School News

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 educati[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