The British Empire & Commonwealth Museum
The British Empire & Commonwealth Museum

Tel: +44 (0)117 925 4980

Fax: +44 (0)117 925 4983

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Breaking the Chains
Local Schools
Organising a Trip
How to Book
Evaluation Forms
Contact Us


In addition to Continuing Professional Development and FREE Breaking the Chains previews in our twilight sessions, the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum can support your teaching with these fantastic resources:


Carved Horn from African Arts loan box Meley of objects from loan boxes Koran stand from World Religions loan box

Loan boxes are a great way to enrich students’ learning, providing an excellent opportunity for reflexive exploration on a range of themes.

Each loan box contains up to 12 artefacts to handle, a detailed information sheet on each artefact and tips on how to handle and use them in the classroom. Some artefacts may be encased in a sealed perspex case in order to protect them, others may be replicas of precious originals.

The Museum's fantastic series of loan boxes is available for education groups to borrow on a fortnightly basis from only £35.

Accessories and jewellery

African arts

African life

Brunel's Toolbox and CD-rom (Key Stage 2)

Think Global, Act Local Citizenship loan box* (Key Stage 3 & 4)

Indian arts

Pacific arts

Pacific life

Pop-up World (Foundation & Key Stage 1)

Slavery 1: African society, human capture and trade

Slavery 2: Plantation life and treatment

Slavery 3: Resistance, abolition and legacy

World crafts

World food and drink

World religions


  • 1 box £35 per fortnight + VAT
  • 2 boxes £50 per fortnight + VAT
  • 3 boxes £75 per fortnight + VAT
  • £50 per month + VAT

If you cannot collect we can offer a courier service for a charge.

If you require further information, or have any questions, please contact our Learning Team today.


When organsing an educational trip, why not book a workshop to maximize the benefits of the learners? Workshops are a great way to focus learners’ experiences on to specific aspects and issues raised in the gallery floors.

The Museum’s workshops cover a range of citizenship themes:

Abolition on Air (KS3)
This workshop is designed to mark the 200th anniversary of the abolition…

Festivals of the Caribbean (KS2)
Interactive learning about the origins, meanings, beliefs and culture…

Global Affairs (KS3)
Pupils visit the galleries in small groups and research a topical issue…

Indian Village Life (KS2)
Pupils engage in a range of activities to find out about aspects of Indian village life…

Life in Africa (KS2)
Pupils Explore Africa from the point of view of five children…

Rangoli Art (KS2)
Discover the meaning of Indian patterns used during festivals and religious ceremonies…

Slavery: interpreting the evidence (KS2 and KS3)
Through a series of activities learners investigate artifacts…

Slavery through Drama (Upper KS2 and KS3)
Led by a professional drama practitioner this workshop focuses on using drama

Suitcase Stories (KS 2)
Learners explore the origins of today's multiracial Britain…


  • 1 hour workshop: £40 per class
  • 1.5 hour workshop: £50 per class
  • 2 hour workshop: £60 per class

If you require further information, or have any questions, please contact our Learning Team today.


The following trails have been developed by our Education Team to help learners focus in on different aspects of our rich and extensive galleries.

Permanent Galleries

Aspects of Empire (KS 3/4)
  Free to download.

Discovery Box: Black and Asian Histories in the British empire (KS 2) (2 hours)
Pupils discover the hidden histories of Black people in Africa, the Caribbean, India and Australia. This trail comes with a fantastic discovery box packed full of artefacts, textiles, and supporting material. This must be booked in advance and costs £10.00

Migration (KS 3/4)
  Free to download.

Safari Time KS 1
  Free to download.

Transport Trail KS 1
  Free to download.

Tudor Trade & Exploration (KS 2)
  Free to download.

World Journeys KS1
  Free to download.

Citizenship Trail - P1 (KS 3/4)
  Free to download.

Citizenship Trail - P2 (KS 3/4)
  Free to download.

Breaking the Chains

These trails are for use in the temporary exhibition, Breaking the Chains

Learning trail (KS2)
  Free to download.

Learning trail (KS 3/4)
  Free to download.

Abolition, Emancipation and Protests (KS 3/4 Gifted and Talented)
  Free to download.

Education Packs

Click here to see our education packs.

Themed weeks for Foundation & Key Stage 1 – EXPLORE AFRICA

This year the Museum is running two of the highly popular themed weeks for the under-sevens. The themed weeks provide opportunities for learners to take part in hands on activities including art, dressing up, object handling and storytelling.

The themed weeks will run from:

  • 14th January 2008 – 18th January 2008
  • 12th May 2008 – 16th May 2008

Price: £3.50 per child

If you require further information, or have any questions, please contact our Learning Team today.

Go Back

Station Approach, Temple Meads, Bristol, BS1 6QH

Tel: +44 (0)117 925 4980

Fax: +44 (0)117 925 4983

Copyright © British Empire & Commonwealth Museum 2007. All Rights Reserved. Registered Charity Number 1097205.