Primary taught bookletPrimary Taught Sessions

Download the Primary Schools Programme 2014-15

See what primary schools have been inspired to do by their visit to the Pitt Rivers Museum at:


Totem pole



Take One... Totem Pole KS1 & 2 New

Take One Object is an exciting way to inspire imaginative learning across the primary curriculum. This is the first year the Pitt Rivers Museum will be involved in the project, pioneered by the National Gallery, alongside several new venues in Oxford.

The Museum totem pole will act as a springboard for pupils’ critical and creative thinking as they find out the story of this 11.36m red cedar pole. People, place, story and identity are all key lines of enquiry.
Download Teacher Notes (PDF)

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Guided Trails for KS1 & 2

Maximum group size: 32  Length of session: 75 minutes

First visit to the museum

First Visit to the Pitt Rivers Museum KS1
Play a game of I-Spy around the Museum and discover an exciting range of objects from around the world.  60 minutes. First visit to the museum teacher information sheet (pdf)


Ancient Egypt KS1 & KS2
Pupils become detectives as they look at artefacts that have survived from Ancient Egypt, such as mummies and scarab beetles. Egypt teacher information sheet (pdf)

Native Americans

Native Americans  KS1&2
Discover what shirts and tipis can reveal about identity and environment. Pupils find out about the lifestyle of Northern Plains Indians in the past and today. Native Americans teacher information sheet (pdf)

Exploring Identity

How a Tree can Tell a Story KS1&2
Explore how environment can shape identity through a case study of the Haida people from the NW coast of Canada. The Museum totem pole shows how their craft and stories are shaped by the giant red cedars. How a tree can tell a story teacher information sheet (pdf)


The Inuit KS1&2
Find out about traditional Inuit life and explore the materials available to craftsmen in a  cold environment. Inuits teacher information sheet (pdf)


Africa KS1 & 2
Investigate power and status objects from Benin and explore the diversity of African cultures. Africa teacher information sheet (pdf)

The Aztecs

The Aztecs KS2
Pupils build up a picture of how an Aztec person might have looked as they discover Aztec artefacts, as well as Central-American featherwork and body arts. Aztecs teacher information sheet (pdf)


Hands-on Workshops for KS1 & 2

Workshops are led by Education Officers and allow pupils to handle and learn from Museum artefacts.

Maximum group size: 32 


Materials KS1
Use your senses to explore objects, take themed backpacks around the Museum and discover the variety of materials people use to make everyday objects.  60 minutes. Materials teacher information sheet (pdf)


Puppets and Stories  KS1&2

Be inspired by the Hindu story of the Ramayana, handle Javanese shadow puppets, and learn about light and shadow.  75 minutes. Puppets and stories teacher information sheet (pdf)


Masks KS1&2
Consider why people wear masks and how they are used in celebrations, performances and ceremonies.  60 minutes. Masks teacher information sheet (pdf)

Object handling

What is it?  KS2
Examine mystery objects from around the world in this fun general introduction to the Museum.  40 minutes. What is it teacher information sheet (pdf)

Extreme environments

Extreme Environments  KS2
Explore how people and animals adapt in different ways to living in extreme environments from rainforest, savannah, arctic and mountain environments. 90 minutes. Extreme Envionments teacher information sheet (pdf)

history detectives

History Detective  KS2
Use historical enquiry skills and a range of sources to find out about a mystery person, and discover what objects can reveal about people and places.  90 minutes. History detectives teacher information sheet (pdf)

Remarkable Victoria women

Remarkable Victorian Women KS2 NEW   Local History Links
Tour the Museum with visitors from the past - the explorer Mary Kingsley in the Pitt Rivers and the fossil hunter Mary Anning in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. 105 minutes. Remarkable Victorian Women teacher information sheet (pdf)

Light and colour

Light and Colour KS2 Science NEW
Experiment with shadows, lanterns and bow-drills, and discover how different cultures have used colour with pigment and dyes. 90 minutes. Light and Colour teacher information sheet (pdf)

African music African Music  Years 5 & 6
Discover the music and instruments of Africa, play a traditional piece on the giant Ugandan embaire xylophone and explore the African collections in the Museum.  135 minutes African Music teacher information sheet (pdf)