Our highly interactive role-play workshops bring local history to life and object-handling sessions give children a first-hand opportunity to learn about the past by examining genuine historic artefacts.

A visit can support teaching across many curriculum areas. The Museum is particularly relevant to the study of local history and the development of historical enquiry skills, as well as supporting design and technology, geography, English and citizenship.

To more information and workshop prices please email vhm.schoolbookings@walthamforest.gov.uk.

Loan boxes

The Vestry House Museum  loan boxes are ideal for use with schools and other groups.

  • An opportunity to handle real objects from the Museum’s collection
  • A Powerpoint and information sheets for each object, giving details of use and history
  • Background information for the period that the objects illustrate
  • Suggested activities to explore the objects and their historical period

Victorian Domestic Life 1 & 2: Cooking, cleaning, lighting, servant life and never ending chores, including hot water bottles, sugar nippers and butter hands.

Washday in the 1930s: Life before washing machines, including memories of local women, brushes, washboards and irons.

Toys and Games from around the World 1 & 2: From the Middle Ages to the early 1900s. Diablo, Cup and Ball, Oware Game, Spinning Tops. Find out where popular games like Chess came from, and lots more to explore.

World War II Home Front: Life on the Home Front in Waltham Forest, including tape-recorded memories, food and protection materials. Plus information about the contribution made by African. African Caribbean and Asian people during World War II.

Tea, Coffee and The Transatlantic Slave Trade: Which explores the links between the Borough of Waltham Forest and The Transatlantic Slave Trade and an emerging Black population.

You can borrow a box for 3 weeks (allowing for 3 days quarantine at either end). It will be delivered and collected from your school by Waltham Forest’s eco-friendly ZED couriers.

Boxes are normally delivered on the first Wednesday of the month term-times. A further fee is chargeable for any loss or damage. The service costs  £50 for schools and community groups in Waltham Forest.

Please contact us on for full details of loan box contents and terms and conditions at vhm.schoolbookings@walthamforest.gov.uk and we will send them to you.

We are currently updating contents list and these will be published on line very shortly

We Are Here resource pack

To accompany our We Are Here exhibition we have created a free resource pack to explore the lives and contributions of the ‘Windrush’ residents of Waltham Forest.

Local History Resource Pack – We Are Here


Toys and Games


In this workshop pupils will consider what makes a toy exciting and fun to play with. Through examination of handling objects they will look at the differences between toys from 1880s and the types of toys they play with now.

Sessions last for around 60-90mins.

Then and Now: Home Life

KS1 & KS2

Children explore historic domestic objects from flat irons to candle snuffers and find out what cooking, cleaning, lighting, servant life and never-ending chores were like for people at the time. The session ends with a Museum tour.

Sessions last around 60-90 minutes.

How Walthamstow has Changed


Children explore the different uses of the Museum from Workhouse to Police Station, and investigate how Walthamstow has changed using historic maps and original photographs. The session ends with a Museum tour.

Sessions last around 90 minutes.

World War Two: the Home Front


Children learn through role play about war-time Walthamstow, what it was like to be an evacuee, to live on rations and the horror of the air raids. They also have the opportunity to handle genuine WWII artefacts. The session ends with a Museum tour.

Workshops last 120 minutes.

Victorian School Days in Waltham Forest


Children meet strict Victorian school mistress, Miss Stern, and find out what school was like for Victorian pupils through classroom role play, costume and object handling. Compare and contrast Walthamstow’s Victorian schools with what they are like today using our archive photos. The session ends with a Museum tour.

Workshops last 120 minutes.



Children recreate an interactive timeline and travel back over 2000 years to learn what life was like in Roman Britain. This workshop is packed with activities which really bring the past to life, including the opportunity to interview a Roman soldier in full battle dress.

Sessions last around 120mins.

Walthamstow’s Workhouse: Society and the Poor

KS2 & KS3

Children build a picture of life in Vestry Workhouse using the evidence of the building itself, handling objects archive documents and role-playing to decide who qualifies for Poor Relief. This workshop supports History, Citizenship and Literacy curriculum outcomes. The session ends with a Museum tour.

Workshops last 120 minutes.

Crime and Punishment

KS2 & KS3

Children gain an insight into crime and punishment in the past and how it compares with today by the use of imaginative and informative games and drama activities, exploring historical documents and experiencing prison life in Vestry’s unique prison cell. The session ends with a Museum tour.

Workshops last 120 minutes.

World War One: from Waltham Forest to Wipers!

KS2 & KS3

Children learn more about Waltham Forest’s part in World War One both at home and on the Front by exploring original photographs, postcards and film footage of soldiers through lively use of storytelling, roleplay and problem solving. The session ends with a Museum tour.

Workshops last 120 minutes.