Education at Portland Museum

Portland Museum offers educational sessions focusing on topics covered in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. We offer a professional service led by a qualified and experienced teacher and supporting volunteers. Our aim is to give each child a positive experience in a wonderful setting which will enable them to learn about history with sessions that will inspire and encourage further interest in the historical environment.

The following sessions are currently available. Sessions can be tailored to suit the needs of curriculum requirements so please do not hesitate to contact the Museum and discuss your needs.

Session A ; Houses and Homes

Take a guided tour around an early 17th century cottage with inglenook fireplace, bread oven and stone floors. Then be transported into the Victorian Age with our reconstructed cottage interior featuring original artefacts from the period.
Use the prepared worksheet to search the Museum for household objects from the past, think about what they were made of and used for and what items we use now. Walk outside the Museum and complete the prepared worksheet looking at features and fabric of the old cottages adjacent to the Museum and compare them with the modern houses. Learn about how different household objects were used in the past with practical hands on sessions.

Session B ; Local History

Learn about two of the most disastrous shipwreck incidents off Portland, the tragic tale of the ‘Avalanche’ and ‘Forest’ collision and the story of the sinking of the ‘The Royal Adelaide’. Using the prepared worksheet, sketch an item from the maritime collection and answer questions about it. Write a poem imagining what it would be like to be on a ship in stormy seas. Learn about smuggling with a hands-on session and watch demonstrations using Museum artefacts such as sword sticks.
Go for a walk around Wakeham village and Church ‘Ope cove. Learn about the local history, industry and geology of the area and how the landscape has shaped the lives of the people and wildlife of Portland.

Session C ; The Victorians

Search the Museum for original artefacts from the Victorian era and answer questions about them on a prepared worksheet. Compare the artefacts with the objects we use today. Visit our reconstructed Victorian cottage parlour packed full of original artefacts from our collection and learn about what life was like for ordinary people living on Portland in the 19th century with hands on demonstrations. Handle original objects and play with replica Victorian toys. Experience Victorian washday, use a dolly and a mangle and hang washing on the line with wooden pegs.

Session D ; Jurassic Coast

Take a guided walk from the Museum down to Church Ope Cove in the heart of the Jurassic Coast and learn about how the layers of Portland stone were made in Jurassic times and what sort of creatures would have lived in each layer. Learn about the Jurassic Coast through our wonderful array of fossils including giant ammonites, the Portland Turtle (the oldest specimen of its type in Europe) and plesiosaur and ichthyosaur bones. Learn about which types of plants grew. Complete the fossil hunt worksheet trail and handle real fossils from the Jurassic era.

Prices are as follows

Morning sessions between 9.45am and 12.00pm are £2 per child
All day sessions between 9.45am and 2.00pm are £3 per child.

This includes all materials, clipboards, pencils and worksheets and guided teaching sessions.
Teachers and assistants go free