We are delighted to say that we have been awarded a `Local Heroes` Royal Society Grant and will have a brand new 'Hugh Bourne Pioneer and Man of Science' workshop available in 2017.  As with all of our programmes, this will be fully participatory with hands - on experiments and activities all linked to the National Curriculum. 

Local Heroes/Famous People:

Hugh Bourne was the founder of the Primitive Methodist Movement and he was born and lived in the Potteries. He was ahead of his time teaching chidren about science - physics & Biology - in the 1800's and children still find his experiments fascinating today.

William Clowes, the co-founder of the movement will also feature in our new 2017 workshops and he too was born in the Potteries; his mother, Ann, was a Wedgwood. 

Our new Science programme includes:

  • Introduction to Hugh Bourne: Man of Science and his experiments
  • Hands on workshops: - In small groups children try out all of the following experiments throughout the day


  1. Water Pressure:  Why doesn’t water fall out of the up turned glass?   What cause water to expand?
  2. Air Pressure:  How can you weigh air? Study the pressure of air  Can we shrink wrap a child?                                                                                                                                                                                
  3. Heat Exchange & Evaporation: Steam power transformed mobility on land & water. Experiment with 'pop pop' boats     to Understand the impact of a vacuum, as part of a chain of events that creates motion. Why were Pop Pop boats so named?                                                                                                                                                                                     
  4. Printing on the Atlas Printing Press:  Education for all: More people having books & learning to read.  When & where did your ancestors learn to read & write?  A hands on experience with the Atlas printing Press - the very one used by Hugh and James Bourne. Print a poster to take back to school                                                                                                                      
  5. Primitive Physic and how the body works: Consider Hugh Bourne’s Remedies/Recipes or Receipts as they were called in his time. See his original 'Receipts' book. Why werre  herbal remedies used to cure common ailments?    W hat do you think of them? How have our ideas changed today?                                                                                                 
  6.  Magic Lantern experience 'The Calculating Cobbler'                                                                                                                  
  7. A Visit to the Hugh Bourne Memorial during the lunch break and opportunity to complete the Hugh Bourne Challenge! 'How many pictures/references to Hugh Bourne have you spotted during your day at the museum?  

These workshops are designed as a stand alone full day's educational programme but can be mixed and matched with any of our already well established activities if you prefer.                                                                                                           Costs: All of our programmes are still available at a charge of just £4.00 per child for a full educational day. This charge includes a copy of our exciting children's Activity Guide for every child attending. No charge for accompanying adults.

For more details about educational visits contact our education officer, Margaret Veal, on (01270) 820836.

What we offer

The educational programmes at Englesea Brook have been widely commended by local schools for the quality, depth and variety of experience offered. School visits are not routine and processed but tailored to meet the needs of individual groups. The museum is well known as a place that is friendly and inclusive where each visit is a real event.  For some examples of how we can meet different curriculum requirements see the relevant section below.


What pupils do as part of their time at the museum varies considerably but a visit can include dressing in costumes for our memorable Victorian Sunday School experience, watching a traditional magic lantern show, playing with Victorian style toys and playing Victorian Parlour games, printing on the Atlas printing Press, doing the washing the old fashioned way and much more besides.


Did you know? We can help you with an almost taboo subject - bereavement - in a sensitive and safe way with our Victorian funeral experience. This is an inclusive means of using Victorian history to help children deal with issues of death and bereavement in their own lives and is suitable for children in year 5 and above.


The educational output of Englesea Brook is constantly developing. Recent projects with schools have focused on such diverse themes as law and order, working children, environmental protection and religious festivals.




Some Examples of Englesea Brook visits connecting to National Curriculum Topics:


Experience our Victorian Chapel & artefacts for a truly authentic experience


Travel back in time and role play being a Victorian school child

Victorian School Experience (all in costumes- we provide)
Victorian Homes
Victorian toys (indoor & out-door)
Victorian boys & girls
Victorian crafts
Victorian Christmas: bran tub, crackers, decorations                                                                         


Use of artefacts documents & rare books:
Victorian Working-class Sunday School (we provide costumes)
Victorian toys (indoor & out-door)
Victorian life-style compared to today
Comparison of a Victorian child & a child of today
Investigate: Victorian Chapel, churches, banners & artefacts
Victorian Christmas, crafts, cracker making, fun & games.
Victorian Burial & Bereavement
Social History: Victorian funerals, cost implications
Chronology, time-line, changes through time
Changes to the chapel over time.
Changing museums and the future

We visit a large number of schools to take assemblies
We cover an extensive and ever growing range of subjects
We bring objects, artefacts, documents and/or dress up
We use a lively and participatory approach
At the museum:
Role play: Baptisms, Weddings & Funerals
Comparison of Christian Faiths: Non Conformists, Anglican & Roman Catholicism.

Citizenship & Global Issues:
Working children
Slavery/Human Rights
Exploitation: then & now
Consideration of others especially those worse off then ourselves
Consideration of the taboo subject DEATH, emotions involved, bereavement process and the future
Role play a Victorian burial with authentic Victorian funeral bier; a popular, successful & fully participative workshop.
Grave rubbings
Grave yard exploration linking the findings to social history



Opportunities to experience:
“Victorian” mathematical skills
Counting using an abacus
Rote learning & “Times Tables”
£.s.d. and sums executed on a slate
How many strokes of the cane? 


Investigating & Making
Investigating texture, colour and pattern
Designing collages, banners, rag rugs etc.
Extension work: *make a banner at school
Display work
Grave rubbings

*Use a loan box from the museum to help you.


Combining knowledge & understanding with designing & making:

Help to peg a rag rug
Try your hand at cross stitch embroidery
Darn a sock
Compare health & safety today with that of Victorian times
Design & make various items linked to a Victorian Christmas
Design & make a Victorian replica toy
Enjoy playing with Victorian toys and evaluate their design   


As above plus the following:
Take photographs of your experiences
Investigate and record your findings electronically
Comparison of materials for suitability
Comparison of “Riggers” and ease of use
Comparison of economic measures then & now
Comparison of environmental situations then & now
Evaluation of what we can do to protect the environment

Extension work back at school:
Design & make (Peg) a rag rug
Design & make a banner
Design & make a calendar using your photographs
Promote the calendar as a fundraising initiative in school
Make an oral history presentation from your recordings



Consideration of environmental issues
Learning from our heritage
Preservation of the environment
Track the itinerary of a Primitive Methodist minister

Huge opportunities for:

  • Role play - Victorians, Characters “Ranters”
  • Rote learning
  • Hugh Bourne’s “Reading & Spelling Books
  • Writing on a slate with a slate pencil
  • Signing documents with a Dip pen
  • Speaking, listening, discussing, evaluating
  • Finding out / exploring / detectives worksheets
  • Research: note taking, hot seating.
  • Historical enquiry, interviewing, oral history
  • Writing poems, stories, plays.











Thanks to the pupils of Crescent, Sneyd Green and Burnwood Primary Schools for appearing on this page of our website.