Perpetuating the memory of one of the greatest men of the Victorian age

Education

As a writer, designer, printer, passionate socialist and pioneer of the Arts and Crafts Movement William Morris remains an influential and inspirational figure.

The Society offers many ways to learn about and enjoy the work of this eminent Victorian:

School Visits

Visits from schools and local children are vital in strengthening the Society’s links to the community. Over the past 10 years, curator Helen Elletson has been working hard to expand our programme of educational activities. We particularly welcome pupils from Years 5 and 6 who are studying the Victorian period.

The success of these visits is vital in fulfilling the Society’s remit to bring Morris’ work to a new audience. It also shows that traditional crafts that take their inspiration from Nature can still have a role in the lives of today’s gadget-obsessed kids.

Cost: Workshops cost £120 per class of up to 30 children.  Two or more of the workshops can be combined.

If you would like to arrange an educational visit please contact admin@williammorrissociety.org.uk.

Sessions for Key Stages 1 & 2

  • Stained Glass (c 40 minutes)                       Key Stages 1& 2 Art and Design/History

The children learn about Morris’s printing press and his interest in illuminated manuscripts, Medieval design and nature, before drawing and ‘illuminating’ a letter with pens on acetate to create their own stained glass design.

  • Textile Design (c 40 minutes)             Key Stages 1& 2 Art and Design/History

After an introduction which explores how important nature was to William Morris and looks at the construction of leaves and of repeating designs, the children draw on ‘silk’, inspired by Morris’s natural designs.  The children may choose flowers, fruit, leaves etc and they need to focus on three components of their design only (repeated pattern designing).  They will also look at wallpaper and fabric patterns, with a focus on repetition, symmetry, colours and textures.  At the end of the session the individual pieces are put together forming a large continuous block.

  • Victorian Object Handling (c 20 minutes)             Key Stages 1 & 2 History

We show the children a selection of Victorian objects that we have here at the Coach House, such as a Candle Snuffer, Carpet Beater, Candlesticks, Breadcrumb Sweeper, Nutcracker, Embroidery Sampler, Sugar Cube Tongs, Chamber pot, Ink pot and Bell pull.

  • Story-Telling (one hour)             Key Stages 1 & 2 English

Retelling “Sigurd and the Dragon”.   Based on Morris’s Icelandic Sagas, join Sigurd in his adventures in the mountains where he is advised by Odin and faces the fearsome dragon, Fafnir.   He finally vanquishes Fafnir and takes his fabulous treasure.  The pupils enact the story in costume ending with a tableau vivant.

  • Wallpaper printing (45 mins)             Key Stage 2 Art and Design/Maths

Following an introduction looking at woodblock and wallpaper books, the children use woodblocks to create designs, and paper, paint and brushes to do the actual printing.   Colours will be restricted.  Each child creates and prints their own design.

We can limit designs to leaves/flowers/birds or other themes which work for the school.  The closing ten minutes will look at the Kelmscott Chaucer and the Printing press.

 

Workshops

Sigurd & The Dragon Drama Workshop (YR1/2)

Citizenship Session for Key Stage 2 and 3

This workshop is based on Ford Maddox Brown’s painting Work and  explores the different layers of society in the 19th century, as employment moved from the country to towns and cities ; the pupils will explore job satisfaction, job prospects, and general “happiness” through the people in the painting . In addition they will have experience of “reading” a painting . It is designed for years 5 – 7 but can be adapted for years 3 and 4 .

Maximum numbers per group 16. The session lasts for about 40 minutes .

Book a visit

If you would like to book a school visit please contact admin@williammorrissociety.org.uk or telephone:  +44 (0)208 741 3735

Half Term and Full Term Holiday Workshops

We regularly hold workshops for children during half-term and summer holidays. Please visit our Whats On page for details.