Learning workshops at Petworth

Children enjoying a Victorian workshop

At Petworth we currently have five workshops exploring different aspects of the curriculum. Our workshops focus on art, history, nature and science using the setting of Petworth House and Park as a classroom.

Inspired by nature

Suitable for Key Stage 1 and 2

Through exploration of the landscape and woodcarving that the Petworth mansion has to offer, students will discover how nature has influenced a variety of artists. They will learn to analyse the colour and texture of wild objects, while creating a variety of crafts inspired by nature to take away with them.

Students will gain a basic understanding of portraits, landscapes and sculptures and see examples of how each can be used to reflect nature. They will understand the properties of natural objects and how this can affect their purpose. Part of this workshop will take place outside in the Pleasure Grounds, giving students the opportunity to connect with nature and art.

History, Nature, Art and Science

Turner at Petworth

Suitable for Key Stage 1 and 2

Students will take an interactive tour of the Turners on display at Petworth. They will also explore the close connection between J.M.W Turner and this wonderful environment. Students will be challenged to try a variety of drawing and painting styles from fast pencil sketches to ultimately creating a final watercolour piece inspired by the artist himself.

Students will understand who J.M.W Turner was and his importance in British art. They will learn the significance of Petworth and its landscape as a source of inspiration for British artists in the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as being able to recognise some of Turner’s signature painting styles. By the end of the day all students will have increased their practical art knowledge and broadened their artistic vocabulary.

Practical Art, History, History of Art, Nature

Meet the Victorian Servants

Suitable for Key Stage 1 and 2

Travel back in time to 1890 and discover what life was like for a Victorian servant working in the mansion at Petworth. Students will have the opportunity to meet four of the following servants; Housekeeper, Butler, House Maid, Dairy Maid, Kitchen Maid. Students will learn about the food, inventions and technology of the era and will be expected to help the very busy servants with their daily chores.

Students will learn about the daily life and routine of Victorian servants at Petworth during 1890. They will discover the differences between the upper and lower servants of the household, as well as discovering the importance of status and position in Victorian society.

History, Society, Drama, Social Sciences

Who Lived in a House Like This?

Suitable for Key Stage 1 and 2

In this interactive and fast paced portraiture workshop, students will journey through time to explore the past figures of Petworth. Through detective work, students will unravel the art of hidden clues found in the language of portraiture to ultimately discover the characters that lived at Petworth.

Students will learn that portraits can be read to give clues about the character of the sitter and the era that the portrait is painted in. Students will develop analytical skills, putting them into practice by discovering the different characters that have lived at Petworth and how they are perceived today.

History, Art, History of Art, Analytical Skills

Sculpt a Story

Suitable for Key Stage 1 and 2

This workshop will enable students to explore the ancient and neo-classical sculpture that Petworth has to offer. Students will discover that every sculpture has a story to tell. Students will learn about stories from Greek mythology as well as discovering practical sculpture making skills. At the end of the day, the school group will get together to create a self-portrait made from a clay tile.

Students will know a variety of stories originating from Greek and Roman mythology told through art and sculpture. They will understand how sculptures came to Petworth and how Greek and Roman architecture influenced the architecture at Petworth. Students will understand the materials, methods and processes that have been used to make sculpture, having a go themselves by working with clay.

History, Practical Art, Architecture, Analytical Skills, English

Planning your day

All of our workshops are divided into four activities, learning about the different topics throughout the day. Students are divided into small groups and rotated through each of the activities.

Click here to download further information on our workshops (PDF / 2.6MB) download

  • Sessions cost £7 plus normal entry fee (price includes all materials). *
  • Sessions are available Monday – Friday from 10:30am – 2:00pm.
  • Maximum group size is 30 students, with a minimum of 4 teachers to accompany the group.

*Entry is free to those with Education Group Membership (EGM), which entitles your school to free entry to any National Trust place for an entire year. Find out more about EGM when booking your workshop.