School Visits

Plan Your Visit

Key Information for School Visits


  • We offer a range of workshops suitable for KS1 or KS2 pupils. See the choices below. You can also create your own activities to complement a tour of the museum.
  • National Curriculum linkage can fit your needs, including STEM, history, local studies, literacy and numeracy.
  • Visits can be full or half day to fit your needs, combining museum trails/activities and workshops.
  • There are facilities for lunch and discussions/workshops in the meeting room.
  • A full day visit (9.30am to 2.30pm) for up to 30 pupils would cost £180, a half day £120. For smaller groups the cost will be individually negotiated on a per-pupil basis. 
  • Dates need to be negotiated to ensure our team of volunteers is available. Please suggest possible weekdays, except Tuesdays.

Further information is available in this PDF Download:

DOCUMENT DOWNLOAD: Education Visits Further Information – PDF (1,802 KB)

Workshops and Activities

The workshops, combined with an interactive tour of the museum, are full days designed primarily for KS2 pupils.

Activities are suitable for both KS1 and KS2 pupils.

Shorter activities and a museum tour can be fitted into a half-day.

Workshop – Power from the Past

Pupils will dress as Victorians as they explore power from the past (and present) as they tour the museum. One of the most important inventions of the Industrial Revolution was the steam engine which radically changed working lives. In addition to the steam engines on display, pupils will also discover how the museum’s mine display and the 200-year-old water wheel are linked to powering machines. The session will cover the impact of pollution and climate change and what this means for future energy needs. Pupils then put on lab coats on to undertake a scientific investigation using the museum’s water wheel kits. This explores how we get power from energy, linking to critical thinking about the renewable forms of energy that must power the future.

NC Links

  • Geography
  • History
  • Science

Workshop – Materials Matter

A new chocolate-making machine is needed! The session starts with a fun quiz about Quality Street sweets, that are made here in Halifax. Pupils are then challenged to think like engineers to help design the new machine, by investigating properties of materials and states of matter. There is an interactive tour exploring the collection and the different materials they can discover – finding out how properties of materials are important in the process of making machines and products. To investigate states of matter the pupils then run their own melting chocolate experiment, measuring melting points. Following the workshop, the museum invites pupils to send us their machine designs!

NC Links

  • Design and Technology
  • Science

Workshop – Magnificent Mills

This workshop is in development but can be offered with sufficient notice, if you would like to help us pilot it.

Pupils dress as Victorians and are introduced to the jobs young people did in the mills in the 19th Century. They then tour the museum to explore the jacquard weaving machines, and how these were made and powered. In the workshop they undertake a simple weaving task that is controlled by instructions encoded on cards. They are then invited to compare how instructions coded on cards have now been replaced by computer programs, that drive today’s CNC machines and 3D printers.

NC Links

  • Computing
  • History
  • Local Studies

Activity – Marvellous Machines

Pupils become part of the museum maintenance team, opening up the museum tool box to handle tools and machine components. They then investigate the marvellous machines in the museum collection, to find out why is it important the museum looks after them. This can be extended with further practical activities to explore simple mechanical and electrical machines.

NC Links

  • Design & Technology
  • Science
  • Maths

Activity – Valuable Victorians

Pupils meet the Museum’s Victorian Factory Owner and learn what is expected of them as employees for the day! In costume, pupils tour the museum and investigate three jobs which children would have been employed to do during the Industrial Revolution in the Calderdale area, Hurriers pulling coal carts in the coal mine, Doffers changing bobbins on looms, and Fluffers cleaning fluff from the machines as they worked. After visiting the museum’s foundry display pupils will become sand casters creating moulds for the casting of metal – discovering the specialist skill of pattern makers in machine making. Or they will create braiding and do simple weaving, to explore how yarn is turned into fabrics.

NC Links

  • Citizenship and British Values
  • History
  • Maths
  • Science

Enquire About Your School Visit

Please get in touch to enquire about possible dates for your visit.  We will need to ensure we have the availability of volunteers to facilitate your visit and chosen workshop(s).  Unfortunately we are unable to take bookings for Tuesdays.

If you have questions/queries, please complete our contact form HERE

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