Learning with York Archaeological Trust

Adult Learning within the Community

York Archaeological Trust is proud of its long tradition of public and community archaeology and over the years, has built several key partnerships and learning initiatives including:


  • Working in partnership with North Yorkshire Learning Consortium to provide short introductory courses for adults, as well as lend fieldwork equipment and resources to help with projects.
  •  Contributing to scholarships within several universities and carrying out collaborative partnerships with local government agencies and other charities throughout the region.
  • Providing work experience for unemployed young people aged 18-24 in several Trust Departments through the Future Jobs Fund. The Trust also recently won a grant from the City of York Council to work with York based volunteers aged 14-16.
  • Outreach projects working with people with special needs and helping people to find a sense of achievement through working with archaeology.
  • Various lectures and talks themed around the work carried out by the Community Archaeology team.

JORVIK Group Learning Out and About

York Archaeological Trust, through its Attractions and Events division, ‘The JORVIK Group’ offers cross-curricular learning over 2,000 years of history at its visitor attractions which are a favourite for school visits – JORVIK Viking Centre, the hands-on archaeological DIG and medieval Barley Hall, as well as two medieval attractions, the Richard III and Henry VII Experiences.

The current history curriculum takes the emphasis off ‘traditional’ favourites – such as Victorians and World War II – in favour of covering both history and pre-history, with lots of focus on the period before the Norman conquest of 1066. This brings the Viking era – particularly the two hundred year period from 866 to 1066 – to the fore, putting the period covered by the JORVIK Viking Centre at the heart of the curriculum, however given that JORVIK was built on the back of decades of archaeological expertise from the York Archaeological Trust, our expertise stretches back much further to cover over 2000 years of history and beyond, into prehistory with the Bronze Age and Stone Age.

JORVIK Group Learning in the Classroom

Children at DIGThe work of the JORVIK Group education team is not limited to supporting visits to its attractions. Increased travel costs are reducing the distance groups are able to travel for a day out, so Vikings or Tudor characters are frequently sent to visit schools around the country, drawing on the expertise and resources of York Archaeological Trust to bring history to life within the classroom, We have created virtual outreach projects that use technology to enable our archaeologists and historic interpreters to talk directly to schools using webcams and interactive whiteboards, which means that we can talk to schools anywhere in the world in an accessible and cost-effective way.  For children, actually being able to question a Viking about their day-to-day life is a wonderful way of adding colour to the new curriculum.

Schools can also borrow resources to help with their historical studies, covering a wide range of topics, from life in Roman Britain to exploring archaeology.

Get Involved in JORVIK Group Learning

The new history curriculum should be lively and engaging, but many teachers may be exploring eras that they have never taught before.  If we can make it easier for them, and enthuse the next generation of historians, we’ll accomplish one of our greatest education goals. We have also been working closely with teachers, and have a programme of professional development that sits alongside our child-focused programmes to ensure that the teachers are confident delivering every aspect of the history curriculum.

For more information on what York Archaeological Trust offers Schools learning between Key Stage 1 -3, click here.