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Portsmouth Dockyard: Then and Now

Portsmouth Dockyard: Then and Now  KS2

History and Geography at the NMRN

Pupils become ‘Dockyard Detectives’ investigating clues on a special tour to discover how Portsmouth Dockyard has adapted and grown through time. An excellent introduction to fieldwork investigations and history in evidence, pupils explore how the Dockyard reflects aspects of national history, and the changes that transformed people’s lives in the area.

£80 per 1.5 hour workshop for up to 30 pupils.

Sailor Heroes – First World War

Sailor Heroes – First World War  KS3 & KS4

History at HMS M.33

Students explore and debate modern-day ideas surrounding heroism and combat. Through a variety of interactive activities focusing on artefacts, oral histories and primary sources linked to the First World War students work together to research and present their findings.

Discovery visit £4 per student + £50 per 1 hour workshops for up to 30 people. 

My Life in Victoria's Navy

My Life in Victoria's Navy KS1&2

History and English on board HMS Warrior 1860

Experience a day in the life of a Victorian sailor through dressing up, role-play and taking part in a gun drill – perfect for engaging all your pupils. A very popular workshop ideal for comparing life in the past with life today, inspiring creative writing or for simply enriching a visit to Warrior.
A free cross-curricular trail for Key Stage 1 or 2 is available if you book a self-guided Discovery Visit with this workshop.

Length of session: 1 hour Maximum number per session: 16 Price: £40

Tudor Gun Drill

Tudor Gun Drill KS2

Battle plans and cannon fire

Two part challenge: (1) Have you got what it takes to work as a Tudor Gun Crew? What would it be like on board in the heat of battle? In small teams load and fire our full-size replica gun in the museum.
(2) Think big! In teams, plan a strategy to attack or defend Portsmouth Harbour in 1545 with ships, castles and soldiers using a contemporary map. Can you change history?

A Pirate's life for me! KS1

History and English on board HMS Warrior 1860

Come and fire your pupils’ imagination with our pirate-spy adventure on board Warrior . A fun day of interactive activities, trails and challenges that will inspire your pupils and transport them into an imaginary world of swashbuckling adventures!

Length of session: Study day Maximum number per session: 32 Price: £260

Henry's Heroes

Henry's Heroes KS2

Life on board the Mary Rose

Discover life above and below decks on King Henry VIII’s favourite warship. Handle a wide range of replica artefacts to investigate how differently the officers and crew lived, worked and played at sea. Dressing up for all with our replica Tudor clothing – bring the camera for a brilliant whole class photo opportunity!

Spy Workshop

Spy Workshop KS1&2

History at Action Stations

A look at the world through the eyes of a spy, focusing on a Portsmouth based story that resulted in a not so happy ending! In this workshop, students will be sent on a secret mission around Action Stations, be put to the challenge of deciphering codes, taking part in our code and cipher workshop and exploring both modern and historic methods of espionage.

£8.00 per student.

Elizabethan Exploration and Discovery

Elizabethan Exploration and Discovery KS2

History/Geography and English at the NMRN

This hands-on investigative session uses ‘Discovery Boxes’ as children follow in the footsteps of the explorers like Drake and Hawkins. The session is excellent for developing children’s natural inquisitiveness and enquiry skills.

£50 per 1 hour workshop for up to 35 pupils.

Strictly Tudor Surgery

Strictly Tudor Surgery KS3&4

Renaissance medicine in action - History

Just how bad was Tudor medicine? How effective was the Mary Rose surgeon? Use costumes and replica artefacts as props, role-play the surgeon and his patients in scenarios based on the Mary Rose crew. Medical practice must be strictly Tudor!

The Navigator's Apprentice

The Navigator's Apprentice KS2

Navigation without Sat Nav!

Do you have the skills to become the Navigator’s new apprentice? Use Tudor maps and charts to plot a safe course for the Mary Rose into Portsmouth Harbour. Handle replicas of our unique collection to discover how knowledgeable the Tudor navigator was – you might be surprised!

History in evidence: Archive access session

History in evidence: Archive access session KS4

History at NMRN

A unique opportunity to access archives not normally on public display. These sessions are tailored to suit students' requirements and can include topics such as Maritime exploration and the development of England; The Royal Navy and the Transatlantic Slave Trade; The Gallipoli Campaign; The First and Second World Wars; D-Day; the Falklands Conflict and modern conflict post 9/11. 

Price: £80 per half day for up to 35 people

Pirates vs. the Navy!

Pirates vs. the Navy! KS1

History at the NMRN

How did the Royal Navy deal with famous pirates? Find out in this hands-on activity session. From handling a real cutlass and flintlock pistol to role play and knot tying, this session will bring to life a sailor’s life on the high seas!

£50 per 1 hour workshop for up to 35 pupils.

Slavery Through Objects

Slavery Through Objects KS3

History at the NMRN

This session allows students to explore and debate the wider issues and human stories behind slavery. Using artefacts and sources, students work together to explore both the rise and fall of the Slave Trade and the Royal Navy’s role in it.

£50 per 1 hour workshop for up to 35 pupils

Tudor Tales KS1 

King Henry VIII and the Mary Rose

Discover what life was like on board the Mary Rose with a costumed character and then explore the Museum with Hatch the Dog! Designed with younger primary pupils in mind, this session mixes replica artefact handling and dressing up with story-telling.

One (1 hour) workshop: £75 (for class of up to 32)

Materials of The Mary Rose

Materials of The Mary Rose KS2

Tudor materials under the microscope

Work with real and replica artefacts to investigate Tudor materials and their properties. Were they fit for purpose? How do they compare with modern materials? Use digital microscopes to compare sample materials and see them in high definition!

Tudor History Experience Day

Tudor History Experience Day KS4

A unique opportunity to immerse students in the Tudor world

See thousands of real artefacts all dating from 1545 during your museum visit, including some not found anywhere else in the world. Dr David Starkey calls it “England’s Pompeii” – one moment in time preserved for ever. Includes:
• a conflicting evidence case study
• a short talk on the intriguing evidence of religious practice from the Mary Rose
• real and replica artefact handling with opportunities to dress up
• careers in heritage/museums (by arrangement)

Victorian Seaside Holidays

Victorian Seaside Holidays KS1

History at HMS Warrior

Summer term

Role play, dressing up and hands on activities inspire your pupils as they imagine they travel back in time to Southsea, to experience the excitement of a Victorian seaside holiday. Including topics such as the seaside, holidays and pastimes, transport and local history, then and now. This is an ideal workshop to support both History and Literacy.

A free cross-curricular trail for Key Stage 1 is available if you book a self-guided discovery visit with this workshop.

Length of session: 1.5hrs, Maximum number: 32, Price £100

What sank the Mary Rose? Experience Day

What sank the Mary Rose? KS3

Supported by Trinity House

An enduring mystery for history and science

Why did the Mary Rose really sink? Explore this continuing mystery in a two part cross-curricular workshop. Was she sunk by French gunfire? Was the ship unstable or overloaded? Were there other factors? Scrutinise the provenance of key sources and weigh the conflicting historical evidence. Test predictions relating to stability and load-bearing capacity of models. Use the scientific evidence to support or refute the theories.

Tudor History Mystery

Tudor History Mystery KS3&4

Contribute to the ongoing debate

Why did the Mary Rose sink and why is she so significant? Use historical skills to engage with a genuine debate comparing conflicting primary sources on the sinking of the ship before voting for the most likely theory. How many mystery replica artefacts can you identify? What does this amazing collection reveal about Tudor life?

Portsmouth's Tudor Past

Portsmouth’s Tudor Past KS2

Life in a Tudor town: Local history and geography 

What was it like to live in the home port of the Mary Rose? Look at maps, handle replica artefacts and dress up to build up a picture of life in Portsmouth 500 years ago. How much do you think that the City has changed since the time of the Mary Rose?
Alternative version: Hampshire’s Tudor Past


HMS Victory KS3

HMS Victory  KS3

History at HMS Victory

Students have a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes and access the museum archives linked to HMS Victory, Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar. Through a series of investigative activities focused around these primary sources students will discover more about the ship, the battle and the men who served on board.

Price: Discovery visit £4 per pupil + £80 per half day for up to 30 people

Tudors vs Victorians

Tudors v Victorians Experience Day KS2

Two ships, two sites, 300 years

Combine the Mary Rose Museum with a visit on-board HMS Warrior 1860. Compare life across 300 years with activities at both venues. Use costume, artefact handling and role play to discover social life for different classes in Tudor and Victorian times. How much has changed and how much has remained the same?

Maximum Number per Session: 32 pupils, Price: £260

Archer model and skeleton ©The Mary Rose Trust

For the first time in 500 years, scientists are using microbiology to examine some of the human remains from Henry VIII’s flagship Mary Rose to determine if any come from the same person.

Research by Dr Garry Scarlett, a DNA expert at the University of Portsmouth, should enable museum staff to recreate the skeletons of some of the crew.

Life at Sea – Kitbag stories

Life at Sea – Kitbag stories  KS3

History (World War 1) at HMS M.33

Using our unique, multimedia HMS M33 kitbags, pupils investigate individual crew members and roles, handle artefacts and carry out investigative activities to learn about life on board. They then reflect on their findings to present an individual case study to the rest of the class.

Discovery visit £4 per student +£50 per 1 hour workshop for up to 30 people

Through the porthole  KS3&4

On board HMS Warrior 1860

A snapshot guide to some of the key innovations and social developments in Britain during the nineteenth century. Through an object handling workshop, a visit to our sick berth and a guided tour of the boiler and engine rooms, students gain an insight into the themes of Victorian medicine and surgery, technological innovations and social class.

Length of session: 2hrs, Maximum number per session: 32, Price £130

Christmas Wishes

Christmas Wishes KS1

November and December 2016

History and English on board HMS Warrior 1860

A perfect cross-curricular workshop at the most magical time of year, ideal for Key Stage 1. Travel back in time to experience all the sights and smells of Christmas past, with food, decorations and traditional toys. pupils will get the opportunity to immerse themselves in life on board a ship, with role-play and dressing up.

A free cross-curricular trail for Key Stage 1 is available if you book a self guided Discovery visit with this workshop.

Length of session 1.5 hours Maximum number: 32 Price £100


Spotlight on Victorian medicine and surgery

Spotlight on Victorian medicine and surgery KS3&4

On board HMS Warrior 1860

An opportunity for your students to interview Florence Nightingale about her life and work as well as question the ship's surgeon about his techniques and attitude to hygiene in our very own ship's sick berth, with original operating table! To end, students will assess which factors influenced developments in Victorian medicine and surgery and how much progress still needs to be made. This workshop works equally well as an introduction to Victorian medicine and surgery or as a visit to consolidate prior knowledge.

Length of session: 2hrs, Maximum number per session: 32, Price: £130.

Pirate life!

Pirate Life! KS1&2

History and Design Technology at Action Stations

This workshop gives students the opportunity to live the life of a pirate for the day by taking part in a treasure hunt, working together to build a mini pirate ship and learning all about the lives and adventures of famous pirates.

£8.00 per student.

A Sailor's life for me!

A Sailor's life for me! KS2

History and English on board HMS Warrior 1860

Come and experience life on board with dressing up and role-play, and have the opportunity to actually climb the mast! This joint study day with Boathouse 4 offers pupils the unique opportunity to experience life on board a Victorian warship as well as the chance to put their wits to the test by scaling the amazing ‘Mast & Rigging’ experience in Boathouse 4. Have they got what it takes to make it to the top of the crow’s nest? (Minimum height 1.1m)

Length of session: Study day Maximum number per session: 32 Price: £260

Tale of Two Ships

Tale of Two Ships  KS3

History at HMS M.33

From Trafalgar to World War 1! Inspire your class with this unique opportunity to visit two ships. Pupils will compare and contrast diet and living conditions for the crews and how technology has changed the way of life on board. Then discover more about the children who served the Royal Navy in times of war.  

Price: Discovery visits £6.50 per student + £50 per 1 hour workshop for up to 30 people

Tudor Turning Points

Tudor Turning Points KS3

Pivotal moments in history

Use one of the Mary Rose cannons (featured in the British Museum’s 100 Objects for Teaching History) as a starting point for this evidence based enquiry. Handle replicas to investigate what the Mary Rose collection tells us about the tumultuous reign King Henry VIII. Explore evidence of change and continuity in church, state and society, 1509 – 1545.





Shipmates KS1&2

History, Geography and Maths at the NMRN

Join us for an action packed activity session, in which students will be ‘trained’ for a life at sea. From calculating how many ships biscuits are needed to feed the crew each week to object handling and role play, children discover what life was like in Nelson’s Navy.

£50 per 1 hour workshop for up to 35 pupils.

War and Peace – Portsmouth Dockyard 1914-1945 Study Day

War and Peace – Portsmouth Dockyard 1914-1945 Study Day  KS4 &KS5

History at HMS M.33

Explore the history of the Royal Navy, the Dockyard and the local area from 1914 – 1945. What impact did the two world wars have on Portsmouth? What social, cultural and technological changes took place during this period? Students will have the opportunity to visit HMS M33, tour HMS-Hear my Story gallery and access archives related to both World Wars. In groups they then conduct case study investigations, examining different types of primary evidence before presenting their findings.  

Price: £8 per student per day for up to 30 people.

GCSE History: Medicine and Health Thematic Study 1545 – 1871

The history of medicine 1545-1871 KS3&4

At the Mary Rose Museum and on board HMS Warrior 1860

Work out the degree of change in surgery from Paré to Lister in this two-centre active study day, focusing on the role of war and individuals.
Put the Medical Renaissance in context at the Mary Rose Museum:
• See the unique collection of Tudor medical equipment
• Assess the extent of knowledge and skill of the surgeon of the Mary Rose
• Investigate the evidence of illnesses and injuries from the human remains found on the ship
• Role-play scenarios using replica artefacts and costumes. Marks awarded for historical accuracy!

Length of Session: Study Day, Maximum Number per Session: 32, Price: £260

Health and Hygiene with Florence Nightingale

Health and Hygiene with Florence Nightingale KS1

History at HMS Warrior

through storytelling, role play and hands-on activities, pupils explore the importance of Florence Nightingale and the themes of health and hygiene. With the opportunity to visit Warrior's sick berth, as well as the chance to find out about life on board, pupils will decide whether they think Florence would have approved of the conditions on board.

Length of session: 1.5hrs Maximum number: 32 Price: £100

Fighting Fit

Fighting Fit KS2

Were the Mary Rose crew fit to fight?

Dispel some of those myths about Tudor life. Are we fitter and healthier than our Tudor ancestors? A series of activities looking at diet and fitness challenges you to decide for yourself. Handle replica artefacts to understand the impact of lifestyle on the men of the Mary Rose.

Hurrah for the life of a sailor!

Hurrah for the life of a sailor!  KS&4

On board HMS Warrior 1860

A full day of activities, object handling, demonstrations and guided tours. By the end of the day, your students will have a deeper understanding of the life of the Victorian sailor and will be able to assess the impact of technology, developments in medicine and surgery and the class structure on their daily lives.

Maximum number per session: 32, Price £260.

Nelson's Shipmates

Nelson's Shipmates KS1

History at the NMRN

Who was Nelson? What was it like to sail with Nelson's Navy? In this activity based session pupils discover and explore the life of this famous man. From creating their own replica Nelson medal to handling real Nelson related memorabilia this session helps bring to life a great naval hero.

Price: £50 per 1 hour workshop for up to 35 people

All Hands On Deck

All Hands On Deck KS1&2

History at HMS Victory

Pupils ‘join’ the Royal Navy at the time of Nelson, and experience a day in the life of a sailor, take part in the ‘powder monkey challenge’ and ‘learning the ropes’. Led by costumed staff, this workshop will give pupils the opportunity to discover what life was like onboard.

£50 per 1 hour for up to 30 people.