Borthwick Institute for Archives, University of York

Intricately drawn letter from a medieval Archbishops register.
Are all practitioners DBS checked
Not applicable
Activities on Offer
Digital Resources
Creative Writing / Poetry , Design  , Heritage and history , Theatre
Key Stage(s)
KS2 , KS3 , KS4 
Localised / General Content
York/Yorkshire focus 
Description (Long)

Our schools packs use just some of our amazing archive collections to support the History, English and Art curriculums, primarily in secondary schools. They are great at bringing a local history element to your learning sessions.

In our ‘Medieval Illuminations’ pack, KS3 students will develop an understanding of the development and types of medieval art found within documents, before having the chance to design their own illuminated letter.

In ‘Advertising at Rowntrees’ KS3 or KS4 students will learn about how the company tailored adverts and products to specific audiences through language and images choices. Students can then use these techniques to form their own persuasive documents.

Our ‘Heslington Hall’ pack can be used by KS2 or KS3 English students for creative writing, or by KS3 or KS4 History students as a case study to help explore changes in the British class system in the 20th century.

‘Slavery in the West Indies’ explores the archives of the West Harwood plantation in Barbados, owned by the Lascelles family of Harwood House. It also considers the abolitionist movement, and the wider British involvement in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Our ‘Alan Ayckbourn’ resource pack is designed to provide English, Drama and Performing Arts teachers with lesson plans and detailed background information on the work and written plans of Sir Alan Ayckbourn. Whilst it was designed originally for KS4 students, the activities could be adapted for any age.

Each pack comes with links to the curriculum, learning objectives and links to further resources. The packs are designed to be used with no prior knowledge of the subject and include full explanatory notes for teachers. If you have a different local topic in mind that isn't covered here, we'd be interested to hear from you and to help support you in your work. You can email us at We're also interested in hearing your feedback on the resources - do let us know how you get on with them by dropping us an email!

Cost for York-based schools
N/A - free download from our website
Offer contributes towards pupils attaining an Artsmark or Arts Award
Rating (average)
  • Exterior of Heslington Hall, York, early 20th century.
  • Advertising image from Rowntree's Cocoa, early 20th century.


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