Q&A with The Postal Museum

Date Posted: 07/12/2017

The Postal Museum in London opened earlier this year; we talk to Sally Sculthorpe, the learning manager, about the appeal for school trips and what is on offer.

The Mail Rail

Q. Tell us about what’s on offer for schools looking to visit The Postal Museum.

Put a unique stamp on your visit and select from action-packed interactive workshops, storytelling sessions and Science shows, explore five interactive galleries, ride Mail Rail or stay and play in Sorted!. 

The Postal Museum has dedicated facilities for schools including a Lunch Room and lockable coat and bag cupboards. Upon arrival, your class will be met by friendly knowledgeable staff who will show you where to leave your belongings, and will make sure you are well taken care of throughout your day. After your visit, teachers can extend the learning in the classroom with our free online learning resources.

Q. What attractions are on offer for schools?

Five interactive galleries reveal over 500 years of communications history through the post. Fascinating displays will engage the curiosity of your pupils with our objects and stories.

Step into the shoes of postal workers through the centuries. Get up close to an early Mail Coach and try to defend the mail. Peer into port holes to spy Post Office packet ships under attack from pirates and dress up as a Victorian post woman or telegram messenger boy.

Investigate ground-breaking design and technology, including quirky vehicles and unusual methods used to move the post. Test your telegraphist skills to decipher Morse Code, or send a message in a pneumatic tube across the galleries.

The Postal Museum

Examine original poster artwork including a rare sheet of Penny Black stamps. Follow the rise of social mail from the world’s first Christmas card to letters sent from home and abroad today.

Peer into the lives of ordinary people and listen to their stories in our telephone kiosks. Read telegrams from the Titanic and poignant soldier’s letters from the Front Line in the First World War. Make personal connections to the national story of how a humble service revolutionised our lives.

Journey back in time on a specially-made train through the original tunnels and station platforms. Delve deeper into the nuts and bolts of Mail Rail in the interactive exhibition, housed in the original car depot. 

Q. What age range does it offer educational visits to and can you tell us what’s on offer for Primary and Secondary students?

A visit to The Postal Museum supports learning across the curriculum for all Key Stages. Our programme of facilitated sessions develop critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills and can be adapted for different Key Stages and learning styles and tailored to support a class topic. 

Q. What’s the appeal for teachers looking to book a trip to the Postal Museum?

Schools can delve deeper into the postal past by booking a facilitated session that support subjects across the curriculum. Our team of skilled facilitators and actors will provoke curiosity through hands-on interaction with original objects and stories. Mail Rail offers a unique opportunity to experience real industrial heritage as told through the voices of the engineers that kept mail moving under London for over 75 years. 

The Postal Museum

Q. What subjects can a visit tie into?

From History, Maths, Geography, STEM, Literacy and Art and Design – a visit to The Postal Museum will stimulate enquiry-based learning across the curriculum.

Q. What resources will be on offer for teachers, either before the visit, or afterwards and back in the classroom?

The Postal Museum provides free online learning resources including videos, games, teachers’ notes, activity ideas and PowerPoints. Resources support different curriculum subjects with activities for different Key Stages. Learning resources can support facilitated sessions at the museum, or are available for teachers across the UK to download and use in their classroom teaching.

For more information about prices and how to book your visit to The Postal Museum visit www.postalmuseum.org/for-schools

School Travel Organiser's Guide