British Empire & Commonwealth Museum Logo website edition

Museum People
The Home of Web design logo (designer of this site)

Winner - Sandford Award for Education 2004
                                                    Education page title image

Learning Journeys

Global education at the British Empire & Commonwealth Museum 



Current issues surrounding global education and citizenship- diversity, poverty, sustainable development, human rights- are often controversial and a cause of great concern to young people. although awareness is increasing, many of the issues themselves are not new and have their origins in the past. Learning Journeys at the British Empire & Commonwealth Museum teaches students that dealing effectively with the present is rooted in an understanding of the past.

At Learning Journeys we are committed to providing the widest range of educational experiences to everyone of any age. All our workshops involve groups actively and link directly to the National Curriculum. Teaching India or Africa is brought to life with opportunities for object handling or art interpretation workshops. Student's eyes are opened to a view of the world from a non-western perspective, as they take a voyage of discovery through our exhibitions and around the Commonwealth- 54 independent states, 1.7 billion people, 30% of the world's population and over a quarter of its land surface. 

| Introduction |  Booking | At-a-glance guide | Special Activities| Holiday Activities | Outreach | Consultation | Mission Statement |                                                  


The Learning Journeys Education Programme Autumn 2004- Summer 2005 is now available.
To request a copy please contact Liz Boice on 0117 925 4980 ext 226 or email or click here to download the full programme:

Included in the programme you will find many of last year's favourites plus a choice of new workshops, trails and learning resources. The programme includes everything from storytelling, hands on activity sessions and role-play through to talks and study days to support learners of all ages.

The highlight of the year is our temporary exhibition POW WOW which will open on the 16th September. Focusing on Native Americans and the early Tudor settlers the exhibition will take you back in time to discover the rich and complex story surrounding Pocahontas, John Smith, the coming together of two cultures, and the disappearance of Roanoke.

.For information on Learning Journeys please contact the Education Department on 0117 925 4980 or email


| Introduction |  Booking | At-a-glance guide | Special Activities| Bursary
Scheme | Holiday Activities| Outreach | Consultation | Mission Statement |

At-a-glance-session guide

Session Key Stage Price
Pow Wow workshops
Spirit beings & storytelling Foundation, KS1 £35.00
Cure for everything? KS2 £35.00
Roanoke: Contrasting Cultures KS2, KS3 £35.00
Talking textiles KS2, KS3, GCSE, A level £35.00
Humanities Workshops
World Discovery Foundation £35.00
Houses & homes KS1 £35.00
Toys & Games KS1 £35.00
Indian village life KS2 £35.00
Tudor exploration KS2 £35.00
Victorian Marketplace KS2 £35.00
A soldier's life KS2 £35.00
Suitcase stories KS2, KS3 £35.00
Fair trading? KS2, KS3 £35.00
Slavery: interpreting the evidence KS3 £35.00
Art workshops
Rangoli KS1, KS3 £55.00
World patterns KS1, KS2, KS3 £55.00
Aboriginal Art KS2, KS3 £55.00
West African textiles KS2, KS3 £55.00
Body Adornment KS3 & above £55.00
Face Values KS3 & above £55.00
Radio studio workshops
Talk back KS2 & above £55.00
Global affairs KS2 &above £55.00
Headline history KS2 &above £55.00
Slavery- beyond the facts KS3 & above £55.00
Study days & special workshops
History study day GCSE, A level and above £75.00
English language study day GCSE , A level & above £75.00
Leisure, travel &tourism GCSE, A level, GNVQ & AVCE £35.00
language through objects EFL, ESL & ESOL £35.00
Special events
History Now! GCSE, A level & above FREE
Black History Month 2004
''Understanding slavery' drama workshop
KS2, KS3 £75.00
Americas Week KS1, KS2, KS3 £4.50 per person
Professional Development courses    
POW WOW Teacher Preview All key stages Free
Whole School Inset All key Stages £150
Understanding Slavery key stages 2, 3 and above £55.00pp
History at Key Stage 2 Key Stage 2 £55.00pp
Exploring citizenship All key stages £55.00pp

| Introduction |  Booking | At-a-glance guide | Special Activities| | Holiday Activities | Outreach | Consultation | Mission Statement |


Special activities to accompany the Museums temporary exhibitions

Pow Wow until 31 December 2005

Take a journey back in time to discover the impact of early English settlers on the Native American way of life. Pow Wow is a totally immersive and interactive exhibition where you will find yourself in the forest telling stories, singing and dancing in Native American style, travelling on a Tudor ship, and struggling to establish a settlement through the first winter when cold, disease and starvation threatened both the English and the Native Americans. On your journey you will encounter key characters including Queen Elizabeth 1, Sir Walter Raleigh, Cheif Powhatan, Pocahontas, John Smith and John Rolfe, and discover the mystery of the colony that disappeared, Roanoke.


Allow about 60 minutes to visit Pow Wow, or combine it with a workshop for a half day visit.

Spirit beings and storytelling

target group: Foundation & KS1
Length of session: 90 min
Curriculum links: Literacy, Art & Design, Citizenship

A Workshop combining art with storytelling. Pupils have a chance to listen to traditional Native American stories and investigate objects from everyday life.
Following this they make their own spirit being doll to bring them good luck and take away.

Cure for everything?

arget group: KS2
Length of session: 60 min
Curriculum links: History, Citizenship, Science

Both the settlers and the Native Americans relied on plants to cure sickness. They also used them in other ways. Medicine bundles were good luck charms, whereas tobacco played a role in slavery. through a variety of activities students will investigate different plants and discover their role in the development of the colonies. Each pupil will invent an herbal remedy and make a medicine bundle to take home.

Roanoke: Contrasting cultures

Target group: KS2 & KS3
Length of session: 90 min
Curriculum links: History, Citizenship

Through a series of activities and fact finding tasks students learn about the contrasting lives of the Native Americans and early settlers. Following this they take part in a debate discussing problems the settlers faced at Roanoke, why the colony failed and the effects their arrival had on the indigenous population. They thus experience for themselves how individual choices and actions can impact on other people's lives

Talking textiles

Target group: KS2, KS3, GCSE, A level
Length of session: 120 min
Curriculum links: Art & Design, History, Citizensh

How are stories represented in textiles? using the tapestries in the POW WOW exhibitions as inspiration pupils work with a professional artist to design and make an original piece of work based on an event or period in history. During the session they learn how stories can be represented visually,m inverstigate different materials, visual and tactile elements and have the chance to experiment with a variety of techniques including painting, printing, layering and collage.


For a copy of the School Parties Booking Form & Education Programme please e-mail us.

E-mail enquiry:

| Introduction |  Booking | At-a-glance guide | Special Activities| Holiday Activities | Outreach | Consultation | Mission Statement |


Holiday activities and special events for families

These are available throughout the year and will be publicised via this website and the local press. past activities have included puppet art, Commonwealth creatures, Bollywood dancing and drumming workshops.

| Introduction |  Booking | At-a-glance guide | Special Activities| | Holiday Activities | Outreach | Consultation | Mission Statement |


The flagship outreach project Commonwealth FM will return in November . Community and school groups around Bristol are already actively involved in programme production. If you would like to get involved email

| Introduction |  Booking | At-a-glance guide | Special Activities| Holiday Activities | Outreach | Consultation | Mission Statement |


We are currently consulting with teachers and other educationalists in developing our programme. If you would like to be involved in our Advisory panel please contact
A focus group (with a wide range of ages and perspectives from a variety of communities in Bristol) meets regularly to discuss a fresh outlook on the Museum's work. For more information on community and outreach activities contact Carlton Romaine on

Education Mission statement

The British Empire & Commonwealth Museum seeks to stimulate and support the learning of all visitors, actual and potential, to enrich their understanding and appreciation of the British Empire and Commonwealth.
For further information on any aspect of Education please contact:
Education Department
British Empire & Commonwealth Museum
Clock Tower Yard
Temple Meads
Tel: 0117 925 4980
Fax: 0117 925 4983

| Introduction |  Booking | At-a-glance guide | Special Activities| Holiday Activities | Outreach | Consultation | Mission Statement |

^Top of Page