School Visits by Key Stage

Key Stage 1

Handle objects, explore photographs, perform in the theatre, and be inspired by the models to create your own.


  • Find out about a significant local man, Dr John Langdon Down, his medical work and the people he helped
  • Learn how the past is different from the present, especially in the way people lived and learnt


  • Understand and respect differences between people
  • Take part in discussions and debate about a single issue such as bullying or helping people

 Key Stage 2

Explore the evidence found in sources such as photographs and documents, handle objects, discuss and debate issues, and use the collections for inspiration in drawing, making or performing


  • Find out about a significant local Victorian man, Dr John Langdon Down, and the impact he made on the systems of healthcare and education we know today
  • Research the lives of people with learning disabilities from the past


  • Use speaking and listening skills to discuss and debate issues that affect society
  • Use imagination and empathy to help understand people who are different and consider the impact of anti-social or bullying behaviour

Key Stage 3

Use the museum and its collections as inspiration for discussion around how our attitudes to disability have changed since 1850. Look at sources, handle objects, have a formal debate, and meet someone with a learning disability or someone who works in the field.


  • Find out about how people with learning disabilities were treated in the past and discuss how and why that changed; examining attitudes and beliefs
  • Explore British history G:  the way in which the lives, beliefs, ideas and attitudes of people in Britain have changed over time and the factors that have driven these changes


  • Learn that diversity includes different abilities and disability; looking at rights, responsibilities and behaviour
  • Discuss and debate controversial issues which affect the society in which we live
  • Find out about the people and organisations who support people with disabilities, with an opportunity to meet some of them

Key Stage 4

A KS4 visit can be tailored to your requirements, depending on your area of study. It could include archival research, a drama performance, a project to design activities for younger children, or an in-depth debate.

Some relevant GCSE syllabuses include:

  • Schools History Project Development Study: Medicine and Treatment/Medicine Through Time
  • Humanities: Rights and Responsibilities; Issues of Health and Welfare
  • Historical Enquiry: History Around Us
  • Health & Social Care Unit 2:  Health, Social Care & Early Years Provision
  • General Studies: Social & Ethical

As part of a visit, students can:

  • Learn that there are different kinds of rights, obligations and responsibilities – political, legal, human, social, civic and moral
  • Question and reflect on the differences between provision and care for people with learning disabilities in the past and present
  • Develop arguments for discussion or formal debate based on evidence discovered through a range of sources, including both historical sources in and around the museum and by listening and talking to people who have, or work with people who have, a learning disability
  • Find out about factors which led to the development of the Disability Discrimination Act and how this affects our lives