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The next best thing to undertaking your own pre-visit! Our experts have toured Isle of Wight Steam Railway and have presented it "Through a Teacher's Eyes" so that you don't have to.
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Original artwork by Potting Shed Cartoons and reused with kind permission of Isle of Wight Steam Railway
Find out which are the most appropriate areas of Isle of Wight Steam Railway for your group, and see which of our learning resources apply best.Help OFF
Art & Design
Highlight old-fashioned posters, signs and advertising then design your own
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Everything you need to help you plan a school trip to Isle of Wight Steam Railway. Click to download any document as a PDF.
The following documents should prove useful to those planning a group visit to Isle of Wight Steam RailwayHelp OFF
We asked a teacher who visited Isle of Wight Steam Railway recently to share some insights about their experience.
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Apart from the more obvious connections with the History curriculum, there are many learning opportunities here for all core subjects.
Science students can study states of matter; physics students can study forces, motion, distance and time. Maths is taught through interpretation of timetable and scheduling data and mental tasks. The abundance of archive literature and advertising facilitates many English activities encouraging engagement with creative writing and interpretation of language.
Activities are also available for PSHE (Health & Safety), Engineering, Art and Design and more. There is much to be learned here!
The layout of the site lends itself effectively to school visits - with separate formal museum, interactive museum ("Train Story"), play and picnic areas, signal box and of course a fascinating (but reasonably short) steam train ride.
A classroom is available with AV equipment (by arrangement) and on-site catering is possible. The venue is ideal for completion of on-site activity sheets, of which there are many to choose from, all connecting directly with the National Curriculum. In addition, there are plenty of pre-visit and post-visit learning opportunities.
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There are several toilets around the site at Havenstreet - inside the cafe building (3), by the signal box (11) and on the events field.
Disabled toilets are sited by the gift shop (2) and in the cafe (2).
Toilets are also available at Wootton Station and Smallbrook Junction, but NOT at Ashey.
Disabled toilets are available at Havenstreet station, next to the Gift Shop (2) and inside the cafe building (2).
There are no disabled toilet facilities at other stations.
There is an indoor cafe at IW Steam Railway serving a range of snacks and hot meals. By prior arrangement we can provide picnic lunches if required for visiting groups.
There is also outdoor seating (under cover) alongside the play area and a number of wooden picnic benches just around the corner overlooking the events field (see 12) for your use.
The ice cream parlour serves a range of ices, and is open on fair weather days throughout most of the season. When closed, you can purchase the same products in the cafe, adjacent.
The play area is adjacent to the woodland walk and events field giving children an ideal opportunity to burn off some energy whilst under supervision from the covered cafe outdoor seating area.
The woodland walk leads through a SSSI wood but isn't really suitable for the disabled or infirm, especially after poor weather.
At the main entrance there are a number of humourous art pieces made of old railway apparatus, rocks and tree stumps etc. which offer an amusing adjunct to the visit.
A woodland stage is used for special events throughout the season, but also serves as an ideal picnic area especially on hot days.
The circular walk takes 20-30 minutes.
Part of an SSSI, Briddlesford Copse, a species-rich cluster of ancient broadleaved woodland. Also home to a nationally important breeding population of the rare Bechstein's bat Myotis bechsteinii.
At present there are no formal educational resources supporting this part of the venue.
This large field is used throughout the year for a number of special events (see timetable on the Venue Finder page).
When not in use for events, students are welcome to use this area for picnics, games, or just a good run around.
Should you need assistance during your trip and cannot locate a member of staff, visit the offices where radio and PA are available.
Lost children will be returned here.
Ideal for infants, this play area is equipped with a number of educational toys and a fascinating model railway.
The model railway runs around a large part of the room and features historically accurate models.
Available by prior arrangement, this room seats up to 50 and is flexible in layout. An AV system with projector is fitted.
This makes an ideal classroom space if you wish to extend your visit to the railway by completing Education Destination resources on-site.
This original signal box is still used today. During train operating days you won't be able to visit the box for safety reasons, but you can have a good look through the windows!
Refreshments area with picnic tables for your use.
Picnic tables for your use.
Railway garden of remembrance with benches for your use.
When ready for your train trip, make your way to the platform. The guard will require to see tickets.
## This is a live railway and children should be under strict supervision at all times. Stay away from the edge of the platform.
An old-fashioned ticket office. On arrival check in here and the education co-ordinator will be called over to meet you.
A small but fascinating collection of railway memorabilia.
Please visit in small groups of 6 to 8 maximum.
Although this is a small space, there are hundreds of interesting exhibits to study, all telling the tale of the history of steam railways on the Isle of Wight.
A number of Education Destination resources focus on the museum.
A well stocked gift shop with lots of railway themed goodies.
Old carriages and wagons are restored here and the view is always changing. In the yard you might see future restoration projects awaiting their turn.
Watch master craftsmen at work. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
Sorry - due to its location on the site this building is not open to the public
It takes about 5 minutes to walk to the Train Story discovery centre ... and along the way you pass through a SSSI. Interpretation boards will tell you more about your surroundings.
Falling from raised platform
Throwing of ballast stones
Trapped fingers in doors
Floors slippery in adverse weather
Allow 1 - 2 hours
Packed with interactive exhibits and fascinating displays, Train Story explores the history of railways on the Isle of Wight.
Students will learn about the entire timeline of Island trains and examine at close hand a selection of locomotives, carriages and wagons.
A selection of History and English focused resources are available for all key stages, designed in a timeline format to match the venue. Most are differentiated for ability level.
A large car park with overflow into an adjacent field on very busy days.
Separate coach parking area with plenty of space for turning. This is a walk of approx. 100m across a live car park to the booking office, so you should prepare to walk your students as if at the roadside. Be especially aware of cars reversing.