Schools and Early Years

Schools and Early Years

Educational projects and programmes which excite and inspire

From art to history, religion to nature and so much more, the sites and stories of Auckland Castle offer an array of educational opportunities.

Whilst Auckland Castle is closed for conservation works until autumn 2019, we are offering a range of sessions and projects for schools, including outreach and site visits; our Mining Art Gallery opened in October 2017, and here we offer our popular Mining for Art session.

  • From Monday, 1 April 2019

At the end of March 2019, the Heritage Lottery Funding (now known as National Lottery Heritage Fund) which has been supporting our school’s programmes throughout the renovation of Auckland Castle comes to an end. This means our learning work will be moving into a new phase. As a charity with the revival of Bishop Auckland at its heart, The Auckland Project is committed to supporting the schools local to Bishop Auckland whose pupils would benefit most from the programmes we offer, if your school is within 5 miles of Bishop Auckland and you have 35% or more pupils receiving pupil premium you are eligible to be a partner school, partner schools will receive access to subsidised workshops and projects.

Find out more about the benefits of being a partner school by e-mailing

We will also offer subsidised education to all Early Years providers and SEND schools. If you are not eligible to receive subsidised education we are still more than happy to welcome you to The Auckland Project, but from 1 April we will be charging a competitive fee as follows. Full day visits and workshops will be charged at £5 per pupil and half-day workshops will be charged at £3.50 per pupil on site and £2 per pupil as outreach. Self led site visits with no workshop will be charged at the standard admission rate of £1 per child (One adult free for every 5 children)


  • NEW! Arts Award and Artsmark partnerships

Make the most of the Mining Art Gallery and our outreach programme and work towards your ‘Discover’ and ‘Explore’ Arts Award. Learn more about visual art, local artists and participate in a range of art forms either on-site or at your school.

We are also official Artsmark partners and can help you work towards gaining Artsmark for your school. Why not partner with us on a project with a historic focus or use our venues for your CPD?

  • Mining for Art

Explore the history of mining and the creativity of the men who worked underground in bespoke sessions designed to inspire pupils and give them new perspectives on the North East, what it takes to be an artist, and the materials and styles used to create arresting artworks. Sessions are bespoke, and work best for smaller class sizes, if you have a larger class we can combine this session with a Printing Press workshop providing a full day of activity, ideal for  KS2 upwards – get in touch for more information.

  • Outreach sessions at your school

Outreach sessions involve a range of activities in a session led by our Education Officer in your school, including crafts, storytelling and object handling. Each session lasts approx. 2.5 hours – contact us to find out more about each session.

Who were the Prince Bishops…and why should we care?! (KS1/KS2; Local History, Citizenship)

Pollard and the Boar (KS1/Myths and Legends)

Northern Saints and the Anglo-Saxon conversion to Christianity (KS1/KS2; RE, History – Anglo-Saxons)

Work and Play in a mining community (KS1/KS2; Local history – Victorians/Early 20th century)

  • Heritage Schools

In partnership with Historic England, pupils and teachers learn new skills and discover the history of their local area as they gain ‘Heritage School’ status for their school. Whether it’s a series of sessions or a dedicated, cross-curriculum week, we’re delighted to work with you to develop a programme of activities which provide enriching experiences for your classes.

  • To market, to market!

Explore over 200 years of history in one place! Take a walking tour to find out about historic buildings of Bishop Auckland Market Place and the stories which lie behind them. Investigate historic maps, photographs and census documents to discover who lived in the market place in Victorian and Edwardian times. Examine unusual artefacts and discover first-hand how people used to live. Perfect for classes studying local history as part of their curriculum.

Session based in Bishop Auckland market place, No. 42 and the town hall.

  • Early Years Outreach: The roar of the boar!

An interactive storytelling and craft workshop for Early Years, discover the exciting local tale of Pollard and the boar.

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