First World War Secondary School Research

Each academic year, local secondary schools and academies come together at Normanby Hall to research soldiers from WW1. The three-day workshop focuses on the role of Normanby Hall as a recuperation hospital for injured troops.

Students engaging with objects

The students handle real objects from WW1 and learn how to use on-line resources to research the personal and military records of soldiers who were patients at the Hall.

One group, this year, were surprised to discover their soldier’s leg injury was likely to have been received as he tried to run away from the front line. After recovering in Normanby he then had to serve three years in military prison for cowardice.

The presentations and films demonstrated their tenacity when faced with the difficulties often faced by historic researchers.

Students presenting their research to other schools

The students also got the opportunity to have ‘hands on’ talks by Sarah Plant, the Housekeeper at Normanby Hall and Madeleine Grout , Decorative Arts Collections Assistant. This enabled them to see first hand how history is used in the workplace.

Students cleaning the chandeliers at Normanby Hall Country Park

The students research is helping the Museum Service to build a more detailed picture of the different soldiers who stayed at the Hall. It is also giving the students the opportunity to develop important skills for their future studies and careers.

Bev Oliver, Learning Officer


Takeover Day at Normanby Hall Country Park

North Lincolnshire Museum Service takes part in Takeover Day every year. This year it was at Normanby Hall Country Park with three students from St Hugh’s Communication and Interaction College.

The students were working on a conservation project with Sarah Plant, the Housekeeper at Normanby Hall. The Hall is closed to the public during winter and all the items of furniture, objects and pictures are cleaned and conserved to keep them in good order for the future.  The chandeliers have to be lowered down from the ceiling and each individual glass droplet is taken off and polished. This is what the three students spent the morning doing.


After a demonstration from Sarah the young people set about the task with a great deal of enthusiasm. As the students worked, Sarah talked about some of the history of the Hall. The young people found this really interesting and asked lots of questions. One of the girls wanted to know how long Sarah had been the house keeper and what her favourite part of the job was.


When the students had finished cleaning the chandelier, Sarah took them to see the oldest chandelier in the dining room. The chandelier was lit up and looked spectacular. The students were amazed by it and spent several minutes looking at it.

All three students enjoyed their time at Normanby Hall and comments included ‘This place is awesome.’, ‘I would like to work here.’ and ‘I am going to come back soon.’

We would welcome future projects with St Hugh’s Communication and Interaction College as both the staff and students got a lot out of the project.


Rachel Holmes, Learning Officer


North Lincolnshire, East Riding and Hull Museums are working together to celebrate our amazing artefacts and spaces.

We have come up with a list of open-ended inclusive activities for families to do together. We wanted to share some of our favourite and most popular activities, helping families to find fun and engaging ways to explore our collections. We also wanted to give children the option of inventing their own activity. Families can complete 5 suggested challenges or come up with 5 of their own to be awarded a ‘5 things’ sticker.

Can you climb on our climbing tree at Normanby Hall and Country Park?


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Cook up a feast in the Ironstone Cottage!


Esther Hallberg, under 5s Learning Officer for Hull Heritage Learning devised a creative and interactive way for families to record their ‘5 things’, by drawing, writing or attaching photographs to our flyer. You can download our flyer here: NL_5Things


Dr Rebecca Kummerfeld, Learning Manager

Normanby Hall WW1 Secondary School History project

Students perform a scene for their short film

We have just completed another successful history workshop working with local secondary schools.

The three-day workshop is based at Normanby Hall and focuses on its role in WW1 as a recuperation hospital for injured troops.

During the workshop the students are taught how to use on-line resources to research the personal and military records of soldiers who were patients at the Hall.

Each school is allocated a soldier to research and creates a presentation summerising what they have discovered. They then use their research along with real and replica objects to create a short film.

Their research is helping the Museum Service to build a more detailed picture of the different soldiers who stayed at the Hall. It is giving the students the opportunity to develop important skills for their future studies.

Bev Oliver, Learning Officer

New Learning Garden at Normanby


We have been working to build a new garden for all our learning activities at Normanby. After many months of hard work, it is ready just in time for this beautiful weather!

The new space is designed for groups to learn about gardening through hands on activities, conducting scientific experiments and making observations.

We have developed a new garden workshop  called “Science in the Garden”. It is suitable for KS1 and 2 children. This workshop encourages children to explore the gardens and discover the Normanby Park potting shed. Then conduct scientific experiments to learn about soil, growing conditions and plants. Record observations and use the evidence to present findings to the group. Children will use gardening tools in this hands-on practical workshop.

We will also offer bespoke sessions for groups of older children or adults.  There is lots of evidence that suggests gardening is beneficial to our wellbeing. See our ‘about’ page for contact details to book.

The plants are ready to go in, the new garden is ready now. There is a potting shed, raised beds, poly tunnels and a greenhouse to work in. Your group will also get to do some gardening inside the walled garden and tropical greenhouse.

Rachel Holmes, Learning Officer

Easter Tots at Normanby Hall Country Park


On April 7 we ran an Easter event for under 5s and their grown ups at Normanby. We had a wonderful time enjoying songs, stories, hunting for clues to find the Easter Bunny and lots more.

In planning sessions for under 5s we aim to provide opportunities for children to learn through play, to communicate and of course to have fun.

In this session we shared an interactive reading of the story ‘Sunny Bunny’, by Penny Little and Sean Julian, using props, actions and noises to act out the story together with the children.

We also created an Easter sensory table for children to explore and initiate their own play. This encouraged them to touch, listen to egg shakers, to count bunnies and chicks and to make a game hiding them inside eggs or boxes for another child to guess what was inside.

We also added plastic eggs to our water tray and painted bunnies using cotton wool and finished with some very energetic action songs.

Normanby Tots sessions like this run monthly during termtime on selected dates: 9 May, 6 June and 4 July 1.30-2.30pm and at North Lincs Museum weekly on Fridays during term time 1.30-2.30pm.

Come and join us!

Rosalind Macaulay, Under 5s Learning Officer

Woodland Adventure Learning


North Lincolnshire Museum Service has branched out this Spring to offer a Forest School themed educational programme to schools, groups and corporate teams.

Forest School is a unique educational experience that offers children the opportunity to develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland environment. Children engage in motivating and achievable tasks and activities throughout the year and in almost all weathers.

Our trained Level 3 Forest School Leader and Learning Officer, Jennifer Wakefield has been putting together an exciting new programme to encourage children to engage with the woodland at Normanby through a variety of workshops themed around the National Curriculum.

Children will have the opportunity to work with tools, play, learn boundaries of behaviour; both physical and social, grow in confidence, self-esteem and motivation whilst developing an understanding of the natural world.

The sessions provided to schools will also be offered to groups and corporate teams wishing to participate in team building activities.

Woodland Adventure Learning is being piloted with 3 schools in February and is set to be offered fully to schools etc. week beginning 14th March. Please contact us for further information.

Jennifer Wakefield, Learning OfficerIMG_5410

Autumn pond-dipping


This month saw our last school visit for Pond Dipping at Normanby Hall Country Park. With the recent mixed weather we wondered what, if anything, they would find in the lake.The children were excited to find:

· Diving beetles

· Mayfly larvae

· Blood worms

· Freshwater shrimps

· Water fleas (Daphnia)

· Lesser water boatmen

· Flat worms

· A water hog louse

· A large water scorpion

One group were lucky enough to see two herons fly gracefully over the lake in search of some tasty fish for their lunch. All the groups managed to see the fallow, red and albino deer at close quarters.

A successful end to the season for the lake before the pond life hibernates for the winter.

Lisa Howarth, Learning Manager

Thinking about Spring


Now that we are in to the new year,  it is a good time to start thinking about spring and summer school visits.

Normanby Hall Country Park is the ideal location for science and georgraphy based workshops. We offer a wide range of hands-on workshops for Foundation through to Key Stage Two.

We are currently working on two new workshops to be launched in the spring.

Science in the Garden

Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2

An area of Normanby Park will be set aside for classes of children to conduct many interesting scientific experiments to learn about soil, growing conditions and plants. The children will record their observations and use the evidence to present their findings to the rest of the group. This practical workshop is fully hands on; the children will use many gardening tools and scientific instruments and have great fun while learning.

The workshop differs from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2 to reflect the learning objectives in the National Curriculum.

Changing Seasons

Foundation and Key Stage 1

Use the beautiful setting of Normanby Hall Country Park for fun activities and songs to teach the children about the seasonal changes in Britain. Children will gain an understanding about plant life cycles including growth and decay, with this hand on workshop.

We also have a limited number of free workshops on offer at Normanby Hall Country Park.

25 Free Environmental Visits

Free visits are available through the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme, managed by Natural England. Enhance your curriculum delivery of science and geography through a combination of guided and self-led activities in the parkland.

Choose one of the following guided sessions.

  • Pond Dipping
  • A Bug’s Life / Habitats
  • Woodland Detectives

We will offer you a choice of self led activities when you book. Due to a high demand, there is a limit of two classes per school. We offer these workshops on a first come first serve basis. Book early to avoid disappointment.

To book email

Visit to find out more information about Normanby Hall Country Park

Autumn inspiration


Since our storytelling area was launched at Normanby Hall Country Park this summer, we have had some fantastic workshops with schools. The workshop can be  delivered to Foundation and Primary key stage one and two. Each workshop is unique to each school, as it is the children that dictate the content. They use the surroundings and their own emotions and experiences to create their own story and share their story with the rest of the class. The workshop is great for literacy as they use different types of words, communicate with others. We encourage them to collect photos and recordings so they can write down the story back at school. We have had such a wide variety of stories including appearances of gruffalos, spaceships, trolls and fairies.

We have especially enjoyed schools booking sessions at our workshop this autumn. All of our other outdoor workshops rely on the spring and summer season, so it is great to be able to offer schools an experience in autumn. The woodland is such an amazing space to spark imagination and ideas and allow those creative juices to flow. It is even better in autumn when it is dry and cool and the leaves are starting to turn colour. The changing season makes the woodland seem more alive and the perfect setting for a magical story.

Being outdoors is also proven to boost children’s feel-good factors and make them feel better about themselves. As long as they are warm and dry, being outdoors can be a great way to inspire them and get them working in a different way.

To find out more about this workshop or any others that we offer visit