School visits

Bring your teaching to life and inspire your students at our 190 sites across Northern Ireland. Your students can explore and discover the places where history happened at our prehistoric sites, castles and abbeys including Beaghmore Stone Circles, Carrickfergus Castle and Greyabbey just to name a few. Come and visit us for free on a self-led visit, or enhance your day and let our tour guides lead a hands visit for you.

Teaching and learning resources

We want to make sure that you feel confident to step straight into Northern Ireland’s story when visiting one of our historic places. That’s why we’re continually developing a range of relevant and engaging resources to support school groups before, during and after their visit.

Take the hassle out of planning and enhance your group's learning experience, both inside and outside the classroom, with our range of educational resources.

School visits

To truly understand history, students need to stand in the places where it was made. That's why we're dedicated to bringing history to life through authentic, engaging and enriching learning experiences for as many school-age children as possible. Below are a suite of Education resources tailored to the Northern Ireland curriculum.

Carrickfergus Castle: I can colour the castle

This simple Key Stage 1 colouring and writing book combines historical elements with fantasy to begin the journey of a child’s understanding of castles. Loosely based on John de Courcy and his wife Affrecca, it encourages children through colouring to begin exploring castles including myths and legends associated with them and teachers can begin to untangle the historical elements from the fantasies.

Let's explore life in early times

This booklet aimed at Key Stage 2 provides an opportunity for students to travel through time and explore the impact people have had on the Northern Ireland landscape over 9000 years. From the first peoples, who arrived around 7000BC they can discover how new ideas and inventions changed how people lived and worked. It also introduces some of the places that can be visited.

The Anglo-Normans in Ireland

This Key Stage 2 booklet introduces the architectural elements of castles in general before embarking on specific exercises to be done at Carrickfergus Castle, one of Northern Ireland’s iconic Anglo-Norman sites. It then broadens out with the historical context of Prince John’s visit to Ireland in 1185 and the following expeditions.

Our Visit to Inch Abbey (KS2 & KS3)

A worksheet that can be used on site or after in the classroom to encourage pupils to record what they experienced on the site. Can be completed using the interpretation panels on site.

Carrickfergus Castle – Can you spot? (KS2)

A simple exercise in observation and counting. Can be used on its own in the classroom.

Grey Abbey - Information for teachers

This comprehensive publication provides teacher with a lot of detail about Grey Abbey and includes a guided tour. It also encourages cross curricular approaches to maximise the educational value of a visit to the site.

Grey Abbey’s long and complex history, beautiful surroundings and religious significance make it a great place to visit for pupils studying a variety of subjects. KS2 pupils will benefit immensely from the cross-curricular possibilities of the site and teachers of KS3 students are encouraged to consider the educational approaches across all subject areas.

Inch Abbey - Information for teachers

This comprehensive publication provides teacher with a lot of detail about Grey Abbey and includes a guided tour. It also encourages cross curricular approaches to maximise the educational value of a visit to the site.

Inch Abbey’s long and complex history, beautiful surroundings and religious significance make it a great place to visit for pupils studying a variety of subjects. KS2 pupils will benefit immensely from the cross-curricular possibilities of the site and teachers of KS3 students are encouraged to consider the educational approaches across all subject areas.

Let’s Explore Carrickfergus Castle

This comprehensive publication provides teacher with a lot of detail about Carrickfergus Castle. It can be used at KS3 – The Impact of the Norman’s on the Medieval World. It also encourages cross curricular approaches to maximise the educational value of a visit to the site.

Carrickfergus Castle’s long and complex history and dramatic site make it a great place to visit for pupils studying a variety of subjects. Guided tours are available all year.

Let’s Explore Carrickfergus Castle – Activity Book

This companion publication aimed at higher KS2 and KS3 pupils, provides a range of activities linked to the curriculum which can be used as a follow up activity after a visit to the Castle. It encourages good language skills, interpretation of historical sources and the concept of change and continuity. A section is included on essay writing.

Dundrum Castle - Information for teachers

This comprehensive publication provides teacher with a lot of detail about Dundrum Castle and includes a guided tour. It can be used at KS3 – The Impact of the Norman’s on the Medieval World. It also encourages cross curricular approaches to maximise the educational value of a visit to the site.

Dundrum Castle’s long and complex history and beautiful surroundings make it a great place to visit for pupils studying a variety of subjects. The on-site guide can also do demonstrations of Medieval Weaponry.

Carrickfergus Castle story book for nursery age

This story book was specifically written to engage very young nursery children with the castle. It is designed to be very colourful so that children can start to identify the images while the story is read to them. Key Stage 1 children can also be encouraged to read the book once they have sufficient literary skill. It is loosely based on facts, with John and Affrecca de Courcy the main characters. But its aim is to introduce the concept of the medieval period with knights, squires and tournaments set against the fact that they had enemies and battles as well.

Download: Carrickfergus Castle story book for nursery age

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