Our Offer

The Museum of East Dorset is proud to offer a vibrant and flexible learning programme with a particular focus on creative, hands-on activities.

We offer a wide range of workshops covering over 2000 years of British history, from the Stone Age to the Iron Age, Romans, Victorian life, and the World Wars. Specific topics include Houses and Homes, Toys and Games.

Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • Discover how we find out about the past and the way people used to live with our ‘Dig It!’ sessions. These hands-on indoor archaeological digs were designed by renowned archaeologist Julian Richards. Peel back the layers to discover an Iron Age roundhouse or a Roman villa.
  • Make biscuits using the original Beetonette range in the Kitchen.
  • Borrow loans boxes and associated learning materials covering topics such as the Stone Age, Romans, Victorian Life, First World War: Children’s contribution to the war effort, the 1930s, Toys: Old and New. These contain handling objects from the collections, replica items, photographs, pictures, documents, and suggested learning activities.




Early Years

The Museum of East Dorset provides active, hands-on sessions that support the Foundation Curriculum and Early Years topics. All the themes that we cover are connected to the building and collections.

We understand that young children learn through play and exploration, so our young guests are highly encouraged to use their imagination and get actively involved in the sessions. The activities can be tailor-made for your needs, with popular themed workshops including The Gingerbread Man and Toys: Old and New.


School sessions:
Key Stages 1 – 4

The Learning Service provides hands-on creative sessions, supporting subjects across the National Curriculum, particularly history. All our sessions can be adapted to suit all key stages and all activities are fully risk assessed.

All the themes and topics are connected to the museum building and its collections. We operate a ‘pick and mix’ system, which allows you to choose activities and sessions within one or more topics or Key Stages.

For Key Stage 4 pupils, the museum has worked with teachers and pupils to support topics across the curriculum, including History, English, Geography, Art and design, Design and Technology and Photography. Using museum objects, artefacts and local studies resources, the full potential of the museum building and collections can be used to support your subjects.

Placements and partners

The Museum of East Dorset works closely with Bournemouth University and other educational establishments to develop suitable learning opportunities for their students. We can also provide internships and work experience placements for local schools, the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and other education providers.

The Learning Team also works closely with The Mansel-Pleydell and Cecil Trust, which offers educational grants to enable individuals and groups to explore Dorset’s rich natural and human environment.



Through our outreach service we can bring the learning to you! For most of the topics we offer, we can provide outreach sessions in school with some adaptations. As part of these outreach sessions, a member of the Learning Team will visit your school with a fascinating selection of suitable items from the collections. In addition, they will deliver a talk about the chosen topic and are on hand to answer any questions the children may have. (This service is currently unavailable)


Online classroom

We recognise that these are unusual times and visiting the Museum of East Dorset in person may not be practical at the moment. So, let us bring the museum to you with our range of online learning activities. We can provide a selection of downloadable activities and resources based on our on-site sessions, ensuring that you can still make the most of the learning opportunities that we offer.


Teachers’ resources

We invite staff and teachers to take a look at some of our learning resources and familiarise themselves with the programme before they visit.
This will help them develop any complementary learning activities as well as get the most out of the learning sessions.

These resources can also be used independently to enrich classroom practice and creativity, drawing from the museum’s expertise and our unrivalled collection of local history.