School News

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]

Arts Award

Helping young people to be inspired by the arts!

The Museum, in partnership with Fishbourne Roman Palace, Chichester Cathedral, Chichester Festival Theatre, Pallant House Gallery and The Novium, has been working to support and develop an exciting new Arts Award.

The Arts Award is a unique, nationally recognised qualification that supports young people exploring the fields of art, culture and heritage. There are five different levels of Arts Award, ranging from an introductory ‘Discover’ level through to an advanced ‘Gold’ level, which means that those considering future work in the sector are able to research, develop arts practice and gain valuable experience.

The Museum is keen to support schools or colleges wishing to undertake an Arts Award; its youth group is taking part in the Arts Award and, from 16-19 March (during Shakespeare Week) participants will undertake an Arts Award as part of the event, which is run in partnership with Chichester Festival Theatre.

The development hubs are taking place across the country for a 12-month duration and are established with support from Artswork, the South East Bridge organisation for Arts Council England. If you’d like to find out more, please email the Museum’s Schools Services team.

Arts Award logoArtswork logoArts Council England logo

Literacy trail for KS2 pupils

We have recently produced, with a group of trainee teachers from the University of Chichester, some materials around literacy. Please click below to open the document and we would appreciate any feedback.

Weald & Downland Open Air Museum outdoor literacy resource


Arts Awards

Since last August we working in a partnership of six cultural organisations in the Chichester area to support and develop Arts Awards. The others in the group are Chichester Cathedral, Chichester Festival Theatre, Fishbourne Roman Palace, Pallant House Gallery and The Novium. The group of staff members have meet to undertake training, share information about what each organisation can best offer, as the skills covered in the awards mean arts in a very wide context – including, for example, the heritage crafts and traditional skills here.

Arts Awards are unique, nationally recognised qualifications that support young people exploring the fields of art, culture and heritage. There are 5 different Arts Award levels which range from an introductory level through to an advanced level which means that those considering future work in the sector research, develop arts practice and experience the sector. Each of the organisations offers different levels and has specific areas of expertise which correspond to their collection and field of work.

Here at the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum we are keen to support schools wishing to undertake Arts Awards, our youth group is working towards an arts awards qualification and from 16-19 March during Shakespeare Week participants will be undertaking an Arts Award as part of the event we’re running in partnership with Chichester Festival Theatre.

For further information please contact email: [email protected]

Print  Artswork logo  Arts Award logo

9 top tips for teachers!

Did you know that we are open daily from March to December? We are keen to encourage schools to explore the site – there is so much to see and do!

For school visits we consider the day in 45 minute blocks: Arrival c. 10am meet & short welcome
1st session 10.30 – 11.15 ; 2nd session 11.15 – 12.00 ; Lunch c.12.00 – 12.45
3rd session 12.45 – 1.30 ; 4th session 1.30 – 2.15 (open until 6pm BST, or 4pm)

We have museum-led workshops and teacher-led trails designed to last this long, and please click here for ideas that will take about 45 minutes.

Historic Clothing Project Blog

A Museum needlework group was formed in 2007 to make replica historic clothing in as authentic a way as possible, which could be worn on site at certain times as part of the interpretation of our domestic buildings, and which could be a tool to discover more about how textiles and clothing were used and worn in the past.

Please click here to see the new Historic Clothing Project blog and learn more about this exciting project!