Learning at Vestry House Museum

Vestry House Museum

Vestry House Museum has a range of resources and activities that can be used to support the teaching of many topics and curriculum areas. The Museum is particularly relevant to the study of history, design and technology, geography, English and citizenship.

School visits Click to get info

The Museum is an ideal place for a self-guided visit. We also offer object-handling sessions to pre-booked groups on Tuesday mornings.

Visits are free of charge and can be tailored to meet the needs of you and your class. A pre-visit to the Museum is recommended and will help you and your class to get the most out of your visit. You are welcome to book a preparatory meeting with the Learning and Outreach Officer on Tuesday afternoons.

Primary History Teachers' Evening
Organized by Vestry House Museum
FREE
Thursday 20 September
4.30pm to 7pm

Vestry House Museum welcomes teachers from the borough of Waltham Forest and beyond for a free informal networking evening. We invite you to our 18th century workhouse building to share ideas, learn about our low-cost history workshops, and meet a real-life Roman soldier. Wine and snacks included.
There will be an opportunity for teachers and other professionals to share information about their projects and resources. To request a five minute presentation slot, please email Sharon.Trotter@walthamforest.gov.uk.

Please book via Eventbrite. *Teachers attending will qualify to book a half-price workshop for their school

Useful information

  • The maximum number that can be accommodated at any one time is 30. Many larger groups have, however, successfully combined a visit to the Museum with a walk around the historic Walthamstow village conservation area, by splitting the group in two
  • When visiting the Museum, a ratio of at least one adult to every 6 pupils is required
  • We recommend that you allow at least two hours for your visit
  • Clipboards and pencils can be provided if required – please ask when booking your visit
  • The Museum shop sells souvenirs, postcards, maps and books of historical interest

Booking a school visit Click to get info

School groups are welcome at the Museum Tuesday - Friday, however you do need to book in advance. Please contact the Vestry House Museum.

To book a pre-visit meeting with the Learning and Outreach Officer please email sharon.trotter@walthamforest.gov.uk.

Transport to the Museum Click to get info

Transport to the Museum is the responsibility of the individual school, however resources such as Waltham Forest Community Transport may be able to assist in cost effective transportation for schools and groups.

Teachers’ pack Click to get info

Activity sheets Click to get info

We currently offer object handling sessions for pre-booked school groups on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, on ‘Victorian Domestic Life’. These can be adapted to suit any key stage.

Workshops Click to get info

We offer the following role-play workshops for school groups.

Victorian school days

'Sit up straight, hands behind your back, eyes to the front and no talking. The lesson is about to begin'.

What was it like to be a Victorian schoolchild? What were the teachers like? What subjects were you taught? The stage is set as we are transported back in time to a Victorian classroom and the strict disciplines of our Victorian teacher, Miss Perry! Children will learn through role-play the 3 Rs, drill and even join in some vocal gymnastics! These sessions are available on alternate Tuesday mornings.

The Home Front

Step back in time to the 1940s and learn about the Evacuees, the Blackout, Rationing and the Blitz using original artefacts, audio and costumes. Learn some popular wartime songs, such as 'Run Rabbit Run' and 'Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye'. Air-raid sirens and shelters will be provided! The Home Front can be booked subject to staff availability.

These engaging workshops provide children with a living history experience through role-play, as outlined in the National Curriculum for Key Stage 1 & 2. Sessions provide hands on experience for all children and can be adapted for all needs. Morning or afternoon sessions are available and booking is essential. The cost £100 per class with maximum of 30 pupils. Up to 3 classes per day can be booked.

Then and Now: Toys and Games

KS1
Children handle toys from Victorian to 1950s with a visit to the Toy Gallery, looking in particular at products from Walthamstow’s toy factories.
Sessions last around 60-90 minutes. Costs for handling sessions: £60/90

Then and Now: Home Life

KS1 & KS2
Children explore historic domestic objects from flat irons to candle snuffers and find out what cooking, cleaning, lighting, servant life and never-ending chores were like for people at the time. The session ends with a Museum tour.
Sessions last around 60-90 minutes. Costs for handling sessions: £60/£90

How Walthamstow has changed

KS2
Children explore the different uses of the Museum from Workhouse to Police Station, and investigate how Walthamstow has changed using historic maps and original photographs. The session ends with a Museum tour.
Sessions last around 90 minutes. Costs for handling sessions: £100

World War Two: the Home Front

KS2
Children learn through role play about war-time Walthamstow, what it was like to be an evacuee, to live on rations and the horror of the air raids.  They also have the opportunity to handle genuine WWII artefacts. The session ends with a Museum tour.
Workshops last 120 minutes. Costs: For 1 class: £120; for 2: £200; (if booked on same day).

Victorian School Days in Waltham Forest

KS2
Children meet strict Victorian school mistress, Miss Stern, and find out what school was like for Victorian pupils through classroom role play, costume and object handling. Compare and contrast Walthamstow’s Victorian schools with what they are like today using our archive photos. The session ends with a Museum tour.
Workshops last 120 minutes.  Costs: For 1 class: £120; for 2: £200; (if booked on same day).

Romans in Waltham Forest

KS2
Children find out about everyday life in Roman times by handling 2000-year old artefacts, exploring Vestry’s Roman collection and debating the existence of a Roman posting station in Leyton.  There is also the unique opportunity to meet Roman soldier, Claudius, in full battle dress and quiz him about his life. The session ends with a Museum tour.
Workshops last 120 minutes. Costs: For 1 class: £120; for 2: £200 (if booked on same day).

Walthamstow’s Workhouse: Society and the Poor

KS2& KS3
Children build a picture of life in Vestry Workhouse using the evidence of the building itself, handling objects archive documents and role-playing to decide who qualifies for Poor Relief. This workshop supports History, Citizenship and Literacy curriculum outcomes. The session ends with a Museum tour.
Workshops last 120 minutes. Costs: For 1 class: £120; for 2: £200; (if booked on same day)

Crime and Punishment

KS2 & KS3
Children gain an insight into crime and punishment in the past and how it compares with today by the use of imaginative and informative games and drama activities, exploring historical documents and experiencing prison life in Vestry’s unique prison cell. The session ends with a Museum tour. Workshops last 120 minutes. Costs: For 1 class: £120; for 2: £200; (if booked on same day).

World War One: from Waltham Forest to Wipers!

KS2 &KS3
Children learn more about Waltham Forest’s part in World War One both at home and on the Front by exploring original photographs, postcards and film footage of soldiers through lively use of storytelling, roleplay and problem solving. The session ends with a Museum tour.
Workshops last 120 minutes. Costs: For 1 class: £120; for 2: £200; (if booked on same day).

 

Loan boxes Click to get info

Loan boxes can be used to enhance the teaching of many subjects, including history, art and design and science. We have a range of loan boxes containing real and replica artefacts and documents. The boxes come with an activity pack giving ideas on the use of the objects. Please click on the links below to find out more information about each box. Boxes currently available are:

Victorian Domestic Life

Wash Day in the 1930's

The World War Two Home Front

Toys and Games From Around the World

The Romans in Waltham Forest

Faiths and Celebration loan boxes
(Funded by MLA London in 2009 in a joint project with Leytonstone School) on:

Christianity

Islam

Judaism

Tea. Sugar. The Transatlantic Slave Trade and Waltham Forest. (Funded by MLA London in 2009 in a joint project with Kelmscott School)

All loan boxes can be borrowed free of charge for up to two weeks by schools, community groups and residential care homes within Waltham Forest. Given their popularity, borrowers are encouraged to book well in advance.

A deposit is requested of a cheque for £50 made payable to London Borough of Waltham Forest. This will remain un-cashed and be returned when all the items in the box are checked back. An Invoice for this deposit is provided below for your administration purposes.

Given their popularity, borrowers are encouraged to book well in advance. Borrowers must arrange to collect and return the boxes from and to the Museum and are responsible for insurance of the box whilst it is on loan. The Museum is piloting this new system to ensure the safe and quick return of all our museum objects. We welcome any feedback from users on the new system.

To book a loan box please contact the Museum on the phone number below to reserve dates and arrange a collection appointment. You will need to allow at least 20 minutes for this. Borrowers are responsible for insurance of the box whilst it is on loan.

Touring displays Click to get info

The Museum has a series of display panels available for short-term loan to schools, community groups and other interested organisations.

Displays available include:

  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • An Illustrated History of Leyton
  • Coming to the Motherland
  • Washday

All touring displays can be borrowed free of charge and for up to two weeks. Borrowers must arrange to collect and return the displays from and to the Museum and may wish to consider arranging insurance.

For further information or to book a touring display please contact the Museum.

Contact Click to get info

Vestry House Museum
Vestry Rd
London
E17 9NH

Telephone:020 8496 4391

Community Transport
Waltham Forest Community Transport
Low Hall Manor Business Park
30 South Access Road
Walthamstow E17 8BS

Telephone: 020 8521 0665
Fax: 020 8520 4019