West Berkshire Museum
Learning and Participation Service

West Berkshire Museum’s Learning and Participation Service offers museum visits and museum trails, led sessions for key stages 1 to 3, museum artefact boxes and resource packs. The service is administered and delivered by the Learning and Participation Officer.

A self-led visit to West Berkshire Museum’s galleries is usually free as are the museum trails we can provide to facilitate your visit. Downstairs is a permanent exhibition, Lives and Landscape, that tells the story of West Berkshire in chronological order, and upstairs there are six galleries with special exhibitions that change on a regular basis. We advise booking a museum visit on a Monday or Tuesday when we are closed to the general public.

You can combine a museum visit with one of our led sessions. We have a range of national curriculum-based cross-curricular sessions. These sessions often include the handling of real and replica museum objects. If you are unable to visit the museum, most of the sessions can be delivered in school instead. A session costs £45 for a class of 30 pupils.

We continue to develop the West Berkshire Museum loan box scheme. This leaflet tells you more about the scheme, which is a small collection of artefact boxes containing real and replica museum objects on a theme. Each museum artefact box also contains teachers’ notes on its contents. A school can book a box at a cost of £15, to borrow for up to three weeks. Please contact the Learning and Participation Officer for a list of the museum artefact box themes.

We have a small number of resource packs, including one on the Civil War and another on Roman West Berkshire. These each contain historical information and activities. It costs £15 to buy a paper copy to keep.

The Learning and Participation Officer emails a newsletter to local schools every few months in term-time and hosts the West Berkshire Museum Learning Advisory Panel. The panel helps to shape the offer to schools and is open to learning professionals from across West Berkshire to join. If this is of interest to you, please contact the Learning and Participation Officer.

Please also contact the Learning and Participation Officer if you would like more information about any of the above or to make a booking. You can also view and download the current West Berkshire Museum Learning and Participation Service brochure here.

West Berkshire Museum welcomes enquiries from all educational institutions and organisations as well as individuals such as home educators.

For more information please contact:

Clare Bromley (Ms)
Learning and Participation Officer

Telephone: 01635 519562


Local Heritage for Schools

Recent changes to the History and Geography National Curriculum at Key Stage One, Two and Three has highlighted the importance to students to know and understand the prehistory and history of the United Kingdom and gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts .

The Archaeology Service is well placed to offer advice and resources to help, particularly as regards to local study. For example, this can be through supplying heritage information from the Historic Environment Record or encouraging visits to local archaeological sites or historic buildings.

Shaw House School visits

Shaw House can offer school visits during school term time and can be tailored to your needs. If you have a certain area you are covering in the curriculum your visit can be designed to incorporate certain topics and areas of history.

We can offer access to the Exhibition Room with the opportunity to have an activity in one of the adjoining rooms which could be lead by our Learning and Participation Officer and designed for your group. Depending on the occupancy of the House we could provide a tour of some of the rooms and grounds outside.

Each enquiry is dealt with on an individual basis as availability will need to be checked and topics discussed.

Please enquire and provide some details of your visit such as number of children, topic and potential dates to We will then be able to assess the availability of resources and confirm if there will be a cost involved.

    School Visit Enquiry

    To request a school visit or loan box form please provide the following information: