Experience Days

School and Group Experience Days

We invite schools and local groups to join us on an Experience Day to take part in free creative and educational activities. Explore our museum of antique toys and puppets and get creative in drawing and making workshops. Our offer meets multiple aspects of the curriculum including art, history, design technology, literacy, and drama. We can tailor the visit for any age group from KS1 to KS3 (aged 5-14 years) – it is designed for one class at a time (max 32 students).

Over an academic year our Experience Days have different themes and content, including presenting theatre shows, so groups can return more than once. 

We firmly believe that cost should not be a barrier to enjoying the Arts. We have a ‘Transport Support Fund’ generously donated by the Spencer Wills Trust.  This helps pay for transport to and from our activities for schools and families facing hardship, who would otherwise not be able to attend. To request support please contact us directly. (Please note that travel bursaries are limited and at the discretion of The Bright Foundation).

Contact us to book


History of Toys
Terms 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 (September-May)


This brand-new workshop is inspired by the Key Stage 1 curriculum. Explore the world of antique toys, theatres, and puppets from days gone by through our museum collection. Looking at toys can tell you a lot about the time they were made. Learn about the materials used in Victorian times and what life was like for the children who played with them. After the tour children will participate in a creative toy-making workshop.


Suitable for Key Stages 1 & 2

Available dates: Wednesdays throughout 2024 (term time only)

Please note that Terms 4 & 5 are now fully booked. We still have availability for Term 6. We are also taking bookings for the next academic year.


Puppet Making Days 
Terms 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 (November-July)

Join us for a design-focused day working with artist and educator Rebecca Ainscough, and puppet designer and maker, Kate Shearcroft. Students will enjoy a museum tour discovering our private collection of antique toys, puppets and model theatre sets from around the world. Following a tour of the museum, students will learn about and try out all the different types of puppets in our collection and then create their own to show their class in our beautiful theatre.

“It was such an amazing day - well thought out and planned. It was really well delivered and some of the young people that attended have never been that attentive and focused before.”  - Group Leader

This is suitable for key stages 1-3. The day is free of charge to Schools and Groups and will run from 9:45am-2pm. Students are asked to bring a packed lunch and water bottle.

We are now offering a follow-on puppet making day for schools and groups who have already attended the Introduction to Puppets. Please contact us directly if you would like to discuss this.

Available dates: Wednesdays throughout 2024 (term time only)
Please note that Terms 4 & 5 are now fully booked. We still have availability for Term 6. We are also taking bookings for the next academic year.


Costume and Character 
Term 5 & 6 (April-July)


Another new workshop for 2024!  This fun and interactive day will be inspired by iconic costumes from the Cosprop collection. 

What does costume mean? - from dance, theatre, and film productions to folk activities and religious ceremonies, children will identify costumes and the places and period of history they came from.  They will participate in different games, and will be encouraged to think creatively as they make up a character through choosing a piece of a costume to dress in. Their peers will be asked to make up a story about who they are and what they’ve done.  

This practical workshop will enhance communication skills and collaboration, and covers storytelling, performance, improvising, and making.


Suitable for Key Stages 1-3
Please note that Term 5 is now fully booked. We still have availability for Term 6. We are also taking bookings for the next academic year.



Outdoor Learning
Term 5 (April-May)

We are thrilled to continue our outdoor workshops this Spring with inspirational and charismatic aquatic expert, Pete the Pond.


We invite classes to join us for a day at the Barn Theatre and Museum to discover the wildlife found in our grounds and museum, and create natural sculptures inspired by the wildlife and their habitats. 


Suitable for Key Stages 1-3

Outdoor Learning dates for this academic year are currently full.

Please contact us if you'd like to join a waiting list in the event of a cancellation.




The practicalities

We have the following dates available to book:
Puppet Making Days: Wednesdays January-July(excluding school holidays)
History of Toys: Wednesdays January-July (excluding school holidays)
Outdoor learning: Thursdays Term 5 & 6 (April-July)
Character & Costume: Wednesdays Term 5 & 6 (April-July)
If you would like to visit on an alternative date, please get in touch and we can check availability of our creative team.


As a charity commited to creative education for children and young people, we are offering the visit free of charge for a group of up to 32 students. We just ask that you fund your transport to and from the venue. There is a cancellation fee of £100 should you cancel within two weeks notice.


The Barn Theatre and Museum is in a rural location and can only be accessed down a single lane track. It is part of our planning condition to not allow coaches onto site. Therefore the group must be transported in minibuses. 

View Map


We are committed to making the experience as accessible as possible – please talk to us about your access needs. There is level access across the site, a hearing loop in the theatre and we can offer a BSL Interpreter for your visit.

How to Book

Please complete the booking form below. For more information or to discuss date options please email [email protected] or ring 01424 559020.

Get in touch with us here if you’d like your school to get involved.

    School Name*

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    Email address*

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    Year group*

    Number of children*

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    Preferred dates

    First choice*

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    Barn Theatre & Museum
    Rodgers Farm
    Stonestile Lane
    East Sussex
    TN35 4PH


    Registered address:
    2 London Road
    St Leonards-on-Sea
    East Sussex
    TN37 6AE


    © 2023 The Bright Foundation. Registered charity number: 1179452
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