Carrickfergus Museum

Learning and Education

Carrickfergus Museum's education sessions all underpin the requirements of the new Northern Ireland Curriculum.

Carrickfergus Museum Education Programme

Our education programme has been designed to bring local history to life, giving pupils a memorable experience that ties in with the Northern Ireland curriculum. 

Skills learned:

  • Managing information
  • Working with others
  • Communication and thinking 

Strands supported:

  • Exploring the Locality (where I live)
  • PDMU (appreciation of the past, experience of others and a sense of where they belong)
  • WAU (place and change over time)

Most of our workshops are aimed at KS2, though can be adapted to meet your needs where possible. Through enquiry-based learning, we hope to foster curiosity, openness to new ideas and community spirit.

Using ICT at Carrickfergus Museum

Book your class for a fun, interactive gallery trail around the museum, using iPads.

Educational and fun apps such as Kahoot! and Morfo booth have been incorporated into all of our existing programmes allowing your students to interact and engage with the museum collections and the town’s history to provide meaningful learning experiences that will meet your needs.

We offer the following workshop programmes, however, we are happy to tailor sessions to suit the needs of your class.


Digging up the distant past- (session time 2hrs)                                                                                                 

In this session, pupils become archaeologists and discover some genuine early man artefacts.  Through the "dig" the pupils learn how archaeologists piece together the past.  Pupils tour the early man section of the museum and view the Mesolithic and Neolithic artefacts on display.                        

The session is full of interaction, worksheets, role play and hands-on activities ensuring the pupils learn more about the differences between Mesolithic and Neolithic man.

Yes we have no bananas – (session time 2hrs)                                               

In this session, pupils are taken on an emotional journey to discover the thoughts feelings and emotions of Second World War evacuees.   Handle genuine World War II replica artefacts and partake in rationing activities to decide how clothing coupons would be spent.  Pupils will gain knowledge of life during the Second World War in Northern Ireland through interaction, worksheets, role play and hands-on activities.

Meet the Weatherups – (session time 2hrs)                                                    

In this session, pupils are taken on a journey of what life was like for a real-life Carrickfergus Victorian Family and their staff. Pupils visit the Victorian section of the museum and view the Victorian artefacts including Mrs Weatherup’s stunning wedding dress.  Pupils gain knowledge of life during Victorian times through interaction, worksheets, role play and hands-on activities.

Tale of a Medieval Town – (session time 2hrs)

In this session, pupils will embark on a walking tour to hear how the town of Carrickfergus grew around the magnificent Norman Castle. Pupils will make their way through the town starting from the medieval harbour area moving to the site of the medieval kiln at the end of West Street, then on to Market Place (site of Great Patrick Cross) before we reach the site of the Franciscan Friary which now houses the town’s Museum.   Pupils will then tour the museum and be able to handle various tools relating to the industries of the town.

Merryweather Fire Engine – (session time 1hr)

This talk is aimed at preschool and KS1 and can be booked in conjunction with a visit to Carrickfergus Fire Station.  Pupils get to here about one of Carrickfergus’ greatest benefactors “Colonel James Craig” and how the Merryweather fire engine would have been used. In this session pupils gain knowledge on Victorian fire engine’s through the use of interaction, role play and activity sheets.

Talks & Trails

Digital Gallery Trail

Using the museum’s ipads, pupils are invited to discover the history of the town and the artefacts on display for themselves through our highly interactive gallery trail, which includes images, videos and sounds.

Monkey and Dog bones at Carrickfergus – (session time 1hr)                               

This tour gives pupils a glimpse into Carrickfergus’ long and fascinating past.  Pupils are taken on a journey through the ages and hear the many and varied stories of the life of this “Once capital of Ulster”. Pupils get to view artefacts from Mesolithic, Norman, Elizabethan, Victorian and 19th century from the area.

Sessions delivered at the Andrew Jackson Cottage and US Rangers Museum


Homes Now & Then – (Session time 2 hrs)

In this session, pupils will discover the differences between homes in the past and modern homes today. Pupils will also gain knowledge of what life would have been like for an Ulster-Scots family in the 17th Century at the Andrew Jackson Cottage. This session is very interactive, pupils gain knowledge by handling replica artefacts and role play. Worksheets can also be provided for the school classroom.

WWII & the US Rangers

This latest addition to our suite of education programmes uses the WWII and the Armed Forces theme to explore the origins of the elite commando unit, the US Rangers, formed in Carrickfergus in 1942. Delivered in the newly refurbished exhibition space, this session will introduce WWII and what people in the armed forces do, before discovering how the Rangers came into existence. Pupils will watch film footage of veteran Ranger Bob Reed, plus original WWII footage, to discover what it took to become a Ranger. Pupils will also have a chance to handle real WWII artefacts and complete a gallery trail.

These sessions are all available at any time throughout the academic year and should be booked in advance.

Cost per pupil: £1.50 per head from 1 April. Visits in conjunction with the castle will continue to be free of charge.

Loan Boxes

Victorian Life in Carrickfergus

Contents include Victorian artefacts, teachers notes and worksheets complete this loan box experience.

Carrickfergus in the Second World War

Contents include a selection of wartime artefacts, teachers notes and worksheets complete this loan box experience.

Loan Box Hire: £15.00 for 2 weeks