Free opportunities for local schools

Autumn term 2016

Visits to Horsley Church, near Rochester, to see and hear the restored pipe organ took place in early November. We thoroughly enjoyed them, and we hope you did too. Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the chance to offer this free education programme for local schools.

The Education Programme (PDF) was developed by David Walmsley. It is also available in PowerPoint format.

It is cross-curricular programme, supporting teaching and learning in:

  • STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)
  • Music
  • Art
  • Literacy

It was delivered through:

  • Three half-day workshops at local schools (free) led by a musician and an artist
  • Teacher-led activities downloadable from our website (free on this page)
  • Visits to the church to see the organ (see above) and the opportunity to take part in a celebratory concert for all participating schools. This was a rare opportunity for schools across the valleys to sing together as a large choir.

The Science of Sound

Children discovered how an organ works beginning with how sound is produced in organ pipes and then learning how these pipes go together to make a complete instrument. We have a specially-designed working model to reveal the inner workings of a pipe organ. The operation of the model can be viewed through a transparent panel. There was also an opportunity to examine organ pipes and other working parts.

The visits to local schools are now over, but other interested parties should contact me. My e-mail address is

Listen, Talk & Sing

Our musician played and talked about a range of organ music, encouraging children to share their responses and feelings about each piece. The children learned to sing the specially composed song telling the organ’s fascinating history, rescue and incredible journey up the A68. Download "Stops, Pipes, Pedals and Keys" by Fiona Lander here now (.docx). You can now listen to the song itself (.mp3) — best listened to on headphones or through a sound system.

The Art of Stencilling

Our artist introduced the children to the traditional use of stencilling on objects and buildings in the past. We began by looking at the beautiful stencilling on the organ pipes. Children saw video footage showing the organ pipes being repainted and regilded by the firm of Butler and Castell, specialists in carved and gilt antique restoration, before working with an artist to create their own stencil designs to decorate some ‘new’ organ pipes (large cardboard tubes).

Download the video footage of transfer leaf application and pipe-cleaning here now.

These have been assembled alongside the pipes produced by children from other schools to produce a collaborative artistic installation, which was unveiled at the schools’ concert.


To support children’s literacy and build on learning in science and technology, we have commissioned a new illustrated children’s story for KS1/early KS2 pupils about a family of mice living inside a broken organ. Imagine ‘The Borrowers’ inhabiting a redundant organ or read John Betjeman’s Diary of a Church Mouse. You’ll certainly get the picture here.

Click on the links below to access resources you can download:

  • The story told by the author. (Right-click for options)
  • Suggestions and strategies for literacy activities (will probably download by default) based on the story with PPT slides.
  • The story as a .pdf file. (Open and "Save As", or right-click.)

The former literacy adviser and award-winning publisher also offered suggestions and strategies for creative writing. (Subject to funding we aim to publish this as an interactive e-book.)

We’ll also be providing a range of easy-to-use curriculum resources downloadable from our website for you to use before, after and between workshops.

Contact us with any questions by emailing David.

David Walmsley
Activities Planner, Horsley