Bringing learning to life

As every teacher knows, nothing lights a fire in students’eyes so much as the chance to really experience what they are learning. Between them, the five Milton Keynes Collection partners offer a range of ways in which to engage students of all ages on a vast number of topics:

Bletchley Park

As the site of the world’s first modern computer, Colossus, the place where Enigma and other ciphers were cracked, and with its

re-enacting the Second World War at Bletchley Park

Bringing history to life through re-enactments at Bletchley Park

links to Alan Turing, father of modern computing and founder of the field of artificial intelligence, Bletchley Park is a terrific destination for Mathematics, History and  Information & Communications Technology (ICT) .

Visits for 7-14 year olds have various specialist collections for students to see, study and enjoy, all hosted by trained volunteers. Together the collections and exhibits cover most aspects of life for military and civilian personnel during WWII (History & Citizenship), as well as elements of cryptology (Mathematics). For primary schools local to Bletchley and Milton Keynes, the Park can also arrange for outreach visits, which include History & Citizenship elements of the curriculum.

Various types of single-focus visits are available for 12-19 year olds. A guided walking tour of the site places the specific subject of interest – be it History or Mathematics (including Cryptography) into historical context before a talk/workshop given by a guide with specialist knowledge in the area.

Single-focus visits can be tailored to visiting groups of teachers or students in adult & further education. The tour and talk will be pitched at the appropriate level by a guide. For more details  and contact details visit

City Discovery Centre

no taste for medieval dentistry at the City Discovery Centre

Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre offers interactive history and geography learning inspired by the new city and rich heritage and as outreach activities.

Our history programmes focus on Key Stage 2, with Roman, Tudor and Anglo-Saxon days that offer lots of hands-on, interactive learning. The days bring the period to life with dressing up, artefact handling, Q&A sessions, role play and more. For Key Stage 3 and 4, we offer guided tours of medieval Bradwell Abbey and resources to accompany the visit.

Our Geography programmes cover Key Stage 2, 3, 4, post-16 and university groups. Focusing onMilton Keynesas a new town and urban locality, our programmes include comprehensive presentations tailored to age group and topic. Groups then embark on guided tours of the city to carry out fieldwork methods for data collection. Topics covered by our Geography programmes include local area studies, sustainability, contrasting localities, planning and design, transport, social and economic factors and more. We also produce tailor-made programmes for all age groups; if you’ve got your GCSE controlled assessment questions, talk to us about how we can help.

As an independent charity, we do charge for our education services. Prices start from £3.75 per head. Our costs are transparent, including worksheets and equipment. Accompanying adults are free of charge.

For more information, contact Kim Davies, Learning Events Coordinator on 01908 227229 or


Cowper and Newton Museum

lessons for youngsters in making lace at the Cowper and Newton Museum

The Cowper and Newton Museum offers education events for adults and for children, both at the Museum in Olney town centre and as outreach activities.

For adults, we run regular events which examine the works of Cowper and his contemporaries such as the annual Cowper Day, where lectures, talks and workshops are given by poets or academics. We also offer heritage craft days for adults.

For children, we can offer an outreach service to local schools consisting of a short presentation and object handling sessions. Topics include:

  • archaeology and palaeontology using our dinosaur bones
  • Georgian life
  • Victorian life
  • We are also in the process of developing a slavery loan box.

We can also have small groups of children to the Museum for heritage craft sessions or similar. We are in the process of developing e-learning resources through our website which will consist of articles for adults, and games and fun educational resources for children. For more information and contact details visit

Living Archive

Local history is a great way to explore and energise many areas of the curriculum.  As well as a wide range of resources available on its website.

Bletchley residents turn out in force to see historic footage of the town
A full house for Living Archive’s heritage film show in Bletchley

Living Archive hosts the Milton Keynes Heritage Association’s Young Heritage Hunters project and is developing curriculum resource packs available online for schools to download.

In development are resource packs on:

  • How to research the history of your school
  • Ancient hedgerows in Milton Keynes
  • Plus area-specific packs for:
  • Broughton
  • Newport Pagnell
  • Olney
  • Stony Stratford
  • and Wolverton.

Living Archive also have education packs which focus on Wolverton and the coming of the Railways, Bletchley and its expansion from 1945-1966 also Milton Keynes and its original and first residents.

From time to time Living Archive also runs community education programmes, for example in IT skills, film-making, and other digital technologies.

Keep an eye on its website for future programmes and for more information contact Learning Co-ordinator, Anne-Marie Sandos

For more infomation visit

Milton Keynes Museum

The Museum works with schools both on and off-site. For those able to visit, programmes can be themed around any of the

Professor Beamish gets a charge out of Wimshurst machine at Milton Keynes Museum
Science lessons get a recharge at Milton Keynes Museum

museum’s collections, and feature a tour with a specialist education guide followed by hands-on activities and role play.

Among the most popular topics for schools are the Victorian domestic life, food and farming, transport, communications, and World War II – but programmes can also be tailored to school’s requirements and to specific project work – particularly at secondary school level.

For those unable to visit, or who want to follow-up on special themes, the Museum has an excellent school loans system, with around 60 themed boxes, 200 individual artefacts, 44 slide sets and 20 examples of textiles available for schools to borrow for their own classroom-based activities.

Other education services include organising visits for local community groups such as U3A’s history group, art and photography clubs and college and university classes studying tourism and leisure.  Plus a programme of events throughout the year, when families and visitors of all ages are encouraged to enjoy learning informally from the Museum’s displays – and from each other.

For more information and contact details visit

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