Welcome to our story telling educational programmes new for 2016

Our inspirational, participatory story telling workshops use our magic lantern stories, artefacts and rare

children’s books to provide children with a glimpse of the past for fun and learning today.

Children gain in confidence using our costumes, artefacts, memorabilia and setting to act out our

stories or better still use their imagination to produce their own story or poem.  Either way feel free

to video the results for a presentation for parent or a special assembly back at school.

Our stories are many and various and can be used to focus on real world situations facing us

today.  The choice is yours whether it be social history, the environment, comparative religions or

something quite different; we can even tailor make a programme just for you.

We link everything we do to the National Curriculum whilst engaging with each school’s individual

requirements. Feel free to mix and match the story telling option with any of our already well tried

 and tested programmes. If you are new to our site please read on or give us a call for details of our other programmes. 

Do call in or ring us on 01270 820836 to discuss your school's individual requirements. We are happy to visit you to meet staff informally or to speak with them at a staff meeting or training day. 

All our programmes are specially designed to meet the new curriculum requirements and are full of hands on, fun and learning activities.  We are happy to cater for your specific learning needs. Just give us a call or pop in to see us.

We will do more than help you tick the boxes - see the chart of National Curriculum Links further down.

If you have not experienced any of our educational days of fun and learning make 2015-16 the year you do come along

You will not be disappointed.

Other schools recommend us: here are just some of the comments so far in 2015. 

'We had an amazing day! The children loved dressing up and taking part in the Sunday school lesson and learnt a lot whilst having a lot of fun! Can't thank you enough and will recommend you to others!'

'What a fantastic day we had! The class really enjoyed the activities and going back in time for the day. Thanks so much- we all loved it.' 

Each year we welcome more and more schools and 2014 has also been a record year for school visits. Many schools return year on year and new schools come on board. During 2014 we were delighted to welcome the following new schools: The Willows Primary, Stoke-on-Trent, Nutgrove Methodist School, St Helens, Hopedale School, Cheddleton and Woodlane Primary, Stoke-on-Trent.


Our Visitors' book tells quite a story and you are very welcome to peruse it if you are able to visit us; meanwhile here is a snapshot of its contents. Hopedale wrote:

'The children thoroughly enjoyed their day out. They were able to see some of the things we have learnt about in action. The children really enjoyed their journey back in time seeing how life in school and at play time differed from today'.

Leigton Academy, Crewe, one of our many returning schools wrote:

' We have all had a wonderful day. The children have really enjoyed themselves. The Victorian Sunday School was fantastic. Everything from today will really help us with our writing and topic work. Thank you so much'.

Silverdale Primary Academy thoroughly enjoyed our' Christmasses of the past' programme and contributed with:

'A wonderful day again. Children have drawn on their knowledge and contributed to it through this experience. Its provided a fitting end to our topic work. Thank you and merry Christmas'.                                                                                              

 Woodlane Primary found our WW1 programme an ideal way to conclude their school project and said:

' The children had a fantastic day using what they already learnt alongside new facts and information. A great way to end our WW1 topic'.

In March 2014 Shavington Primary wrote:

'This is our first visit and we have enjoyed every minute! The day has been so 'hands-on' for the children and the staff! We have all learnt so much and look forward to returning in the future.'  Shavington have already booked for 2015 and we look forward to sharing with them again.  


 World War 1: Dare to be Different: To Fight or not to Fight?

This programme challenges children to explore the social history of WW1 experiences from the memories of soldiers, conscientious objectors, chaplains, ordinary everyday families and significant well known people and local people. Symbols of war time are researched for a fun session of badge making.

The workshops are fully participatory, hands on learning opportunities brought to life with the help of artefacts, documents, letters from the trenches and story telling. The influence of the war, and changing attitudes, on our lives today is also explored.

Our well established, much appreciated workshops are also still available - see the chart below for curriculum matches.

We provide further ideas for differentiated extension work back at school. 

All our programmes take place in a Victorian Chapel that is of national significance being one of the four key heritage sites in Methodism and the only site for the working class religion of the Primitive Methodist Movement. Famous local people's lives can also be included in our workshops.

We inspire childrens' curiosity to learn from the past and build for the future with confidence.  

We keep our education workshops under constant review and are currently concentrating on a variety of ideas to facilitate the new national curriculum. We can help you with your projects, theme days and fun days. Just let us know what your specific requirements are; we are always eager to meet individual needs.

Curriculum Links: including EBENEZER 11 The Gospel Car

England long ago: Changes in living memory: Rich in social history: Religion in society.



Workshops English Maths Science History D&T



Drama P.E.

X Cur.


Relevant books
Back in time session      
Times past Sunday school lesson  
Toys from the past
Gospel Car ' EBENEZER 11'  
Childrens' games
Magic lantern stories
Atlas printing press
Doll house memorabilia
Grave rubbings
Prisoner in a cell
Victorian Christmas
Victorian funeral



World War 1: Dare to be Different: To Fight or not to Fight?

Engage with the past to challenge and inspire the present and the future.

Workshops English Maths Science History D&T



Drama Art

X Cur.


Relevant Books


Realities of life    
Challenges for Men       
Challenges for Women      
What would you have done?            
Debate from the Ranters' Pulpit          
Consider the Consequences!      
Symbols & Badge Making          
Trench Art & War time Ceramics        
Research from Artefacts etc.        
Relevant Famous People          
Story telling & Research in groups        
Report back          
War time Highlights        
War time Stories & Songs          


Re live World War II as an evacuee: Impact of war on the lives of men, women and children: Changes in living history.

Workshops English Maths Science History D&T



Drama P.E.

X Cur


Relevant books                
Routemaster bus                        
Arthur Baddeley                              
Escape from Colditz                          

Wash Day w Dolly tub,

posser,mangle etc.

Hornby clockwork trains                          
Hitler versus Christ                            
Riding bicycles/penny farthings                          
Childrens' games                        
Bus conductors/pre decimal coinage                        
Gas for light, power & evil                          

2013-14 has been another very successful year for our schools' programmes. We have been priviliged to share our educational programmes with over 11,000 school children, who have visited the museum and we have taken our assemblies to over 23,000 children in their schools. We have also been delighted to welcome a growing number of university students, Scouts, Brownies and church groups who have also availed themselves of our workshops. If we can be of help to you please ring to discuss your needs. 

Again this year our visitors book is bursting with praise from the schools who have visited.

Vinetree Primary School wrote,'The reason we continue to return every year is because it is a full interactive and fun filled day for the children and the teachers! We haven't been disappointed - it was great this year too - thank you!'

Sutherland Academy again visited on three different days and said 'Back for a second year and it was fantastic yet again. The staff are amazing and the children loved the whole day and learnt lots. Staff are extremly helpful and ensure we have a fantastic time'.

St Luke's C E Primary Trent Vale said, 'Absolutely fantastic day! Filled with lots of interesting stories and hands on activities. Staff and children really enjoyed our day. We have all learnt a lot thank you'.

In 2013 we were priviliged to welcome children and staff from the following schools:

Elworth Hall Primary School

Hillside Primary School

Weston Coyney Primary School

St Giles & St George Primary School

Crescent Primary School

Harpsfield Academy

Knypersley First

Burnwood Community Primary school

Belgrave St. Bartholomews' Academy

Bursley Primary School

Milton Primary School

Winnington Park Primary School

Goldenhill Primary School

St John's C E Primary School

Highfields Primary School

Werrington Primary School

Endon St Luke's Primary School

Leighton Academy

Sutherland Primary School

Vinetreee Primary School

Wyche Primary School

Shavington Primary School

Beresford Memorial Primary School

Heron Cross

Lostock Gralam Primary School

Baldwins Gate Primary School

Some schools visited for the Victorian Experience, some for World War II workshops and some came for both.

They were a great joy; we thoroughly enjoyed sharing with them. 

We are offering a World War I Day this year 'Dare to be different' 'To Fight or not to Fight'

Do come along and meet us. Better still bring your children for one of our programmes and form you own opinions

BUT be warned once you have visited you will return.

It is an experience the children will always remember. 

Other comments in our visitors' book also speak for themselves:

'Thank you for a great day and a wonderful experience. The children thoroughly enjoyed the day. We are leaving with renewed enthusiasm for our 'Victorians' Topic.' Werrington Primary School Year 5. 

'A fantastic experience. The children had a wonderful time and the staff were brilliant.' Mossley Primary, Congleton.

'Brilliant experience for all. A very valuable day with lovely staff, who are a credit to you. Many thanks - we will definitely be recommending the trip to other schools.' Belgrave. St Bartholomew's Academy Year 2. 

 'An excellent day - well organised with a great variety of activities. The children have thoroughly enjoyed learning about world war II many thanks.' Bursley Academy Year 5. 

Group visits to Englesea Brook are always welcome and can be accommodated outside of our normal opening times if required. Whatever age or type of group you are, we can tailor a visit to suit your needs. As well as the many artefacts on display our attractions for all ages include the Victorian Sunday School and Magic Lantern experiences, Victorian toys and games and much more besides.

School Visits

Many schools discover that at Englesea Brook a wide variety of curriculuim needs can be met in a warm, friendy, exciting, inclusive and innovative way. It is also extremely affordable! Some recent comments by visiting teachers speak for themselves:


'What a fabulous afternoon was had by all with some excellent Easter activities and fascinating stories. Thank you!' Sneyd Green School


'An excellent Victorian day - thank you very much. A day enjoyed by both staff and children. The leaders were excellent - thank you.' Jackfields Infant School


'Another wonderful afternoon - thank you all so much! The children really enjoyed all the activities and we hope to come again next year. Thank you!' Burnwood Primary School


'A super experience enjoyed by all staff, children and parents. Can we borrow your Victorian teacher for supply cover?' Elworth Hall Primary School


'We have had a lovely time, lots of fun experiences for the children. The visit fitted in well with our Victorian topic. Thank you!' St Mary's School


What we offer

The educational programmes at Englesea Brook have been widely commended by local schools for the quality, depth and variety of experience offered. School visits are not routine and processed but tailored to meet the needs of individual groups. The museum is well known as a place that is friendly and inclusive where each visit is a real event.  For some examples of how we can meet different curriculum requirements see the relevant section below.


What pupils do as part of their time at the museum varies considerably but a visit can include dressing in costumes for our memorable Victorian Sunday School experience, watching a traditional magic lantern show, playing Victorian games, grave-rubbing and much more besides.


In 2008 we introduced a Victorian funeral experience to our offering which has proved popular with many schools.  This is a sensitive and inclusive means of using Victorian history to help children deal with issues of death and bereavement in their own lives and is suitable for children in year 5 and above.


The educational output of Englesea Brook is constantly developing. Recently projects with schools have focused on such diverse themes as law and order, working children, environmental protection and religious festivals.


In 2009 we successfully trialled two new educational programmes which are being offered again in March 2010. Our transport programme takes children on a journey back to World War II in which lessons can be learned not only about the past but about protecting the environment in the present. Full details can be found here. We also have an Easter programme which uses the Christian story as a starting point for exploring the religious festivals of different faiths, and the idea of emerging new life in the springtime. Following the Easter story from the perspective of a Roman soldier this programme offers pupils the opportunity to handle genuine Roman artefacts. For more details please click here.


For more details about educational visits contact our education officer, Margaret Veal, on (01270) 820836.


Some Examples of Englesea Brook visits connecting to National Curriculum Topics:


Experience our Victorian Chapel & artefacts for a truly authentic experience


Travel back in time and role play being a Victorian school child

Victorian School Experience (all in costumes- we provide)
Victorian Homes
Victorian toys (indoor & out-door)
Victorian boys & girls
Victorian crafts
Victorian Christmas: bran tub, crackers, decorations                                                                         


Use of artefacts documents & rare books:
Victorian Working-class Sunday School (we provide costumes)
Victorian toys (indoor & out-door)
Victorian life-style compared to today
Comparison of a Victorian child & a child of today
Investigate: Victorian Chapel, churches, banners & artefacts
Victorian Christmas, crafts, cracker making, fun & games.
Victorian Burial & Bereavement
Social History: Victorian funerals, cost implications
Chronology, time-line, changes through time
Changes to the chapel over time.
Changing museums and the future

We visit a large number of schools to take assemblies
We cover an extensive and ever growing range of subjects
We bring objects, artefacts, documents and/or dress up
We use a lively and participatory approach
At the museum:
Role play: Baptisms, Weddings & Funerals
Comparison of Christian Faiths: Non Conformists, Anglican & Roman Catholicism.

Citizenship & Global Issues:
Working children
Slavery/Human Rights
Exploitation: then & now
Consideration of others especially those worse off then ourselves
Consideration of the taboo subject DEATH, emotions involved, bereavement process and the future
Role play a Victorian burial with authentic Victorian funeral bier; a popular, successful & fully participative workshop.
Grave rubbings
Grave yard exploration linking the findings to social history



Opportunities to experience:
“Victorian” mathematical skills
Counting using an abacus
Rote learning & “Times Tables”
£.s.d. and sums executed on a slate
How many strokes of the cane? 


Investigating & Making
Investigating texture, colour and pattern
Designing collages, banners, rag rugs etc.
Extension work: *make a banner at school
Display work
Grave rubbings

*Use a loan box from the museum to help you.


Combining knowledge & understanding with designing & making:

Help to peg a rag rug
Try your hand at cross stitch embroidery
Darn a sock
Compare health & safety today with that of Victorian times
Design & make various items linked to a Victorian Christmas
Design & make a Victorian replica toy
Enjoy playing with Victorian toys and evaluate their design   


As above plus the following:
Take photographs of your experiences
Investigate and record your findings electronically
Comparison of materials for suitability
Comparison of “Riggers” and ease of use
Comparison of economic measures then & now
Comparison of environmental situations then & now
Evaluation of what we can do to protect the environment

Extension work back at school:
Design & make (Peg) a rag rug
Design & make a banner
Design & make a calendar using your photographs
Promote the calendar as a fundraising initiative in school
Make an oral history presentation from your recordings



Consideration of environmental issues
Learning from our heritage
Preservation of the environment
Track the itinerary of a Primitive Methodist minister

Huge opportunities for:

  • Role play - Victorians, Characters “Ranters”
  • Rote learning
  • Hugh Bourne’s “Reading & Spelling Books
  • Writing on a slate with a slate pencil
  • Signing documents with a Dip pen
  • Speaking, listening, discussing, evaluating
  • Finding out / exploring / detectives worksheets
  • Research: note taking, hot seating.
  • Historical enquiry, interviewing, oral history
  • Writing poems, stories, plays.











Thanks to the pupils of Crescent, Sneyd Green and Burnwood Primary Schools for appearing on this page of our website.