British Empire Enquiry Day (KS3-4)


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Essential information

Key stage: 
Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16
School subject: 
National Maritime Museum
Session times: 
Tuesdays 10.15-14.00
Session price: 
Free (maximum 60 students)

This unique one-day session on the British Empire uses a multi-sensory approach and draws on our collections to address this complex and sensitive subject.

Guiding students through the reality of Empire through the story of the East India Company, we use enquiry and critical-thinking skills to ask why and how the British Empire expanded from trade to imperial control, and what it meant for individuals, communities and cultures in Europe and Asia.

Exploring museum objects, manuscripts, archive film and our galleries and using handling collections and digital resources, students gather and evaluate evidence to understand the impact of The British Empire on the lives of those it shaped and its relevance.

Sessions specifically tailored to meet GCSE and A level requirements are also available. To discuss this contact the museum learning team via

Pupils will:

• Investigate a range of historical evidence to answer various enquiry questions

• Consider the relationship between the East India Company and Empire and how this was able to develop

• Study a range of responses to the British Empire from those who came into contact with it

PDF icon British Empire enquiry day session outline

Booking a session

Sessions cannot be booked online, this is always done via an email or phone enquiry in the first instance.

To book a visit telephone 020 8312 6608 or e-mail

National Maritime Museum schools booking information

Pre-visit preparation and information

  • Upon arrival you will be given a timetable for the day’s activities.
  • All taught sessions are facilitated by Museum staff, whilst in the gallery you will have access to the Museum’s mobile learning tablets to help you and your group explore the gallery in greater depth.
  • Students will participate in activities which will encourage them to formulate their own ideas and opinions. However, some prior preparation would also be of use in order to maximize their learning experience.

Resources and links

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