishes with a role-play as pupils are chosen or rejected by host families on arrival in the countryside.
 
Curriculum Links 2014:
• A study of an aspect of British History beyond 1066: A significant turning point in British history.
 
We'll Meet Again - early October and early March only

Experience our popular wartime festival for schools, including: Air Raid, Evacuation, Wartime Memories, Black-out, The Home Front: the Role of Women, using object handling and role play. Full details for We'll Meet Again can be found here.

Curriculum Links 2014:
• A study of an aspect of British History beyond 1066: A significant turning point in British history.
 
Further Information and How to Book
To find out more or to make a booking call 01793 466640 or email steameducation@swindon.gov.uk
 
There are some answers to frequently asked questions by teachers on the Teachers' FAQs page.
 
Teachers' materials to support any of the above Discovery Sessions can be found on the STEAM education pack page.
 
Important note: If you have a query about a booking you have made with us, please do check the Teachers' FAQs page before calling us. Please be aware that we experience a very high volume of 'phone calls during September and October and during the first two weeks of every new term, so please do bear with us during these times. If you reach voicemail it means all lines are busy.
 
When leaving a message for our Learning Team, please be sure to leave your name, school and phone number and we will get back to you as soon as we can. During busy periods, this could take up to five working days.
 

STEAM - Museum of the
Great Western Railway

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