Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens have restarted the schools’ workshop programme these are delivered in the museum, with workshops adapted to fit in with Covid safety guidelines. School Workshops, Learning Resources

We can also offer virtual visits with digital sessions, virtual tours and handling materials for use in classrooms and other educational settings. Schools and community groups can also borrow ‘Museum in a Box’ artefact boxes from the Museum with supporting interpretation for periods of 1 – 4 weeks. Visit the School Workshops, Learning Resources and Museum in a Box pages to find out more.

Museum learning staff can also visit schools or educational settings in the Sunderland area to deliver sessions in accordance with your school or group Covid safety guidelines. To find out more or to make a booking please contact Marie Harrison, Public Engagement & Learning Officer at [email protected].

Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens welcomes all learners, including those who have special educational needs and disabilities. Schools can book workshops facilitated by learning staff on topics related to our Museum collections. Learning staff will work with you to plan workshops to meet your individual pupil and group needs. We ask for a minimum of 4 weeks’ notice to prepare new sessions.

Sessions are pupil-led and based around the senses and our rich collection of handling artefacts.  Themes include:

  • Social history (coalmining, shipbuilding, history heroes, Victorian history, Anglo-Saxon history)
  • Science (animals and plants, geology – including rocks and fossils)
  • Geography (rainforests)
  • Fine Art (sculpture, drawings, paintings, prints)
  • Decorative Art (pottery, glass, textiles)

The Museum has developed social stories to help pupils become more familiar with the building and staff team ahead of future group visits. 

We have identified quiet spaces in the Museum building for use by SEND groups during visits – we recommend pre-booking a space so it is available during your visit.

When group visits restart Museum staff can provide a set of sensory toys (tactile, massage, visual, light-up and aroma) and noise cancelling headphones to support your group visit. Please enquire when booking.

National Partners Programme

Sunderland Culture are currently taking part in a 3-year (2019 – 2022) National Partners Programme with Arts Council Collection, bringing the best of British modern and contemporary art to Sunderland and the region. Recent temporary exhibition Paint the Town in Sound was curated by Sunderland band Field Music and explores the connections between art and music.  Future Arts Council Collection exhibitions include Field for the British Isles by Antony Gormley (24 July – 25 September 2021) and the return of Grayson Perry’s The Vanity of Small Differences (April – July 2022).

We are looking for schools supporting learners with SEND to work with us on projects as part of the National Partners Programme to pilot new approaches and develop new resources. To express an interest please contact Posy Jowett, Public Engagement & Learning Officer on [email protected].


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