About National Maritime Museum school resources

Search our resources by subject and Key Stage from Foundation to Post-16.

Find out about the National Maritime Museum teacher resources, a rich collection of curriculum-linked resources specially designed for the classroom, including high quality images of themed objects, films and learning activities.

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EYFS, Key Stage 1-3

Stories from the Sea

This unique Stories from the Sea resource supports teachers to develop children’s skills in writing by inspiring them to explore our local and national maritime past through world-class museum collections of objects, paintings and manuscripts, intriguing stories and unforgettable characters.

What’s in this resource?

  • Exploration resource: Enter the exciting world of exploration, and discover plenty of ideas for great story-writing. Get to grips with all the stages of an exploration expedition: preparing to leave; going on the journey; encounters with unfamiliar people and new lands; and the legacy of exploration. In these activities apply to join an expedition, create your own new world, describe what you find and write songs to keep your spirits up.
  • Pirates resource: Welcome to the merciless and thieving world of pitiless pirates, full of flintlock pistols, pieces-of-eight and Jolly Rogers – and plenty of fodder for great story writing. Use these objects and images to talk about pirates and inspire writing.
  • Shipwrecks resource: Enter the dangerous world of shipwrecks, full of lifeboats, lifebuoys and lifejackets – and plenty of inspiration for great story-writing. Use these objects and images to talk about shipwrecks and inspire writing.
Stories from the Sea is a partnership between the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, and Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth. The resource is funded by Arts Council England’s Museums and Schools programme.

Key Stage 2

Francis Drake: Pirate, Explorer or Privateer?

Search Francis Drake resources

This daring Tudor seafarer was seen as reckless by some, fearsome by others, a hero by many – so who was Francis Drake? Students develop historical enquiry skills and their understanding of exploration in the Tudor period in this investigation of Francis Drake and the events of his famous circumnavigation.

What’s in this resource?

Great assets for Key Stage 2 History lessons including:
  • A short film with Tudor actors, galleries of key paintings, objects and historical sources and a set of lesson ideas all designed to support you in delivering engaging historical enquiry in the classroom.
  • Starter ideas introducing students to Francis Drake and exploration in Tudor times
  • ‘Tudor Question Time’ hot-seat activity that brings Queen Elizabeth I and King Philip II of Spain into your classroom
  • Historical enquiry where students test their hypotheses about Francis Drake – was he a pirate, explorer or privateer?


How did explorers get by in places where they didn’t speak the language or understand the local customs? How and why did they record their experiences?
This pack introduces the realities of life at sea for two young, inexperienced explorers and complements studies of other seafaring explorers such as Shackleton and Sir Francis Drake.

What's in this resource?

  • overview stories of the explorers William Gooch and Omai, a Tahitian explorer
  • an image bank that includes transcribed letters and journals written by the astronomer William Gooch and 18th-century paintings, prints and writings relating to Omai
  • activity suggestions and ideas for ways you could use these resources in the classroom


This set of downloadable PDF resources has been specially written for teachers. They contain teachers' notes, classroom activities and illustrations to support children studying the Vikings as raiders, traders and settlers.
You can use these materials as stand-alone resources for the classroom, or to support a Vikings programme at the Museum.

What's in this resource?

Within each section the materials are further separated into:
  • ships and navigation
  • costumes and dyes
  • trade and artefacts
  • literacy links

Key Stage 3

East India Company (Historical enquiry)

How did the East India Company change lives in Britain and Asia? Introduce your students to one of the most powerful commercial enterprises the world has ever known.

What’s in this resource?

Assets designed to support you in delivering engaging historical enquiry in the classroom including:
  • 10 short films
  • galleries of key paintings and objects 
  • a set of lesson ideas
Activities complement the KS3 East India Company study day.


Long before Dragon’s Den and The Apprentice, there was another high profile opportunity for innovators and inventors that captured the imagination of a nation. The Longitude Act was passed in 1714 and offered rewards of up to £20,000 for anyone who could solve the problem of finding longitude at sea.
This cross-curricular pack of images, films and activities provides a launch pad to investigate the history of enterprise, drawing together aspects of KS3 PSHEE and History. 

What’s in this resource?

  • an overview of the history of the Board of Longitude
  • short films introducing the history of the Board of Longitude and telling the story of the development of the Nautical Almanac
  • a selection of primary sources relating to the Board of Longitude
  • activity suggestions and ideas for ways you could use these resources in the classroom 


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