School News

National Tree Week: 27 November – 1 December 2017

Trees are terrific! To celebrate the National Tree Week we are now taking bookings for a special programme of workshops to look at the wonders of our woodland.

During this full day of workshops students will have a chance to discover the many ways our ancestors used trees, take a walk in the woodland area of our Museum, hear a short woodland themed story and create their own, and even plant an acorn to grow at home or school!

Designed to complement the Science, English and History curriculum, this fun and hands on day of
activities can be booked for £9.50 per pupil for a maximum of 60 children per day.

For more details or to book please contact us on 01243 811459 or email [email protected]

Shakespeare Week

Shakespeare Week: 12 – 16 March 2018

Bookings are now being taken for our special Shakespeare Week programme run in partnership with Chichester Festival Theatre as part of the national Shakespeare Week celebrations.

Join us for a full day of workshops to learn about everyday life in Shakespeare’s England and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. Aimed at KS2 pupils this popular programme will give students a chance to explore one of the bard’s plays in the fantastic setting of our museum site.

The day will finish with a group performance to showcase the skills learned during the day.

£9.50 per pupil for a full day of workshops. Pre-booking essential.

To secure your place please contact us on 01243 811459 or email [email protected]

New Workshops for 2017!

In response to the new GCSE curriculum we are pleased to announce the launch of two new workshops for KS4 pupils!

Health & medicine through the ages for GCSE aims to show the development of medical understanding, from the early medieval to Victorian period, with a focus on ideas of change and continuity. The group will explore a series of homes to investigate changing sanitation and the social impact of key events such as the Black Death. Did medical understanding really improve over time? Were there any of the crazy Tudor cures that actually worked? Why was too much education thought to be bad for a Victorian woman’s health? Find out through a series of quiz style games, and get a chance to prepare a pomander bead to take home, just like a Tudor Apothecary!

Everyday Elizabethan Experiences is designed to give an insight into life for average Elizabethans, in contrast to life at court. Acting as undercover spies, students will complete a series of challenges to learn the answers to questions about daily routine in the period. What did they wear? What did they eat? How did they spend their time? Explore these issues in an interactive and hands on way, with opportunities to try the historic clothing, explore our Tudor Farmstead and play some traditional Tudor games – If you can crack the coded letter first!

Further details and prices can be found on our Museum Led Workshops page.

Additional KS4 workshops are currently in development, so watch this space for further options!

Teachers’ preview day: Saturday 25 March 2017

Teachers are invited to a free visit to explore the Museum and see what we can offer your school.

Find out more about our unique learning environment and what we can offer for school groups!

Our Schools Services team will be on hand to talk about our wide variety of workshops or to discuss your specific requirements and how we can arrange bespoke timetables to suit your needs. Come and chat to us in the Building Crafts Gallery, where we will also provide tea, coffee and cake.

Explore the whole Museum site, enjoy the taster workshop activities and find out more about our exciting new Gateway facilities.

Free entry to the preview day also applies for two additional family members or friends per teacher. Please contact us on 01243 811459 or by email [email protected] to claim your free tickets.

Shakespeare’s world and works

Be inspired by Shakespeare’s stories!
Monday 20 to Friday 24 March 2017

For KS2 or KS3 groups

We are now taking bookings for an exciting day for school groups during Shakespeare Week, which we are running at the Museum in partnership with Chichester Festival Theatre.

During the day pupils will have a go at different activities:

  • Take part in a drama warm up activity and then work with the young practitioners and the learning team from Chichester Festival Theatre to examine one of Shakespeare’s plays – this year it will be Macbeth.
  • Explore Museum homes and other buildings, led by one of the museum team, and think about everyday life in the time of Shakespeare. What were the experiences of someone from his background?
  • At the end of the day share a performance piece of Macbeth to each other.

There will be lots of opportunity for follow-on work at school as we’ll focus on core skills.
The cost per pupil for the day (entry & workshops) is £9.50. The maximum group for this activity on any day is 70 pupils; please contact us on 01243 811459 to secure your places!

On the Saturday we will offer some informal activities for families around the site relating to Shakespeare’s England.
Shakespeare WeekChichester Festival Theatre logoShakespeare Birthplace Trust logo

Learning resource for EY & KS1 literacy

Please click here to find new resources for EY and KS1 literacy designed for the Museum by four final year students on the University of Chichester Primary Education and Teaching course. They have been created with the Early Learning Goals and Key Stage 1 National Curriculum objectives in mind. The resources are for use during teacher-led time at the Museum.

To book a visit or to find out more about what we offer for school groups please contact our schools team on 01243 811459 or email [email protected]




Cyrano open air theatre weald and downland museum

Cyrano – Workshops for Schools

Specially adapted school performance of Cyrano, with accompanying workshops, at the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum

A promenade adaptation, with music, of Edmond Rostand’s play Cyrano, which will be performed around the medieval market place of the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum.

Each pupil will participate in two 45 minute workshops:
‘Everyday Life in the 17th Century’ led by the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum & “21st Century vs 17th Century” led by The Company. They will then watch the promenade version of Cyrano.

Arrival: 10am
Workshops: 10.30am -12pm
Lunch: 12 – 12.45pm
Cyrano: 12.45 for 1pm start
Departure: 2.15pm

Dates 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 27, 28 & 30 June 2016

Suitable for pupils in Year 5-8.

Transport You will need to provide transport to & from the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum for the students (possible £300 support from the South Downs National Park Authority for coach transport, check your eligibility at  or email [email protected]

Cost £6.50 per student for the day
(subsidised fee due to support from ACE, SDNPA and Museum)

Everyday life in 17th century.
Working as detectives and historians what can you deduce about everyday life for normal people during the 17th century? The workshop will involved exploring different areas of the museum and analysing information you find. Topics we’ll consider include housing conditions, food and clothing.

21st Century vs. 17th Century. An entertaining 45 minute drama workshop based on perceptions of ways of life & customs in 21st Century compared to those of the 17th Century, with special emphasis on how we view ourselves.  The students will be working with actors, musicians, a professional director & the youth team leader from the Chichester Festival Theatre.

For further information or to book contact 01243 811459 [email protected]



Inspired by the Saxon building

We always love to receive photos and hear from people who have been inspired by the museum – thank you Charlotte for sending this photo today!

School Friends membership

Join the School Friends of the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum.Childs life

Why become a School Friend?

We are offering a range of benefits for members:

– 10% discount on school group entry rates

– 25% discount on teacher seminars run by the Museum

– Invitation to free School Friends twilight sessions, with opportunity for
networking, sharing ideas and consultation on new developments.Building blocks revised

– A welcome pack, including Museum guidebook and resources

– A e-newsletter each term with advance booking notice of new
activities and resource ideas

– Special offer rates on the hire of Crawley Hall or other spaces
for school meetings, away days etc.

What does membership cost?
Membership costs depend on how many pupils attend your school. Our homes and farm

The three categories are as follows:
Under 100 pupils on roll – £25 (Sept 15 -Aug 16)
100-200 pupils on roll – £30 (Sept 15 -Aug 16)
Over 200 pupils on roll – £40 (Sept 15 -Aug 16)

Schools Friends membership information 2015-2016

Schools Friends membership application form 2015-2016

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us on 01243 811459 or email [email protected]


An exciting, creative group for 8-12 year olds at the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum

We will meet for a half-day on a Saturday once a month. Join us now! History Gang

A half-day Saturday once a month (see 2016 dates below)

Within the historic houses of our Museum

8 to 12 year olds. The group will be friendly, informal and fun, with a small team of   Museum leaders who will be there every session too. We’ll expect everyone to get along and help each other – there will be lots to do each time!

Lots of different indoor and outdoor activities – you could do anything from having a go at blacksmithing, doing a creative session with an artist, making corn dollies, learning woodland skills, to cooking in the Tudor kitchen or making traditional Christmas decorations.

How can I join?
Please see these two documents:
History Gang membership application form
You can also join part way through the year – please discuss with us.
If you have any difficulty accessing the documents please contact us on 01243 811028 or email [email protected]