National Civil War Centre
The World Turned Upside Down and Fake News

Primary Schools

Image showing children enjoying a school workshop in battleYour visit includes a dramatic introduction to the civil war, a gallery session in the museum and your choice of workshops. Each session takes about an hour. We can also timetable a visit to the shop and to the temporary galleries.


Workshop Choices 

Session Title

Session Content

Session Length

KS1 - One Man and his Dog

An active session using puppets and storytelling to bring to life the Civil War hero Prince Rupert and his magical pet dog Boye. Learn who the Roundheads and Cavaliers were and why they were fighting each other. Pupils get the chance to handle real and replica objects from the Civil War and discover how Prince Rupert saved Newark from the Roundheads.

45 minutes

KS1 - Arms and Armour

Help the King defend Newark.Take part in army training in our interactive and object focused session. Learn about the different types of soldiers who fought in the Civil War and get the chance to examine the arms and armour they used. 

1 hour

KS2 - Last Town Standing Tour

Meet John Twentyman or his wife Jane and find out what life was really like in Newark during the Civil War. This character led tour introduces pupils to Newark’s surviving Civil War buildings and the important stories that they tell us about Newark’s role in the war. Discover why Newark was so strategically important locally and nationally, the significant events that happened and the key people who visited Newark in this fun participatory tour. (Please note this tour takes place outside so appropriate footwear and clothing should be worn.

1 hour

KS2 - Arms and Armour

Become a New Model Army recruit and take part in army training in our interactive and object focused session. Learn about the different types of soldiers who fought in the Civil War and get the chance to examine the arms and armour they used. Pupils use their critical thinking to discover the strengths and weaknesses of the weapons and armour available to soldiers at the time and discover the realities of being in the army.

1 hour

KS2 - Beseiged

Join the townspeople of Newark during the third and final siege of Newark. Pupils will take on the roles of real people living in Newark during the Civil war and discover the harsh realities of being under siege. Learn what it was like living through a siege and the difficult choices people had to make. Pupils will work in groups to make decisions for their character. Will they decide to just save themselves or will they help each other?

1 hour

KS2 - Civil War Spies

Become spies for the King and help crack the code to decide which East Midlands town should become his Key to the North. This hands-on session introduces pupils to civil war spying techniques and the strategy needed to win the civil war. Pupils will compare the strengths and weaknesses of the cities and towns of the East Midlands and decide which one they would make their Key to the North. Will they make the same decision as the King and choose Newark?

1 hour

We also offer sessions tailored to your requirements and local history sessions on Prehistory, Romans, Tudors and Archaeology.

For more details please contact

Discovery Boxes

Discovery boxes are available to borrow for your classroom on these topics.

  • Civil War: Cavalry Officer
  • Civil War: Newark Under Siege
  • Plague
  • WWII Evacuee
  • WWII Food and Rationing
  • Romans
  • Seaside Holidays
  • Stone Age to Iron Age
  • Toys and Games
  • Victorians.

The cost of hiring a box is £20 for a two week loan.

Other schools sessions

The Newark Museum collection is full of fascinating artefacts, from Stone Age hand tools and a Roman skeleton to Victorian toys and a WWII folding bike.

We can offer school sessions in your local museum (or in school) on a few topics which are listed below.  If we don’t have what you’re looking for, please ask

  • Prehistory – Stone Age to Iron Age
  • Romans
  • Schools Through Time
  • Anglo Saxons and Archaeology

Newark Castle

For January 2020, we wil also be offering facilitated school visits to Newark Castle.

Please contact us on if you would like to find out more.