School workshops

We have some amazing workshops here at Archives: Wigan and Leigh that have been specifically designed to support the national curriculum.

Each session will last 90 minutes and can be delivered on site in the Archives, located in Leigh Town Hall (please note all sessions in Leigh Town Hall will take place on Mondays in term time) or at your school.

Workshops are charged at £90 per session (one class per workshop) with a reduced rate of £80 offered for multiple bookings. Schools will be invoiced after they have attended the workshop.

Take a look at the following range of workshops we have on offer.

Temporary Exhibition: Once Upon a Time

Explore what makes a folk tale, and how storytelling unites people all over the world through our temporary exhibition in the Archives exhibition. You can visit with your class for an unguided session between 10am - 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday. Why not write your own folk tale as part of your English curriculum inspired by the exhibition using our folktales trail and our rules for editing.

Key Stage 1 and 2 sessions

Dear Diary

Dear Diary

Key Stage 2 workshop delivered at Archives: Wigan and Leigh.

Have you ever wondered what life was like for a sailor travelling the world 100 years ago? This session is designed to support the KS2 English curriculum and will draw on our unique collection of historic diaries to engage a class in discussions around diary keeping.

We will explore key aspects of both historical enquiry and how to create your own diary, building pupil’s confidence in expressing their own 1st person voice in their writing. We will be using a range of original documents and hands-on activities to encourage pupils to enjoy learning about the archive and people from the past.

This session will also include a behind the scenes tour of the archive in Leigh Town Hall, as well as the exhibition. Key stage 2 national curriculum links include:

  • Understand conventions from different types of writing e.g., diary keeping, 1st person perspective, letter writing layout and signs
  • Diary writing, looking at different voices and comparing them
  • Retrieving and recording information from a source
  • Understand what they read, in books they can read independently, by: Checking that the text makes sense to them, discussing their understanding, and explaining the meaning of words in context
  • Asking questions to improve their understanding of a text
  • Drawing inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts, and motives from their actions, and justifying inferences with evidence
  • Retrieve and record information from non-fiction.

Design and Innovation in Wigan Borough

Design Innovation

Key Stage 2 workshop delivered at Archives: Wigan and Leigh.

Do you have the skill to rival the great inventors from Leigh and Wigan? This session explores the great history of the borough as a hub for innovation and technology, supporting the KS2 curriculum for design and technology.

We will investigate the ways that local heroes have made inventions of national significance and how these have impacted the borough and the people who live here as well as how the industrial revolution changed how people lived and worked forever.

We will explore these themes using original blueprints and documents from local designers, leading the class to then create their own inventions, drawing up blueprints and creating a prototype to present back to see who can fulfil the design brief the best.

This session will also include a behind the scenes tour of the archive in Leigh Town Hall, as well as the exhibition. Key stage 2 national curriculum links:

  • Use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative functional appealing products that are fit for purpose and aimed at particular individuals or groups
  • Generate, develop model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes
  • Evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria
  • Explore and use mechanisms for example, levers, sliders, wheels, and axles, in their products
  • Understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world.

Order! Order!

Order Order

Key Stage 2 workshop delivered at Archives: Wigan and Leigh.

Do you think you could easily decide who goes to war and who has to stay home in Leigh? This session uses the unique collection of War Tribunal records from the Archives, that show the appeals of men called up to fight in World War I.

Pupils will recreate the tribunals in the very same room that they took place in over 100 years ago, taking on the roles of judge and jury as well as locals appealing to not go to war. This session is designed to support the KS2 Citizenship Curriculum and encourages pupils to use primary sources from the archives to advocate for themselves as well as researching and developing an understanding of life in the borough at the outbreak of the war.

This session will also include a behind the scenes tour of the archive in Leigh Town Hall, as well as the exhibition space. Through this session pupils will

  • Think about their views on what affects themselves and society
  • Research, debate and discuss topical issues and events
  • Understand what democracy is and the basic institutions that support it locally and nationally.

Box of Memories

Box of Memories

Key Stage 1 workshop can be delivered at the Museum of Wigan Life or Archives: Wigan and Leigh.

This hands-on interactive session will show children some of the household items people used in their everyday lives around the turn of the twentieth century. Children will understand the similarities and differences between the older objects and things we use today. 

Pupils will talk about the objects using words and phrases to describe things from the past. These objects were all used in our local area.

Through handling historical and contemporary objects, the session will encourage discussions around each of the objects we have looked at - can they recognise the object? Do they remember them all? What surprised them the most? Did they realise that people would have used different things a long time ago?

Through detective work they will discuss the differences between the old and the new objects and decide whether they did the same job a hundred years ago as they do today.

Your Identity

Your Identity

Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 workshop can be delivered at both the Museum of Wigan Life or Archives: Wigan and Leigh.

Identity can be a challenging concept for children to understand. We explain this through discussion and making the link to Wigan. In this workshop we will inspire children to find out more about the history of where they live and their school. We want them to be proud of their local area and understand that things were very different in the past.

The resources we use show Wigan’s links with the industrial revolution. Maps that show the coal mines and cotton mills that contributed to the development and wealth of Britain.

The workshop starts with a discussion about the meaning of ‘Identity’. How we are identified through documents and the things we do in our lives. These things make you the unique person you are and include your school and the place you live.

Using original museum objects and local studies resources, pupils will understand what identity means to them and encourage them to be proud of who they are and where they live and where they go to school.

© Wigan Council