Tag Archives: children

Our Schools Programs


Brixham Heritage Museum reveals life in Brixham from Prehistory to the present day. A great deal is packed into a small space. “Like a Tardis” is how many visitors describe us.

Sessions appropriate for a local study or on specific themes based on the National Curriculum Programmes of Study in History and Literacy are run by the curator, Dr Phillip Armitage and Janet Pettit, a recently retired primary school deputy head.

We aim to engage children with history through drama and role play, handling real and replica objects, art and craft activities, poetry, story telling, guided tours and questionnaires.
We provide activities in the museum, at a real archaeological dig on Berry Head and (coming in 2015) a reconstructed World War 1 trench. We also have links with other sites and Educational Providers in Brixham.

Examples of sessions:
Fishing, ship building and rope making
Children in the Victorian Era, the life of a local girl, Priscilla Shrives.
World War I – the affect on fishing, life in the trenches
World War II, daily life, evacuees and rationing
Egyptian cats and food
Napoleonic Berry Head
Ice Age Brixham

Contact us to discuss how museum workshops and activities can be designed around your school’s topics or literacy texts.
Tel: 01803 856267
Email: mail@brixhamheritage.org.uk
Charges: £2 per child for 1 ½ hour sessions at the museum and £2.50 per child for off-site and in-school activities. Teachers and helpers no charge.

Our preferred day for school visits is Monday when we are closed to the public.

…and after the dig we had a party.



Children from Brixham C. of E. Primary celebrated their part in the “All Our Stories” project by holding a party.

As a souvenir of the sunny day at the archaeological dig the children received a copy of the leaflet “Victorian families and soldiers at Berry Head” with its accompanying activity pack and teacher’s notes .

You can hear their enthusiastic involvement in the previous entry of this  blog.


Brixham kids go ‘digging’ on Berry Head



This feature was recorded at Berry Head as part of a Heritage Lottery Funded project by Brixham Heritage Museum to tell the stories of the Victorian and early Edwardian families who lived on Berry Head, Brixham with special focus on the Shrives families and their close association with the Rev. Henry Francis Lyte (author of the hymn “Abide with Me”).

The project involved staff and volunteers from the museum, Class 4 from Brixham Church of England Primary school and young people from Brixham Youth Enquiry Service (YES), a local charity which supports young people in the local community.

Training and advice in interviewing, recording and editing was provided in a short series of workshops by Sound Communities of Totnes.

The recordings were made on 19th June 2013 when class 4 visited an archeaological dig on a site near to the Napoleonic forts on Berry Head.

For several years the museum has organised archaeological digs undertaken by a skilled and knowledgeable band of volunteers led by museum curator Dr Philip Armitage. Some of these volunteers feature in the recording.

Interviewing and collecting of the recordings was by Rhiannon More, Kesley Harding and William Wade, from YES.

The feature was edited and produced by Janet Pettit, education officer at the museum.


Museum Sessions at Fishstock 2013


Brixham Museum joined with Fishstock 2013 to offer a program of free activities as part of their schools program. Children of all ages were invited to sign-up to workshops in rope-making, fishing heritage and seafood cookery.

The fishy fun was hosted on a mobile unit from Billingsgate Seafood Training School.











Learning about flintknapping at the museum




Karl Lee is a master flintknapper and archaeologist with over 20 years experience of teaching the manufacture and use of stone (“lithic”), bone and wooden prehistoric tools.




This free session, funded by the Museum fundraisers, gave 14 children, including 11 Young Torbay Careers, the opportunity to make a prehistoric tool.




You can learn more about Karl’s skills at the Primitive Technology website.




Napoleonic Activity Day


Here is a  selection of photographs from our Napoleonic Activity Day which took place at Berry Head on 27th May. The event was aimed at youngsters from toddlers  up to 12 years of age.












Special thanks must go to our  ‘pancake ladies’ Janet and Jackie for all their hard work keeping the troops fed!




Torbay Young Carers Go Digging


Twelve young Torbay carers had a change from their normal routine when they took part in an archaeological dig with museum staff at Berry Head on April 3rd.

All the young carers are under the age of 18 and all have caring responsibilities for a parent or sibling. This dig was their first session with the museum but we hope that they will be joining us again for flint knapping and bootcamp later in the year.













Prehistoric worked flints from Berry Head



BH Neolithic 3 arrowheads


Grants received from the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) Challenge Fund and Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust (TCCT) are currently enabling Brixham Heritage Museum to carry out a detailed study of a collection of over 1,360 prehistoric worked flints with the assistance of archaeological consultant Tim Gent (Archaedia, Winkleigh, Devon).

These ancient flints were recovered from Berry Head during excavations last year (2012) carried out by the Museum’s volunteer archaeological team directed by Museum curator Dr Philip Armitage. Assistance in digging at the site during the summer was provided by TCCT Berry Head Rangers and Torquay Museum Young Explorer Club members. Also participating were groups of preschool children; possibly the youngest children ever in Britain digging at an actual archaeological site! The digs for preschoolers formed part of the programme organised by Brixham Museum for the Torbay Childminders HLF-funded Mini-museum project.

In the earliest stages of excavation, the recovered flints were believed to be debitage (waste products) of flint knapping (tool making using locally sourced beach pebbles) during the Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) around 8,000 years ago. However, the discovery towards the end of the excavation of three leaf-shaped arrowheads, a rubbing stone from a saddle quern and pieces of pottery lead to revision in the dating of the site, now thought to have been occupied by an early Neolithic (New Stone Age) hunting farming community around 5,000 years ago.

Prompted by last year’s exciting discoveries, the Museum hopes to be able to continue to investigate the Berry Head site this year and to publish a full report on the finds.


Victorian Christmas Fayre



On Saturday, 1st December, Brixham Heritage Museum held a Victorian Christmas Fayre. Visitors were attracted by snow, a pipe organ operated by Mr Edgar Lawrance and a group of local singers.



It was a very successful day, opened by Mr Nick Bye who has always been a faithful supporter of our Museum. During the morning, two of the three winners of the Cave Painting competition (run during the Summer) were awarded their prizes; then in the afternoon the Chairman of Brixham Council, Cllr Brian Harland and his wife, May, drew the tickets for the Grand Draw. The £50 cash First Prize was won by Mr Parsons, the second prize of Thorntons’ Chocolates was won by Mr and Mrs J Richardson, and the third prize of a Christmas hamper was won by Mr and Mrs J Lambourne. A chocolate cake was won in a raffle by Mrs S Rossi and Mr I Cubitt won £30 in a Pound Coin Draw.



We would like to thank all the many volunteers who worked so hard throughout the day and also those who helped to set it all up beforehand, and of course dismantle it afterwards.



Our profit from the day will go towards continuing the work of the Brixham Museum to preserve our local heritage.

Lesley Smith


Mini Museum Childminders Achieve National Award


Five Torbay childminders have celebrated reaching top standards.

Annmarie Parfitt, Naomi Barret, Caroline Lane, Martine Philips and Samantha Maidlow have been awarded the Bristol Standard, recognising their commitment to improving the quality and effectiveness of thier childminding services.

They all met monthly for a year to achieve the Bristol Standard, which will help them to develop the quality of care and play through self evaluation.

Certificates, which last a year, are then awarded to settings or individuals who demonstrate thay have set appropriate challenges for improvement.

Torbay council is committed to improving the quality of services and its Early Years Team promotes The Bristol Standard to all early years settings in the Bay.

The council’s Executive Lead for Children, Schools and Families, Cllr Chris Lewis, said: “Well done to all five childminders. I am really pleased that all their hard work has paid off and that they have achieved the Bristol standard.”

“It takes a lot of time and commitment to do this, but they have all demonstrated that they are prepared to go that extra mile to give the children they look after the very best care they can.”