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Learning Zone

We offer a wide range of learning opportunities for formal and informal providers.

Visits to the museum, outreach to your setting and loans boxes are free to educational providers such as:

  • schools
  • nurseries
  • colleges
  • child minders
  • home educators

providing sessions are booked in advance.

Visits and workshop activities are led by museum staff to help you to get the most out of your time in our inspiring Victorian railway station setting.

Workshops can cover early railway history and the development of the Stockton and Darlington Railway; local history; STEM; creative writing; and art.

Whist we have some set workshops, we can also tailor activities to suit the curriculum and learning needs of your group.

Members of our learning team can provide some workshops as outreach, as well as attending staff meetings or training sessions to show how the museum can support and inspire learning.

The Northern Rail Activity Room can be used by schools making a visit to use as a base and to eat packed lunches in.

It is also open for a variety of activities during school holidays and on event days.

How to book

To book an educational visit or for more information on educational activities please contact Sarah Gouldsbrough, Learning and Access Officer.

You can download our teachers information pack [pdf document] for information on planning your visit and help with Health and Safety.



The Sandford Award for Heritage Education

August 2021

We’ve won the Sandford Award for Heritage Education for the second time!

The award is an independently judged, quality assured assessment of education programmes at heritage sites, museums, archives and collections across the British Isles.

Our learning programmes have been assessed for quality, relevance to the curriculum and practical arrangements as well as the range of what we offer to schools and other learners.

The judge said “Head of Steam – Darlington Railway Museum has huge significance as an example of the developing railway era during the industrial revolution.

As such, it is of special interest at local, national and international levels. Not only is the physical resource of buildings, railway lines and engines exceptional, but also is the array of creatively designed and presented resources, carefully woven into exciting learning programmes.

The Museum has taken careful steps to make it accessible to all. Everyone is offered a most enjoyable visit around a dramatically engaging learning space”.

Making a Mark

Head of Steam is working in partnership with museums across the Tees Valley and the National Portrait Gallery in an exciting project funded by Arts Council England. Making a Mark is all about investigating our local history through the people that made their mark. For more information on our Primary and Secondary programmes for schools, please contact the Learning and Access Officer.

Head of Steam - Darlington Railway Museum is an Arts Award Supporter, and is supporting Arts Award Discover through our Making a Mark programme. This provides a range of creative writing activities for schools, which would enable young people to work towards Arts Award Discover.

The Museum also has a variety of temporary art exhibitions and can provide work experience and volunteering opportunities.

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