Education Opportunities at Woodchester Mansion
Woodchester Mansion provides a wide range of opportunities for students of all ages, from activities for Key Stages 1 and 2 through to the University of the Third Age! The striking environment of the unfinished Gothic building generates ideas which can be explored and appreciated by all age groups and abilities.
We are happy to discuss arrangements for educational visits with teachers, so your time at the Mansion can be tailored to the needs of the students. We can offer support on the day if needed - some of our volunteers are experienced teachers.
Key Stages 1 and 2
We welcome many Primary Schools to the Mansion, often as part of their activities or enrichment weeks. Projects can include looking at aspects of local history, some basic details of building and Gothic architecture, combined with storytelling, drawing, drama and art. Our colonies of Lesser and Greater Horseshoe bats are of special scientific interest and children are always fascinated by details of their life cycle and habits. The children are also able to explore the surrounding Park (owned by the National Trust).
A primary school project on bugs and beetles
Key Stages 3 and 4
Older children also enjoy many of the activities detailed above; in addition, the Gothic architecture provides a suitably “spooky” atmosphere for exploring Gothic writing. Creative writing tasks, run by their teachers, have been particularly successful. Students following GCSE Art and Photography courses have found a wealth of opportunities for coursework.
Sixth Form Students have found inspiration for many Art, Photography and Film courses. The Mansion offers clear opportunities for those studying Construction and Design.
Output from a Sixth Form Art Study
The Gothic Revival style of architecture used in the Mansion creates a perfect atmosphere and environment to enhance the study of Gothic Fiction in English at all Key Stages. At secondary school level texts such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights or the Mysteries of Udolpho are some examples of novels using the setting of a mysterious old house with secret passages, staircases and attics. Much nineteenth century poetry of writers such as Keats, Tennyson and Coleridge uses the Gothic tradition to create images of mystery, darkness and suspense, in texts such as The Lady of Shalott, and The Eve of St. Agnes. A visit to the Mansion can help students to feel the atmosphere created through the language in the texts.
The Mansion also creates opportunities at all Key Stages for the study of Art and Photography. The stonework, arches and empty architectural spaces, together with the contrast of light, shade and shadows provide a range of stimuli for students of all ages. The unfinished nature of the building, uncluttered by furniture or furnishings, provides unique opportunities for drawing and photography.
The fascinating history of the Leigh family who built the Mansion in the mid nineteenth century in the fashionable Gothic style can stimulate and enhance the study of local history at Key Stages 2 and 3 or provide a focus for an extended essay at Key Stage 5.
Please see separate page.