Key Stage 2 Workshops

Information for teachers

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Canal History in Media Day (full day's programme)

Remaining days available:


In partnership with the Education & Media Centre at the "Guardian/Observer" Newspapers at King's Place, the London Canal Museum now offers this programme. It is aimed at the upper years of Key Stage 2.

Features of the day:
Further information about this unique workshop

There is limited capacity and early bookings should be made by contacting Remaining dates are strictly limited.

The day is organised so that the children spend half a day at each of the London Canal Museum and the Guardian Media Education Centre. A boat trip is also an integral part of the experience.

The following topics are available at the "Guardian": Carlo Gatti , Canal Life and Explosions!

Please note that this workshop requires students to produce writing for inclusion in a newspaper front page and schools will gain more from the day if classes undertake some preparation on canal history prior to the visit. Downloadable resources to support this are available in the Teachers' Zone on the London Canal Museum website. Please feel free to discuss these resources when booking.

Learning Objectives

National Curriculum

Key Stage 2 English EN3 Writing

1. Pupils should be taught to:

2. To develop their writing on paper and on screen, pupils should be taught to:

Standard English

6. Pupils should be taught: written standard English varies in degrees of formality (for example, differences between a letter to a friend about a school trip and a report for display)

Language structure

7. Pupils should be taught the purposes and organisational features of paragraphs, and how ideas can be linked.

Breadth of study

9. The range of purposes for writing should include:

10. Pupils should also be taught to use writing to help their thinking, investigating, organising and learning.

11. The range of readers for writing should include teachers, the class, other children, adults, the wider community and imagined readers.

12. The range of forms of writing should include reports, explanations, opinions, reviews, commentaries.

History Knowledge and understanding of events, people and changes in the past

2. Pupils should be taught:

Historical enquiry

4. Pupils should be taught: to find out about the events, people and changes studied from an appropriate range of sources of information, including ICT-based sources (for example, documents, printed sources, CD-ROMS, databases, pictures and photographs, music, artefacts, historic buildings and visits to museums, galleries and sites)

Organisation and communication

5. Pupils should be taught to:

Transport and Invention


This lesson develops children's sense of the continuity of history. It shows how inventions are often built upon on what has been achieved as a result of earlier inventions. It looks at the history of transport and inventions, and asks children to sort forms of transport, and inventions, into chronological order.

Learning Objectives

National Curriculum Links


Creative Springboards

Our education team values creativity and would like the opportunity to discuss specific bespoke projects with you. Activities might include:

These could be on a one-off visit or as part of an on-going link between our team and your school. Contact the Education Officer at or on 020 7713 0836 to discuss how we can make this work for you.

Building Bridges


This lesson builds on what children already know about bridges. It begins by classifying the different types of bridges by structure - block, arch and framework - and then gives children the opportunity to try building their own out of a variety of different materials.

Model Arch Bridge, sometimes used in workshops

National Curriculum Links

Learning objectives


Tunnel Engineering Challenge

30-45 minutes


Interactive workshop.During this session we will assume the role of canal engineers. Explore the geography of the local area with reference to how the growth of the canals and the structures along them helped to shape the landscape the see today. They will in pairs dig a tunnel through sand castle in order to discover the importance of strength in a structure and use our new interactive exhibit to discover the importance of the arch. Students will work in small and larger groups to solve problems posed by canal engineering.

National Curriculum Links

Learning Objectives

Gauging Rod


Guiaging rod, a vertical calibrated pole resting alongside hull of narrowboat

A gauging rod is a calibrated pole that was used in the working days of canals to measure how low in the water a boat was lying. Printed tables were kept at toll offices showing the unladen weight, and depth in the water, of all the boats using that canal. Tolls were charged according to weight of cargo. By comparing the unladen position in the water with the laden position, measured with the gauging rod, the toll clerk could tell how much weight of cargo was on board the boat and therefore how much the toll would be. The museum has a gauging rod in position alongside its centerpiece exhibit, the narrowboat Coronis.

This workshop extends the knowledge of floating & sinking that children have already acquired at Key Stage One. It introduces the concepts of gravity & upthrust, investigates the effect of shape on buoyancy, and how a gauging rod was used by making models of them both.

Learning objectives.

National curriculum


Exploring Ice Theme Day


Circular ice cream making machine in useIn the setting of our Victorian ice warehouse, this day introduces the Norwegian ice trade and the uses and properties of ice.

Features of the Day

Further Information About the Day

The ice theme day is created by running two two workshops on the same day: Hokey Pokey and Melting Ice. These are described below.

Hokey Pokey

Duration 50 min

The ingenuity of using salt and ice to create delicious ice creams. Learn how to make ice cream and about the penny licks sold on the streets of Victorian London.

Learning Objectives

NC Links History & Science

Melting & keeping ice – Changing materials

Duration 50 min

In this workshop we explore the problem of keeping things cold when there are no freezers. Discover the importance of ice houses and learn about insulators through active experiments.

Learning Objectives

National Curriculum Links

Heritage Lottery Fund Logo

Canal scene illustration