Bringing a group with special needs to Milestones
We realise that visiting Milestones is a very valuable learning experience for children. Through the range of facilities and activities we have available at Milestones we hope to be able to support you in planning a very successful and rewarding visit for your children. We aim to be as flexible as possible to accommodate the range of needs that your children may have.
This information supplements that provided in the schools section of the website and aims to provide you with ideas of what we can offer you in terms of activities and facilities for your visit, plus advice on planning your visit and preparing your children for their visit.
If you are interested in any of these activities, would like to know more about what we can offer you on a visit to Milestones or would like to make a booking, please contact our Education team, tel 01256 403900.
Milestones has plenty of parking spaces, including allocated accessible parking spaces near the main entrance and space available for coach parking and minibus parking.
When you arrive, make your way through the circular doors into reception.
Please go to the reception desk and let them know that you have arrived. Your school name will be recorded on our daily sheet.
Toilets and accessible toilets can be found on the entrance level. Baby changing facilities are also located on this level next to the toilets.
There are two lifts available for use if you require them, one either side of the main stairs. The museum arena is on floor – 2.
If you have booked a lunch room for your visit, it will usually be our Lower Education Room which is on floor – 2, the same level as the museum arena and a member of staff will show you to this room and do a health and safety briefing with you on arrival. Inside the Lower Education Room there are pegs to hang up bags and coats and space to leave items such as lunches. If the weather is fine, there is also the picnic area outside the museum on the meadow available for your use.
There are also tea and coffee making facilities for the adult helpers to use during your lunch break.
There are toilets located either side of the audioguide desk just outside the Lower Education Room. Once you are in the museum, these are your nearest toilets for use. There are no toilets at the far end of the museum.
Building a viaduct
Have a go at building our viaduct! You’ll need to work together as a team to make it work!
Try dressing up as a Victorian. There are child and adult-sized costumes for you to try on. All we ask is that once you are finished trying them on, you hang them up again, ready for the next visitors to use them.
Play Post Office
We have a play post office for children under five. Inside the post office you will find role play items, books and puzzles, dressing up costumes etc. Though not normally part of our school programmes, if you think using the post office would benefit your group we may be able to make arrangements for you to use it.
We do have members of staff who dress up in period costume who you may encounter during your visit for the children to talk to.
Activities led by museum staff
We also have a range of activities led by a member of museum staff that you might be interested in, which you can book for your visit. (Subject to availability)
The Casting activity is a very simplified way of representing making an object out of cast metal – but using dental plaster! It is a flexible activity that can be adapted to best suit your children. We can either do it as a demonstration showing the children how we make a Milestones plaque which they can then take back to school, or the children can take part in the activity themselves, all making their own steam engine/train moulds that they can keep.
Homes in the Past handling session
This is a short session led by a member of museum staff which allows the children to handle a range of household objects from the past e.g. a flat iron, a carpet beater. The idea is to compare household objects from the past with their modern equivalents, giving the children the chance to see the objects and do some role play to gain a better understanding of how the objects would have been used. The session can be very flexible in terms of content and timing but usually lasts about 20 minutes. On arrival in the museum, in advance of the session the member of staff working with you would discuss with you the needs of your children and what you hope they will gain from the session.
Toys in the Past handling session
A similar session to the Homes in the Past handling session but based on the theme of old toys. Using a range of real and replica toys the children can handle and play with the toys to gain a better understanding of what toys children used to play with in the past and the materials they would have been made out of.
For the purposes of care of our collections, we have to ask visitors not to climb on most of the vehicles in Milestones. However, we do havea selection of vehicles whichvisitors are welcome to climb on board andsee what it would have been like to travel on such a vehicle in the past.
Milestones is a valuable learning and leisure resource for many people. We hope that every person who visits has a rewarding experience.
In preparation for bringing an education group to Milestones, please ensure that all adults accompanying your group (teachers, teaching assistants and other adult helpers) read the guidelines below.
- There may be a range of other visitors enjoying Milestones during your visit, including other school groups. We request that all visitors show respect for one another during their time here.
- For groups of children with special needs, each child is entitled to have one to one adult support free of charge. It is important that group leaders remain with their groups at all times as the behaviour and discipline of pupils remain the responsibility of group leaders for the duration of your visit.
- The museum arena has period flooring including cobbles and wooden blocks. Sensible, flat footwear is recommended for all visitors and we ask visitors not to run for their own safety and that of other visitors.
- Milestones is fully accessible to visitors in wheelchairs. If any of the children you are visiting with are in wheelchairs, please advise us of this when you book so that we can ensure you have lunch in our more accessible Lower Education Room. We can provide you with an accessibility map highlighting where the dropped kerbs are located if you would find that useful.
- Some objects from our Collections are on open display. Please respect advisory notices, remembering at all times that these items are museum objects and should be treated with respect.
- In order to avoid “traffic jams” on our stairs, we ask that you walk on the left in single file on the stairs at all times.
- Milestones is a no-smoking building.
- We would be grateful if visitors did not eat or drink while on the museum arena.
- Milestones has several members of staff who are first aid trained and we have a first aid room should it be required. Please report any incidents, however small to a member of staff.
- If the fire alarm sounds (audible voice warning), leave the building by the nearest exit – follow the green fire exit signs or ask a member of staff. Do not use the lifts. Make your way to the assembly point on the field and wait for further instructions. If you require level access (no steps) please exit via the disabled fire exit at the back of the museum.
Thank you for taking the time to read these guidelines. We very much hope you and your group enjoy your visit to Milestones. If there is anything we can do to help you during your visit, please don’t hesitate to ask.
To help prepare your children for their visit, you might find the following information helpful