Our Learning Approaches
At the period school events, like the ‘Victorian School Day’ the aim is to give children an immersive, authentic experience as it would have been for Victorian working class children. Everyone, teachers, pupils and supporting volunteers dress up in period costume enabling children to immediately look and feel different to each other.
The teaching style has more didactic elements, like rote learning and repetition; very different to the child-centred approaches which underpin classroom teaching today. In group work activities, children are encouraged to imagine not only a typical day at school, but what they had for breakfast, how they got to school and the basic lifestyle of children of that era.
In lessons, pupils get to use slates with chalk, sit in rows and experience a more formal classroom atmosphere.
Children also enjoy refreshments and a "play time" using the adjoining field with access to traditional activities and playthings like hoops, top and whips and skipping ropes or, if wet outside, children can take their refreshments in our cafe.
Learning and Teaching on Projects
Our teaching programs cater for a diverse population of learners and programs. We employ experiential approaches that are adult centered, mostly group based, activity focused and tapping into our rich archive of historic images, documents, oral history video and heritage artifacts for classroom resources and teaching materials.
We have a portfolio of teaching materials available for schools through a number of sources and are happy to work with teachers and facilitators both on and off site to customise content to suit particular projects and learners needs. Some of our programs are accredited by WEA or other bodies.
Sunderland Heroes and Villains
Target audience - Years 4, 5, & 6
Web resource with interactive map and pupil worksheets plus teacher resources.
Children will investigate Sunderland's East End and explore and learn about the past through its local characters, both good and bad! Individual pupil work sheets and opportunities for group work are built into the resource. Links to external resources to further extended research and learning are also available.
Curriculum Links to Locality, Citizenship, History
Web site to use individually or by whole class combined with pupil worksheet resources, information, links to external sites and teacher resources.
Sunderland Parish Church 1719 and Social Conditions
The Holy Trinity Church was Sunderland's parish church and local government centre. The web site features the church but includes many teaching activities and resources covering a range of views of life from 1719 to date.
The new interactive Heritage Trail is also of particular interest.