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:
New virtual schools session now taking bookings from March 2021 onwards!
Virtual Schools Session: Victorian Poetry and the Printing Press (c one hour)
Key Stage 1&2 English, History and Art and Design
In our brand-new virtual session, pupils will receive an introduction to Victorian life in London, William Morris, and his Kelmscott Press.
We will explore some poetry by famous Victorians and some of the features of Victorian poems including myth, folklore, and medieval inspirations. We will then look at some examples of Victorian nonsense poetry and pupils will create their very own nonsense poem.
At the end of the lesson, pupils will design an illuminated letter for the top of their nonsense poems, inspired by Medieval poems, just like William Morris did for the Kelmscott Press.
Printable class packs will be emailed in advance for each pupil to support social distancing, the equipment needed is a printer, paper and colouring pencils and pens, and one internet connected audio and video enabled device with a web cam (we will be using Zoom for our virtual session unless you have a preferred digital platform).
The cost for this session is £60 per class of 30 pupils.
Email our Learning and Outreach Officer, Tabitha, to find out more and book a session: email@example.com
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. Please note that workshops normally take place in the morning, and we can only accommodate one class of 30 at a time owing to space restrictions.
If you would like to arrange an educational visit please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 email@example.com 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.