To book a self-guided discovery visit or one of our extensive range of workshops please complete the online booking form by clicking on the above button “Booking Forms”.
To qualify for the UK Education discounted rates, bookings must be made at least 10 working days before the date you wish to visit. All UK education visits are invoiced post-visit on the completion of the relevant applications.
Location: National Museum of the Royal Navy Portsmouth
How did the Royal Navy deal with famous pirates? Find out in this hands-on activity based session. From handling a real cutlass and flintlock pistol to role play, knot tying and a chance to see a real pirate flag, this session will bring to life what it was like to deal with Pirates.
Price: £50 per 1 hour workshop for up to 35 people
Hands on HMS Victory!
Location: Upper Gun Deck HMS Victory
From sailors to surgeons to marines and midshipmen uncover the lives of the real men who lived, worked and fought on HMS Victory. This hands-on investigative session will use ‘Discovery chests’ to help pupils learn more about the crew, revealing for the first time their names, what they did and how they lived on-board the ship. It is excellent for developing investigative and enquiry skills culminating with pupils presenting their findings to the ‘ships company’
Price: Discovery visit £4 per pupil + £50 per one hour workshop for up to 25 people
IMPORTANT information for teachers
Location: HMS Warrior 1860
Join the Victorian Navy and explore life on board the mighty HMS Warrior. Through a range of interactive activities pupils will find out what jobs sailors did as well as seeing first- hand what the living conditions were like for the crew. What did they eat? How did Victorian medicine help them stay healthy… or not?
Pupils will have the opportunity to try out a hammock, handle real artefacts and take part in role play and dressing up which will bring the past to life.
Price: £50 per 1 hour workshop for up to 35 people
Tale of Two Ships KS1 & KS2
STEM on HMS Victory and HMS Warrior
A special workshop for British Science week
Working in teams, students are issued with a code and cipher book, a cipher wheel, a linear scrambler and a scytale. Their task is to figure out numbers which have been fiendishly enciphered by the Action Stations Spy Master.
£8 per student
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)
Real chemistry and biology at work
How is science saving the Mary Rose for future generations? Use microscopes to examine wood cell structure and investigate the changes caused by 437 years under the sea. Handle real samples of Mary Rose wood and discover polyethylene glycol, the amazing designer polymer, which has given the ship back her strength.
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
Multi-award winning Mary Rose Museum
Meet the Museum Management Team and put key areas of business in context. Topics offered include: operational issues; customer service; marketing; organisation; running events and managing change (by arrangement).
• Introductory Talk: Running a Museum Business
• Structured museum visit investigating key areas of interest
• Workshop session including practical activities
History and Science at the NMRN
Who was Nelson? What was it like to sail with Nelson’s Navy? In this activity -based session pupils explore the life of this famous man and will be ‘trained’ for a life at sea.
From object handling a life mask of Nelson, role -playing jobs on board, to investigating if diet then was healthier than today, pupils discover first-hand what life was like for sailors in the past.
Price: £50 per 1 hour workshop for up to 35 people (fully accessible)
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
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
English at Action Stations
Students create their own film trailer or make a news broadcast using our green screen. Once it has been edited they will watch it in the Action Stations cinema, where their hard work really comes to life. This session can be adapted to focus on most topics or schemes of work.
£9.00 per student.
Maths and Science at Action Stations
In this workshop pupils can explore how aerodynamics and ballistics are used in the design of modern shells.
The session starts with a short introduction to the science of ballistics and the history of artillery. Pupils then work in teams to construct their own shell to be fired from our compressed air cannon. Pupils will use data to predict the range and impact point of their shell.
Price: £10 per student
Allow us to show you how this 1840s Boathouse was converted into an interactive tourist attraction. Students will learn about the hardware and software that goes into running our exhibits and displays on a daily basis. The behind the scenes tour offers an extensive insight into how technology had advanced and changed over the past decade and how a modern tourist attraction has to keep refreshed in order to stay up to date. Students will also take an in-depth look at our Laser Quest arena, exploring the technology that powers it and the ins and outs of the arena itself.
Suitable for all Key Stages
£9.00 per student.
Business at Action Stations
With talks and visits to both Action Stations and the Spinnaker Tower/Mary Rose Museum, students will take a look into the marketing, branding and customer service aspects of each business.
£12.00 per student.
Physical Education at Action Stations
Pupils work together in teams to complete different challenges that are scored to produce a winning team. There are a variety of challenges that can be adapted to the group – we will be happy to design a bespoke programme to suit.
All Key Stages
£8.00 per student.
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.
Pirate Shipmates KS1
History at the NMRN
What would it have been like to be a famous pirate like Blackbeard? 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 swashbuckling pirate life on the high seas!
£8.00 per student.
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
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.
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!
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?
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!
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!
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.
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?
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!
On board HMS Warrior 1860
Tours are subject to availability and must be booked in advance. Please note that students must be accompanied by their group leader or teacher.
£15 per 1 hour tour (+ £4 per student admission charge) Maximum 15 students per tour.
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
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.
A Discovery Visit is a teacher-led, self-guided visit to one attraction within Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
£4.00 for 1 attraction, £6.50 for two attractions and £8.50 for three attractions per student.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard has produced guidelines for teachers bringing pupils on education visits. It is the responsibility of group leaders to complete a full risk assessment prior to visiting and these guidelines do not replace your own assessment being undertaken.
Please download the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard guidelines and the guidelines for the attraction(s) you are due to visit.
For security purposes we do not have the facility to store lunch boxes or bags so we advise that luggage is kept to a minimum and pupils have backpacks so their hands are free for climbing ladders aboard the ships. We also advise all visitors to wear sensible shoes and dress warmly in cold weather.
At Portsmouth Historic Dockyard we offer a fantastic range of education visits for groups at all levels from Foundation Stage through to Post 16. We provide experiences which cannot be created in the classroom and are designed to maximise pupils' learning experiences, with a range of options depending on curriculum, visit time and budget.
English at the NMRN
Join Percy as he learns how to be a Pirate’s Parrot. Through singing, object handling, sensory exploration and storytelling your class will discover more about life at sea alongside Percy.
£50 per 1 hour workshop for up to 25 pupils.