Nursery & Primary Workshops

National Mining Museum Scotland is available to help support schools and community groups in their learning journeys. We are busy behind the scenes and will be updating this page regularly so please keep checking back for what we have on offer or please contact a member of our Education Team by emailing us at –

What’s New:

1. Outdoor learning

While we cannot accommodate group visits inside on site, we can facilitate outdoor visits. We have a large outdoor space around our site and have new, short, activity sheets focusing on Health & Wellbeing (nature & nurture), Maths, or Social Studies (mining history). You are also welcome to use our outdoor space for your own art or outdoor learning. 

These are self-led however, a pre-site visit with a member of the Education team is required for H&S and you must book in advance.

 2. Online Learning (FREE)

Please visit our “Learning at Home with NMMS” page for free digital learning resources.

Tailored resources to mining history in your local area.

3. Live Video Call with an Ex-Miner or our Education Team (FREE)

Enjoy an engaging session with one of our ex-miner tour guides or Education team – digitally! You will hear first-hand what life was like as a miner, see real objects used underground and, best of all, we tailor the video call to your topic! For example, steam engines, life as a Victorian miner, or mining in your local area. We’ll include facts, photos and maps to bring it all to life! Video calls last 20-30mins depending on topic and pupils will be invited to ask questions.


4. Teacher Support (FREE)

Are you covering the Victorians, your local mining history, geology or renewable energy? We offer digital CLPL/CPD support for all educational professionals and can tailor this to suit you. Sessions run over zoom or Microsoft teams.




Let our experienced staff take your class on an unforgettable cross-curricular learning journey. All our workshops are interactive and hands-on offering pupils the opportunity to observe, explore, experiment and play.

All our workshops can be tailored to suit your topic and the age/stage of pupils but if you can’t see what you are looking for please get in touch and speak to a member of the Education Team who will be happy to help.

Workshops and activities are also available for Home Educator groups, youth groups and uniformed groups.





Rocks & Fossil Detectivesfossil detect

Travel back to the Jurassic period and discover the giant creatures who lived before us – the dinosaurs! Digging like a palaeontologist, roaring and stomping as a T-Rex, handling real fossils from our Collection and painting their own dino art to take home – pupils will love this messy, exciting and creative workshop.

STEM focus add on – we will explore what rocks are, the different types and carry out short fun experiments to discover different materials and properties.

Booking Information
Level: Early & First, Nursery – P3
Subject Focus: Social Studies, Art & Design, Sciences,
Health & Wellbeing
Duration: 45 minute – 75 minutes




Archie and the Coalmine Cats

Pupils will hear the heroic tale of Archie and the Coalmine Cats – they saved the miner’s pieces from the rats!
The workshop features Scot’s language references, interactive storytelling, object handling, a cat spotting hunt around the Colliery and making a cat mask to take home.

Booking Information
Level: Early & First, P1 – 4
Subject Focus: Social Studies, Art & Design, Literacy,
Sciences, Health & Wellbeing
Duration: 1 hour






Nan’s House (Victorian’s)

Through messy play and questioning pupils will experience a Victorian washday and how children used to have fun!

Help Nan wash the clothes (this bit will be messy!) and learn what life was like before electricity and indoor plumbing. All pupils will have the chance to play some Victorian games, handle real objects, dress up and make their own peg doll to take home.

Booking Information
Level: Early & First, P1 – 4
Subject Focus: Social Studies, Health and Wellbeing,
Art & Design, Literacy
Duration: 1 hour






A Mine of Information (Your Local Area)

This is our most popular workshop which has been delivered in every local authority in Scotland! It is available in the Museum or please see out Outreach Section for more information.

App Guides 045 This fast-paced, bespoke, workshop is a perfect introduction to everything there is to know about Scotland’s mining industry and mining in your local area. Pupils will work chronologically through Scotland’s mining history – handling real objects from our collection, hearing first hand accounts and dressing up! The workshop will include the development of mining in your local area with maps and photographs for pupils to explore which you will be able to take back to class with you.

The workshop incorporates the following topics: STEM, non-renewable/renewable energy, children’s lives in Victorian Scotland, the Victorians, inventions, Industrial Revolution, steam power, coal power, Nationalisation and a history of your local area.

Additional activities for this workshop include:

1. Map regression
2. Poster or paper lantern design
3. Make a classroom exhibition


Booking Information
Level: Early/ First/ Second, P1 – 7
Subject Focus: Social Studies, STEM, Art & Design,
Literacy, Health & Wellbeing
Duration: 45 minutes (early) or 1 hour 30 minutes (upper) (for add on activities additional
time will be required)

Please note: we are happy to assist with school wide projects and facilitate OUTDOOR LEARNING.


Picture That! (Photography)

The Victorians are well known for their great inventions, photography being one of them!

In this workshop, we examine the development of photography through cyanotype experimenting, search for clues in historic photographs and discuss why recording people and places is so important for the future. Pupils will also create their own photograph using our DSLR camera. All photographs taken by pupils will be emailed to the class teacher after the workshop.
Add-on Activity: Photography training for pupils. Bring your class camera’s along and pupils will learn about composition, rule of thirds and taking a great photograph. (Additional costs and times apply).

Booking Information
Level: First & Second P4 – 7
Subject Focus: Social Studies, STEM, Art & Design,
Literacy, Health & Wellbeing
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Group size: 25 pupils maximum




Art, Design and Creative WritingMay17 107 - Copy

Are you looking for an emotive and inspirational site for pupils? The Lady Victoria is situated on four acres of land and hosts some of the best industrial architecture in Europe – why not let us inspire you? We won the Big Draw Festival Museum & Galleries Award 2017!

NMMS staff can advise where the accessible areas of the museum are. This must be booked in advance with the Education Team.





Powering Up (Renewable Energy)

Bring STEM to life in this interactive renewable energy workshop! Pupils will explore water, wind and solar power as they work in pairs to complete a series of experiments. Combine looking at Renewable Energy with Non-Renewable Energy in our Energy Battle! Pupils will learn about coal as a source of non-renewable energy and will use scientific enquiry to compare the pros and cons of the different sources of energy. 

Teacher feedback:

Our topic was renewable energies in Scotland. The workshop covered all the areas we had planned to teach and develop. It provided practical hands on opportunities that we would not have been able to provide in school. Taking place in the mining museum also provided the pupil with a real context to apply their new knowledge.

Partner programme with National Museums Scotland, supported by Scottish Power.

Booking Information
Level: Second, P5-7
Subject Focus: STEM, Social Studies, Literacy
Duration: 90 minutes





STEAM Engines

How does a steam engine work? Pupils will get the chance to visit our two locomotives and see horse power in action with a live demonstration of Europe’s largest winding engine! We’ll learn about forces and friction, we’ll calculate our own horse power and we’ll see the might of steam power in action.

Add-on: create your own paper train to take back to class with you.

Booking Information
Level: Second, P5-7
Subject Focus: STEM,  Literacy,
Social Studies
Duration: 90 minutes





The Practical Bit

General Visit

We recommend booking a Guided Tour when visiting the Museum with one of our ex-miner tour guides. The tours take pupils through the Pithead and into our recreated underground experience and let pupils hear first hand what life was like as a miner. In addition, we have two floors of exhibitions with complimentary quiz sheets available.


NMMS is a Registered Scottish Charity and we are reliant on admissions charges to help us in our mission to preserve and promote Scotland’s mining history and heritage for current and future generations. Costs do apply for all activities. Please get in touch for a full cost break down. Groups can pay on arrival or we can send an emailed invoice after your visit.

How to Book
Contact our Education Team on 0131 663 7519 or email

We advise all teachers to make a preliminary visit. We request that there is 1 adult for every 10 pupils. NMMS are happy to provide a space for snacks/packed lunches for your group.

Risk Assessments
National Mining Museum Scotland’s site, the Lady Victoria Colliery, our activities and workshops have been risk assessed. While NMMS cannot provide copies of our risk assessments, we can offer a risk assessment information sheet to assist you in creating your Group Specific Risk Assessment. We recommend that you follow your Local Authority protocol. All teachers and educational staff are advised to make a preliminary visit to NMMS before your class visit, free of charge.

Where Are We?
NMMS is located in Newtongrange, Midlothian, only 9 miles south of Edinburgh City Centre and situated
on the A7. We have a large free car park with dedicated coach spaces and disabled parking drop off zone and spaces.
Border Railway train services run every 30 minutes from Edinburgh Waverly and Tweedbank. From the train station in Newtongrange the Museum is only a short walk away.

Museum Facilities
On site we have the following facilities:
• Museum Shop
Space is limited and so we kindly ask that only 10 children with adult supervision in the shop at any one time
• Free Room for Packed Lunches
• Café – we have a café on site. Only food purchased from the cafe may be consumed in the café. The cafe CANNOT accomodate walk in groups. Please speak with our Education Manager for further information or to prearrange lunch.
• Bathrooms are located throughout the museum and are well signposted
• Most of the Museum is wheelchair accessible, lifts are located throughout and there are accessible bathrooms on the ground and second floors
• Big Stuff tour is available for groups wishing to see our machinery collection. Additional charges may apply and subject to availability

Additional Support Need Visitors

We strive to be as accessible as possible and as such we can offer a pre-visit visual guide as well as offer “quiet time” tours where sound affects can be turned off and additional lighting put on. Please speak to a member of the Education Team for any further assistance.

We require a minimum of five days notice if you need to cancel your visit. If less than five days’ notice is given for your cancellation or an additional tour guide has been booked the full amount will be payable.


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