Traditional mine visit
Suitable for KS1/KS2/KS3.
A traditional mine visit will introduce aspects of local history; human geography and rocks and soils as the day progresses. A Cultural Assistant will lead your group on an immersive and hands-on visit which brings lead mining and the natural/man-made environment to life.
The traditional visit includes:
- An underground mine trip where pupils will be able to identify the risks of working as a miner, experience mining methods, name items of mining equipment and describe what conditions underground are by experiencing this first hand.
- A activity on the washing floor where pupils can practise the methods which washer boys used to look for lead ore used 160 years ago. They will be able to discover galena, the natural mineral form of lead, and other minerals, as well as consider the challenges the washer boys faced and if working as one was an easy occupation.
- A tour of the mine shop including the mine agent’s office, the lodging shop (with a working coal fire), and the blacksmith’s workshop. This part of the tour allows pupils to consider how miners worked and lived, and allow them to continue to evaluate the conditions miners endured.
- A tour of the Buddle House, Jigger House and the Killhope Wheel to see how lead ore was processed and investigate how water power was so important to them. This creates an opportunity for pupils to examine the reasons why mining took place at Killhope.
- A tour of our mineral exhibitions, spar boxes and our ‘Life as a miner’ exhibition.
This visit takes approximately three and a half hours and includes a 30 minute break for lunch. Most schools have a packed lunch.
If you want you can customise your visit and include a water engineering activity, water bottle rocket workshop or scavenger hunt activity by leaving out something from the full traditional visit.
Suitable for KS1/KS2.
Using lengths of half pipe guttering, angle joins, buckets, measuring jugs, funnels and two 85 litre water containers, we challenge two teams of pupils to transport as much water as they can safely from one point to another. It provides an ongoing need for pupils to appraise how their efforts are working and to decide if they need to change anything or address problems. Problem-solving, teamwork and communication can be displayed and encouraged.
This activity runs for approximately 45 minutes.
You could also build your own model waterwheels to test with our guttering, please get in touch if you want to discuss this further.
Water bottle rocket workshop
Suitable for KS1/KS2.
Using a two litre plastic bottle pupils become ‘rocket engineers’ by designing and building their own intergalactic vehicle – they need to assess what is required to help the bottle fly and construct and assemble the required parts – before we then launch them. When the rockets are launched, pupils need to evaluate how well their rocket launched and to identify any improvements can be made, this might be to the design or the amount of water used.
Groups could come with the rockets already made and we could spend more time on launching rockets to allowing more time for pupils to analyse performance and review their approach.
This activity takes approximately one hour.
Suitable for KS1/KS2.
Pupils use our annotated site map to identify the locations that they need to search in order to find and record the different items that have been hidden. All items relate to the museum and this allows the chance for pupils to discuss and determine what the items are and what they might be used for.
This activity takes up to one hour.
Testimonies from visiting schools
‘Thank you for welcoming us to the mining museum last week. We all had a fabulous time and the children haven’t stopped talking about their experiences! The whole visit exceeded my expectations and we would certainly like to return next year.’ Barnard Castle Preparatory School visited us with a class of Year 2 pupils, they had an underground mine trip, had a session on the washing floor and took part in the scavenger hunt.
‘All the children and teachers thoroughly enjoyed the trip, and the teachers said that it was, by far, the best school trip they had ever been on…so thank you!’ Consett Junior School visited with a class of Year 4 pupils and they went underground, had a session on the washing floor and did the water engineers activity.
Contact us to make a booking.