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 Schools & Groups at Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley mills

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Do you like trains? Or are you a fashionista who wants to know how cloth and clothes are made?

They seem like opposite ends of the spectrum, but Armley Mills used to be the biggest woollen mill in the world and the goods were transported around the globe by train. Armley Mills now houses the Leeds Industrial collections, including trains and old TV cameras as well as the looms and mules involved in the weaving process.

We have a programme of 2-4hr curriculum based workshops for primary and secondary schools. Armley Mills works well for KS1 and KS2 supporting topics such Victorian life, materials and their properties and Maths at the Mill. Everything we do is cross-curricular and all the workshops support the development of literacy skills (speaking and listening), science (materials, properties and using evidence) numeracy, and often art and geography.

We also have KS3 and KS4 programmes focusing on Weaving and workers in the Industrial Revolution.

Most workshops are led on Gallery as that’s where the inspirational collections are; however, we have three spaces for groups to use as a base whilst on a visit. The Learning Centre and Millspace are kitted out for creative activities, and we also have a space for group lunches. Make the most of your time on site by downloading our free Learning Packs for primary and secondary schools for ideas and activities to support curriculum areas. These can be obtained from the expandable Documents section on this page.

We would recommend you come and meet us for a pre-visit where we can tailor workshops and resources to suit, such as if your group has additional needs, and you can complete your risk assessment at the same time. We have downloadable Health and Safety guidance from the expandable Documents section on this page to help with this.

What teachers say about us:

“Absolutely wonderful day, the children have now got a much greater understanding of what life was really like in Victorian times”, KS2 teacher after a Mill Children workshop

And, most importantly, what do the students think?

“I’m glad I have to go to school and not to work in a mill!” KS2 pupil after a Mill Children workshop


Download your free teaching resources now!

We have put together a number of free resources for teacher's and students to use on self led visits to Armley Mills. These can all be downloaded from the Documents section on this page.

For key stages 1 and 2

What is a Museum? Designed to engage and enhance pupils' understanding of Museum's and their role in our lives.

Maths at the Mill - To be used in conjunction with the Self-led trail these activities allow pupils to think about using numeracy in different contexts and also look at codes and ciphers.

Marvellous Materials - To be used in conjunction with the Self-led trail these activities allow pupils to discover the different properties of materials used in the mill

Mill Children - These activities allow children to recognise the difference between the lives of Victorian children and children today.  It looks at jobs children would have carried out at the mill and other forms of child employment during the 1800s.

Homes of the Rich and Poor - Using the managers house and the Weavers Cottage to compare and contrast rich and poor homes in the Victorian period. These activities are designed to enhance pupils' understanding of the lives of adults and children in Victorian Britain in comparison to the present.

For key stages 3 and 4

Investigate! From Fleece to Fashion - These activities aim to  give students an insight into the production process from raw fleece to finished garment.  It aims to allow pupils to collect, collate and present information in an appropriate form.

Gott's Challenges - These activities are designed to complement the Enterprise agenda and allows pupils to be engaged in a real challenge, in a real context in a real-life organisation. Students have to create a company and come up with an idea for something to enhance the museum, they can then submit their idea to the Learning and Access Officer who may help realise their ideas.

Campaign! Action and Reaction - Looking at protest movements of the Industrial Revolution pupils are encouraged to undertake research and campaign for or against industrial change.

Power and Production, Pollution and Prevention - Looking at the environmental impact of Armley Mills and what can be done to improve its carbon footprint.

Planning a visit

If you are thinking of booking a trip to Armley Mills for your school or group please get in touch with us via phone on 0113 378 3173 or email armley.mills@leeds.gov.uk. More information to help you plan your trip can be found on the Visitor information page in Related pages.​​​

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