Schools and Early Years

Schools and Early Years

Educational projects and programmes which excite and inspire

From art to history, religion to nature and so much more, the sites and stories of Auckland Castle offer an array of educational opportunities.

Whilst Auckland Castle is closed for conservation works until 2019, we are offering a range of sessions and projects for schools, with a particular focus on outreach; our Mining Art Gallery opened in October 2017, and caters for educational groups with smaller class sizes.

All sessions are currently free of charge – get in touch via for more information and to discuss how we can meet your needs.

  • NEW! Arts Award and Artsmark partnerships

Make the most of the Mining Art Gallery and our outreach programme and work towards your ‘Discover’ and ‘Explore’ Arts Award. Learn more about visual art, local artists and participate in a range of art forms either on-site or at your school.

We are also official Artsmark partners and can help you work towards gaining Artsmark for your school. Why not partner with us on a project with a historic focus or use our venues for your CPD?

  • Mining for Art

Explore the history of mining and the creativity of the men who worked underground in bespoke sessions designed to inspire pupils and give them new perspectives on the North East, what it takes to be an artist, and the materials and styles used to create arresting artworks. Sessions are bespoke, and work best for smaller class sizes, especially KS2, GCSE and A-Level – get in touch for more information.

  • Outreach sessions at your school

Outreach sessions involve a range of activities in a session led by our Education Officer in your school, including crafts, storytelling and object handling. Each session lasts approx. 2.5 hours – contact us to find out more about each session.

Who were the Prince Bishops…and why should we care?! (KS1/KS2; Local History, Citizenship)

Pollard and the Boar (KS1/Myths and Legends)

Northern Saints and the Anglo-Saxon conversion to Christianity (KS1/KS2; RE, History – Anglo-Saxons)

Work and Play in a mining community (KS1/KS2; Local history – Victorians/Early 20th century)

  • Heritage Schools

In partnership with Historic England, pupils and teachers learn new skills and discover the history of their local area as they gain ‘Heritage School’ status for their school. Whether it’s a series of sessions or a dedicated, cross-curriculum week, we’re delighted to work with you to develop a programme of activities which provide enriching experiences for your classes.

  • Museum on the move: Our pop-up palace at your school

We’ll take our pop-up palace complete with throne, backdrops, artefacts and replicas out to your school, giving pupils the chance to get ‘hands-on’ with history as they discover how the Prince Bishops of Durham were once the most powerful people in the country (other than the King himself!). We can tailor activities and sessions to suit your time and needs, linking with Art, Literacy, Citizenship or History.

There is an extra option for pupils to gain an Arts Award as part of this – contact us for more details (note: there is a charge for the Arts Award element).

  • To market, to market!

Explore over 200 years of history in one place! Take a walking tour to find out about historic buildings of Bishop Auckland Market Place and the stories which lie behind them. Investigate historic maps, photographs and census documents to discover who lived in the market place in Victorian and Edwardian times. Examine unusual artefacts and discover first-hand how people used to live. Perfect for classes studying local history as part of their curriculum.

Session based in Bishop Auckland market place, No. 42 and the town hall.

  • Early Years Outreach: The roar of the boar!

An interactive storytelling and craft workshop for Early Years, discover the exciting local tale of Pollard and the boar.

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