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 Schools at Leeds Discovery Centre

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Imagine a million objects stacked on shelves in a giant fridge with no natural light, magnetic door locks and the stickiest bug traps in the world and you’re starting to get a picture of  Leeds’ very own Night at the Museum-esque custom-built storage facility in South Leeds. It’s where we keep the million objects which aren’t on display at any of the other eight Leeds Museums and Galleries sites.

Group sessions and guided tours are available (please book ahead though) and we regularly work with groups of volunteers, community groups, youth offending groups, young people, families and groups with special needs on one-off or longer projects.  Get in touch if you and your group would like to get involved with us.


Case study: Remembering the Leeds Pals
In autumn 2014, Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Leeds Museums and Galleries and partners brought together 120 children from four primary schools in Nidderdale AONB and Leeds to remember the Leeds Pals. The schools worked in pairs, and visited Masham and Leeds, to find out how the Leeds Pals were recruited and trained, what happened to them after the First World War and how they are remembered now. At Leeds Discovery Centre, the children found out what happened to individual Pals and their families after the war through object handling. They also enjoyed seeing the million objects in the museum store.

We have a menu of curriculum-based workshops for you to choose from – all of which include a behind the scenes tour of the store - and creative spaces for you to work in. With a store containing one million objects we will always do our best to find something to link to any topic you care to test us with; adding interest through cross-curricular work and an enquiry-based approach. We can relate classroom learning to real animal skeletons and ancient fossils, look at the facts and the fiction behind myths and legends, study the daily life of Romans or the ancient Egyptians, or look at how we use real Science in our state-of-the-art conservation studio. Let us know if you have an idea (even if it’s really off the wall) and we’ll do our best to help.

As over 80% of the objects held at Leeds Discovery Centre are in the Natural History collection, we specialise in natural science-related activities spanning the real science of our high-tech building, museums object conservation and making links between 124,000 year old fossils and the very current issues of climate change and resource depletion.

Leeds Discovery Centre works best for children from upper Key Stage 1 upwards and is perfect for a half day visit. Because many of the objects are not displayed behind glass, it means that groups can get up-close-and-personal with amazing objects and we will always try to make sure that as many of the objects as possible can be touched (carefully and with gloves). Spaces get booked up quickly, so give us a call and arrange a visit.

What group leaders say about us

"We visited the centre during a staff inset training and could instantly see the learning opportunities for our children”, KS2 teacher

“It was brilliant for me as a teacher of children with BESD (behaviour, emotional, social difficulties) to observe the children participating in science activities so enthusiastically!”, KS2 teacher from nurture / behaviour unit

“Thank you for giving [our children] the opportunity to see such a wonderful facility, inspiring them to think and have close contact with items they would never normally get to see”, KS2 teacher

Planning a visit
If you are thinking of booking a trip to Leeds Discovery Centre for your school or group please get in touch with us via phone on 0113 378 2100 or email us at discovery.centre@leeds.gov.uk​. More information to help you plan your trip can be found on the Related pages.​​​

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