With five Imperial War Museum (IWM) sites to choose from across the UK, schools are spoilt for choice when it comes to dedicated workshops to enhance your history lessons.

Imperial War Museum

Source: IWM

Enjoy dedicated sessions which bring history to life at the Imperial War Museum.

IWM tells the story of conflict from 1914 to the present day, and school groups can choose to take part in a variety of learning sessions, aimed at KS2-4, which are led by expert educators.

Discover huge amounts of artefacts at IWM London, IWM North (Manchester) and IWM Duxford (Cambridgeshire) and enjoy a dedicated session to enhance your visit.

Or, step into living history on a self-guided tour aboard HMS Belfast or inside Churchill War Rooms (both in London).

“What a fantastic opportunity for the children! Genuine artefacts combined with state-of-art technology! What more could children ask for!”

Key Stage 2 teacher.

Informative workshops created by the learning team help tackle challenging topics head on, and offer pupils a much more engaging and interactive experience.

Educational workshop highlights

We Were There (Upper KS2 & KS3): This is a unique chance for students to meet veterans and eye-witnesses of conflict covering the period from the Second World War to today, hearing their personal stories, asking questions and connecting through conversations. Available at IWM London, IWM Duxford and IWM North (with good availability for the spring 2024 term at IWM North).

Documentary Challenge (Upper KS2 - KS4): Students visit IWM’s galleries to explore objects and tell the stories in their own words. Briefed by Reena, a film-maker for SMASH TV, students are given smart-cameras and tasked with making mini documentaries on the people and objects they feel the world needs to know about. Available at IWM London, IWM Duxford and IWM North.

Imperial War Museums

Source: IWM

Your pupils will get the chance to create documentaries about the stories they feel are important to tell. 

Ministry of Memory (KS2): This immersive experience investigates Remembrance and personal stories from the First World War to today. Students are tasked with saving the IWM from the Memory Scramblers – a group of hackers who are out to erase personal stories in the collection. Children are guided around the main exhibition space by a wireless transmission from the Ministry of Memory Mobile Transmission Unit (MoMMTU) and received through their audio headsets. Available at IWM North.

What’s new?

From September 2024, IWM will launch a dedicated KS3 learning programme focusing on art, film and photography in the Blatvanik Art, Film and Photography (BAFP) Galleries at IWM London, which is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies. It will explore and develop an understanding of the role of art in the First and Second World Wars; the historical contexts in which art has been created, and how artists, photo journalists and film makers use art to record events and convey the impact of war and conflict on people’s lives.

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Holocuast Learning Programme (KS4): Students are encouraged to develop critical thinking skills around the Holocaust, its impact at the time and its legacy and significance today. This session uses questions, AR technology, 3D objects and exclusive insight into the museum’s galleries, with pre and post sessions delivered by the Holocaust learning experts. Available at IWM London.

For those who can’t make the journey to IWM North, First World War Kit Bags and Second World War Loan Boxes are also available, and are great alternative options which bring history to life in the classroom with objects and stories from the collection. 

For more information about school visits to all the IWM sites, go to www.iwm.org.uk/learning.