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HMS Caroline Learning Programme

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Welcome to the learning programme for HMS Caroline! Based in Belfast’s famous Titanic Quarter, HMS Caroline is a First World War-era ship now restored as a floating museum with an amazing story to tell. Pupils will be immersed in life on board this unique vessel and discover stories of the people who served during one of history’s greatest naval engagements, the Battle of Jutland. Our onsite and outreach sessions combine hand-on activities with an opportunity to engage with collections and innovative technology, providing unforgettable learning experiences that bring the curriculum to life.

Pre-School, Foundation Stage & Keystage 1

In this hour-long outreach session developed specifically for pre-school and foundation stage, pupils will discover what life was like on board HMS Caroline through the eyes of the ship’s pets. They will have an opportunity to explore handling objects and historical photographs from our collection, play a maritime themed game and take part in an interactive story; the session concludes with an arts and crafts activity. Whole-class, group and paired activities are used to foster pupils’ communication skills, creativity, and ability to work with others, in the context of a supported learning environment.

Outreach sessions are priced at £50 per class for a one-hour session.

This hour-long outreach session designed for Keystage 1 explores what life was like for the sailors living on board HMS Caroline 100 years ago. Using a selection of handling objects, historical photographs and archival resources, pupils will have an opportunity to learn about living and working conditions, clothes, food, pastimes and the pets on board HMS Caroline. The session concludes with a creative writing activity. (WAU, PDMU, Language and Literacy, STEM).

Outreach sessions are priced at £50 per class for a one-hour session.

Our Pre-School, Foundation Stage and Keystage 1 outreach programmes bring HMS Caroline to you! A member of our Learning Team will deliver an interactive session in your classroom or nursery setting. No prior knowledge of HMS Caroline is needed and activities are pitched to be accessible for all.

Keystage 2

A Discovery Visit is a self-guided, teacher-led visit to HMS Caroline. Self-guided groups will be provided with an itinerary tailored to suit the needs of the group. They will also receive Discovery Visit Trails which pupils work in pairs to complete as they move through the ship. The structure of these resources provides potential for extension activities back in the classroom. (WAU, PDMU, Language and Literacy, STEM).

A Teachers’ Guide is available to support teachers in interpreting the ship. Teachers are also invited to tour the ship prior to the day of their booking with a FREE Teachers’ Pass. Our KS2 Discovery Visits are free for Extended Schools in Northern Ireland. All other school groups are priced at £4.50 per pupil.

A Discover Live Visit is a limited edition, museum-led visit to HMS Caroline designed to link in with a specific event, project or anniversary within the museum. These sessions are available for a limited amount of time only, be that one month, one term, or one school year – so make sure you book in while you can! For a full list of Discover Live sessions and dates throughout the year, make sure you check our website or join our schools mailing list to be contacted as soon as they become available. Discover Live Visits are suitable for a maximum of one class. A tailored itinerary will be provided to meet the needs of each group. Although this is a museum-led visit, teachers are also invited to tour the ship prior to the day of their booking with a FREE Teachers’ Pass. Discover Live Visits are priced at £6 per pupil.

Discover Live: Kit Bag Stories (Limited dates in June)

In this session a member of our Learning Team will bring to life the historic spaces on board using enquiry-led approaches and a kit bag of handling objects. Pupils will be encouraged to engage, interpret and problem solve by completing our Discovery Visit Trails in pairs. They will also have an opportunity to explore in more detail the life of Boy Telegraphist William Crick, who served on board HMS Caroline during the Battle of Jutland. By using handling objects from our collection, archival photographs and documents, as well as extracts from Crick’s diary, pupils will discover more about a sailor’s life at sea during the First World War. (WAU, PDMU, Language and Literacy, STEM)

Our Keystage 2 programmes offer pupils the chance to explore life on board HMS Caroline through a self-guided or museum-led session.

Keystage 3

Explore the Pump House exhibition galleries and tour the ship using an audio guide to find out more about HMS Caroline and life on board. We offer a selection of resources to support pupils and teachers pre, during and post self-guided visits, which are available to download from our website. Teachers are also invited to tour the ship prior to the day of their booking with a FREE Teachers’ Pass. Our KS3 Discovery Visits are free for Extended Schools in Northern Ireland. All other school groups are priced at £4.50 per pupil.

The Meet the Crew session is led by a member of our Learning Team and focuses on the experiences of the crew on board HMS Caroline during the First World War. Pupils will find out more about a range of topics including the Arms Race, the Battle of Jutland, recruitment, roles and responsibilities, daily life on a naval vessel, and pastimes. Using archival documents and photographs, letters, and diary extracts, this session creates an interactive experience and is supported by activity sheets.

Discover Live Visits are suitable for a maximum of one class. Although this is a museum-led visit, teachers are also invited to tour the ship prior to the day of their booking with a FREE Teachers’ Pass. Discover Live Visits are priced at £6 per pupil.

Our KS3 programmes offer pupils the chance to explore HMS Caroline and the First World War through a self-guided or museum-led session.

SEND and Additional Needs

For KS2 SEND groups, we offer interactive sessions where pupils can learn about life at sea through activities and sensory exploration. Topics covered can include travel/transport, ship’s pets, personal belongings, clothing, sleeping and food. Please contact us at learning.caroline@nmrn.org.uk to discuss activities, capacities and access.

Our Visual Story and Access Guides are available to download in the resources section below and can help teachers and pupils prepare for a visit to HMS Caroline. We can offer a limited number of fidget toys, sensory cards and ear defenders for use when visiting the ship for a facilitated visit. We can also implement visual schedules and checklists to support pupils during their visit.

For KS3 SEND groups, we offer interactive sessions that are tailored to the needs and requirements of the group. KS3 visits are supported by character trails, handling objects and activities. Please contact us at learning.caroline@nmrn.org.uk to discuss activities, capacities and access.

Our Visual Story and Access Guides are available to download in the resources section below and can help teachers and pupils prepare for a visit to HMS Caroline. We can offer a limited number of fidget toys, sensory cards and ear defenders for use when visiting the ship for a facilitated visit. We can also implement visual schedules and checklists to support pupils during their visit.

Youth Groups

A Discovery Visit is a self-guided, teacher-led visit to HMS Caroline. Self-guided groups will be provided with an itinerary tailored to suit the needs of the group. Where applicable, they will also receive Discovery Visit Trails, which pupils work in pairs to complete as they move through the ship. The structure of these resources provides potential for extension activities back in the classroom. A Teachers’ Guide is available to support teachers/group leaders in interpreting the ship.

The cost of Discovery visits is £4.50 per pupil/child.

We also offer free access to supervising staff members or accompanying adults during your visit, with ratios relevant to the age of your group:

8 – 11 years: 1 free adult for every 10 pupils.

11+ years: 1 free adult for every 15 pupils.

Explore the Pump House exhibition galleries and tour the ship using an audio guide to find out more about HMS Caroline and life on board. We offer a selection of resources to support pupils and teachers pre, during and post self-guided visits, which are available to download from our website.

The cost of Discovery visits is £4.50 per pupil/child.

We also offer free access to supervising staff members or accompanying adults during your visit, with ratios relevant to the age of your group:

8 – 11 years: 1 free adult for every 10 pupils.

11+ years: 1 free adult for every 15 pupils.

Planning and Booking Your visit

  • Discovery Visits are free for Extended Schools in Northern Ireland. All other schools or youth groups are priced at £4.50 per pupil.
  • Discover Live Visits costs £6 per pupil.
  • Outreach sessions cost £50 per class for a one hour session.

Bookings must be made at least 7 days in advance; school or youth groups not booked in advance cannot be accepted. To make your booking, please contact the HMS Caroline Learning Team.

The HMS Caroline Passport Scheme offers subsidised transportation to Extended Schools booking Discovery or Discover Live visits at HMS Caroline. Schools will be awarded up to £200 towards to cost of travel and to qualify must:

  • Be a registered Extended School in the Belfast District Council area.
  • Make their own transport arrangements, but be able to submit a quote from a bus company detailing the cost of transport.
  • Be able to meet the child to adult ratio of 1 adult for every 10 pupils.

Only one bursary will be issued per school. Please note there are a limited number of Passport Scheme places available and these will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

An indoor area is available for groups with packed lunches. It is located in the forward section of the café. Due to limited space, booking is required. Please advise us when booking your school visit if you would also like to reserve the lunch area.

Food and drink are not allowed anywhere in the museum other than in the dedicated lunch area. There are facilities on site to store lunch boxes.

We strongly advise booking a preliminary visit in order to familiarise yourself with the site and complete risk assessment paperwork. We offer a FREE Teachers’ Pass, which enables you to tour the ship prior to the date of your booking. Please bring the booking reference as proof; you will be issued with up to 3 free adult tickets (term time weekdays) or 1 free family ticket (weekends or holiday periods).

Due to the historic nature of the ship, we recommend all pupils wear sturdy shoes and dress for the outdoors i.e. warm coats and layers.

The site and all activities are fully risk assessed and subject to safeguarding, and health and safety policies.

HMS Caroline is located at Alexandra Dock, Queen’s Road, Titanic Quarter, Belfast, BT3 9DT. Our driveway is the first left after the Titanic Studios. We have a free car park available; coach parking is located at the end of the dock near the Project Office building.

Our maximum number for a Discovery Visit is 60 students. Due to the confined nature of some areas on board HMS Caroline, bookings larger than 30 pupils will need to separate into two smaller groups to explore the museum. Our maximum number for a Discover Live visit is approximately 30 pupils (one class).

The recommended visit length for a self-guided Discovery Visit is around 1.5 – 2 hours. Discover Live Visits last approximately 2 – 2.5 hours.

We offer free access to supervising staff members or accompanying adults during your visit, with ratios relevant to the age of your group:

  • Keystage 2 – 1 free adult for every 10 pupils
  • Keystage 3 – 1 free adult for every 15 pupils

Accessibility

The ship is accessed via a ramp from the dockside. As the vessel is afloat, the gradient of the ramp changes due to the tidal nature of Belfast Lough; the ramp can be particularly steep at high tide.

We recommend accessing the ship at low tide if that is a concern. You can find out more about tide times here

There are steep steps and uneven surfaces on board. The majority of the ship is accessible for wheelchair users except for the Captain’s Quarters, the Engine Rooms and the Navigating Bridge.

We have wheelchairs on site that may be borrowed free of charge.

There are three lifts on board HMS Caroline: 

  • One external lift at the aft end of the ship, which provides access between the upper and lower decks.
  • One internal lift in the café at the forward end of the ship, which provides access between the lower and upper decks.
  • One external lift at the forward end of the ship, which provides access between the upper deck and the Fo’c’sle.

There are three accessible toilets on site, one in the Pump House and two on board the ship next to the Drill Hall and Historic Galley.

There is a hearing loop system available in the Pump House and on board the ship.

We have a limited number of sensory kits available at the ticketing desk, which include fidget toys, sensory cards, weighted lap blankets and ear defenders. A visual menu for the café is also available on request.

HMS Caroline is a restored First World War ship that has been converted into a museum and visitor attraction. Due to the historic nature of the vessel, there are some accessibility considerations to be aware of when planning your visit. Light levels vary throughout the ship; there are also loud soundscapes and interactives on board. The Battle of Jutland film is loud, dark and contains images that may be upsetting to some visitors.

Useful Resources - Teacher Guide

Download Teacher's Guide to HMS Caroline.pdf (920.3 KB)

Primary Resources

We offer a selection of resources to prepare your pupils for visiting HMS Caroline as well as extension activities that can be used to support learning in the classroom after your visit. These resources are primarily aimed at Keystage 2.

Pre-Visit Resources

Download Get to Know HMS Caroline.pdf (202.38 KB)
Download KS2 Pre-Visit Slideshow.pdf (3.37 MB)
Download Learn a Sea Shanty.pdf (634.34 KB)
Download Meet the Crew.pdf (10.29 MB)
Download The 5 Ws of HMS Caroline.pdf (1.8 MB)

Post-Visit Resources

Download A Postcard Home.pdf (1.45 MB)
Download A Square Meal.pdf (489.97 KB)
Download Crack the Code.pdf (520.48 KB)
Download Dazzle HMS Caroline.pdf (2.29 MB)
Download HMS Caroline Maths Challenge.pdf (302.83 KB)
Download What would you take to Sea.pdf (517.62 KB)

Secondary Resources

HMS Caroline Graphic Novel

The HMS Caroline Graphic Novel was created in conjunction with The Nerve Centre and 40 local secondary school pupils. Based on interviews, diaries, photographs and related archival materials, the novel explores the experiences of two individuals that served on HMS Caroline during the First and Second World Wars. The novel also functions as a teaching resource with suggested classroom activities to support engagement. 

Free copies of the HMS Caroline Graphic Novel will be provided to all KS3 students visiting HMS Caroline (available whilst in stock of our limited print run). 

We also provide free downloadable PDFs of the novel. The PDF version is broken down into two elements: 

First World War: This part of the novel explores the experiences of Irish Sailor James Weddick who served on board HMS Caroline at the Battle of Jutland.

Second World War: This part of the novel tells the story of Belfast- born Betty McCabe who served as a member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service at HMS Caroline.  
 

HMS Caroline Graphic Novel PDFs

Download HMSC GRAPHIC NOVEL_THE BETTY MCCABE STORY.pdf (1.88 MB)
Download HMSC GRAPHIC NOVEL_THE JAMES WEDDICK STORY.pdf (1.33 MB)

SEND Resources

Our Access Guide and Visual Story are available to download below and can help teachers and pupils prepare for their visit to HMS Caroline. We have a limited number of sensory kits available on site, which include fidget toys, sensory cards, weighted lap blankets and ear defenders.

Visual Story and Access Guides

Download HMS Caroline Access Guide.pdf (4.3 MB)
Download HMS Caroline Visual Guide - Schools.pdf (4.41 MB)
Download Sensory Explorers Checklist.pdf (1.07 MB)

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