Explore and learn with the Firing Line Museum
Our museum covers more than 300 years of 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards and The Royal Welsh. This gives us the opportunity to work closely with these regiments and means we can offer education sessions on a wide range of historic and modern themes. These are suitable for leaners of all ages, from Primary school, Secondary school, College, and life-long learners.
Our sessions are bespoke and designed around your learning outcomes. We can offer sessions on themes including the First World War, Second World War, and Communication in Warfare. If you are interested in exploring another theme let us know and we would be happy to work with you to develop something new.
Here are some of the activities we currently offer;
- Introduction to the theme– including a talk with a range of original and reproduction items for participants to see as well as the opportunity to try on a soldier’s uniform and handling a Lee Enfield gun depending on the chosen theme.
- What’s in the box?– Participants are split into groups and given a themed box containing a wide range of handling items. Participants explore the items with a facilitator thinking about how they were used, what they are made off and why they are being preserved.
- Semaphore Messaging– This flag flying form of communication involves teamwork and coordination. Our facilitator will ensure all participants get a go at spelling out words and send messages to each other.
- Women in times of War – Using original artifacts and reproductions we discuss the roles of women in the First and Second World Wars and the wider effect on society. Through quizzes and discussions, we think about what women did for the war effort both at the front line and in Britain.
- Morse Code – Using our own keyers, two groups translate words into morse code and back again and working together as a team send a secret message to the other group.
- Rationing – Exploring food rationing in the Second World War, participants discover what it was like to eat during the war, the potential benefits of rationing and can have a go at designing their own British Restaurant menu. Clothing rationing led to ingenuity and a new fashion for parachute silk wedding dresses, as part of this topic participants can view an original parachute silk wedding dress.
- Remote controlled tanks– Participants work in pairs to manoeuvre the remote-controlled miniature tanks through our assault course. Participants are set the challenge of getting across the course, but it won’t be easy, as the driver won’t be looking at the course. The navigator and driver will have to work together to get across and swap roles to get back again.
- Fantastic Flags – Flags are used by nations or groups to show their identity. We explore flags from the UK and discover why there is a Dragon on the Welsh Flag. Participants also have the opportunity to design their own personal flag.
- Medals – The British Army has been issuing medals to recognise achievement for the last three hundred years. In this activity we explore the what medals are and why they are issued. Participants can explore our display of medals and design their own.
- Postcards in the First World War – During the First World War it was difficult for soldiers on the front line to communicate with loved ones back home. In this activity participants learn about different types of post card and design their own.
- Military Drill – Used by the army for marching, parades and ceremonies, drill was first developed by the Romans. Participants will be put into formation and experience a drill activity with our very own Corporal. This activity is best done outside so is weather dependant.
- Uniform Dress up (on site only) – Exploring the range of uniforms, participants can try on different soldier’s kit from as early as Napoleonic times to present day uniforms.
- Gun, Sword and Helmet talks (on site only) –Participants will explore the history of guns, swords and helmets from as early as the Roman era. There will be a chance to handle some of the objects and learn more about how they have developed into the items we see today.
- Exploring the Exhibition (on site only) – Participants are encouraged to learn more about the people in our regiments and finding out about their extraordinary actions over the last 300 years.
If possible, our facilitators will be dressed in uniform from the era.
What we offer
We offer both Museum based and School based sessions covering topics including First World War, Second World War, and Communication in Warfare. If you have a specific theme in mind that we don’t already cover, let us know and we are always happy to develop new sessions.
Using the list of activities outlined above we can develop sessions which delve into your chosen theme.
Our Museum based sessions on the First World War can look at the role of the soldier and explore their journey from recruitment to life in the trenches. Looking at photographs and objects from this period students will begin to understand the impact of the First World War on citizens and soldiers of the UK. Participants can try on First World War uniforms and take part in military drill with our own Corporal. We can outline how the First World War impacted on the lives of the women with reference to medicine, industry and the right to vote.
As part of our Second World War sessions we discover what life was like during the Second World War through the stories of evacuees, soldiers, ARP wardens and the Home Guard. Pupils will have the opportunity to try on costumes, handle real and replica artefacts, and find out how the country changed as a result of war. We also have remote controlled tanks which pupils can try their hand at navigating around an obstacle course with a certificate upon completion.
For our Communication in Warfare theme, we start by looking at modern communication and then look to the beginning of the regiment and the importance of sharing information quickly, accurately and without electricity! Using our Semaphore activity, we discuss the importance and limitations of flag-based communication. Morse code was a huge development in communication and our activity uses teamwork to demonstrate how messages were sent. We also think about soldiers sending messages back to family during the First World War by looking through original and reproduction postcards, discussing censorship, and designing their own postcards. Our drill activity demonstrates how regiments communicate at the macro level and the tank activity shows how communication between soldiers is the bases of teamwork.
School based sessions can include talks and activities on a range of topics and will include objects from our handling collections bringing the history to life. We can offer all activities listed above, except those noted as on site only.
We support lifelong learning and therefore offer events for all ages. Sessions are bespoke and designed around what your group want to learn or see and can be either at the museum or at a venue of your choice. Here are some ideas demonstrating what we can deliver. Please get in touch to discuss your needs and we will plan with you in mind;
- Introduction to the World Wars– Staff can deliver an informative and interactive presentation about the lives of soldiers and civilians during the First or Second World War. This session includes handling soldier’s uniform and a Lee Enfield gun
- Gun, Sword and Helmet talks (on site only) –These talks take you on a journey through time and the development of guns, swords or helmets. Using original objects and reproductions you can learn about how they have developed over time. These talks give you the chance to handle the items.
- The creation of the museum – Find out how the museum was developed from one of our curators. This can include information on how to develop your own museum text.
- Uniformed soldiers – We can send a contingent of uniformed staff to any event you are hosting to add value to any themed occasion.
All of the above activities can be booked for private groups for a reasonable fee or donation. For more information email mailto:email@example.com
If you come down to the castle today, you may be in for a surprise…
We aim to host at least one of the following activities every day for our visitors but please be aware these are only possible if we have enough staff so if there’s something you’d really like to see or do please give us a call before you arrive:
- Gun, Sword, Flag and Helmet talks – These talks are held most days and are a chance to handle original and reproduction Guns, Swords or Helmets. We have recently added a Flag talk to our talks programme. You can also ask our experienced staff questions about the items.
- Staff in uniform from different periods – Have your picture taken with our staff dressed in uniforms dating from medieval times to the Second World War. Also, you can try on your own outfit in our visitor dress up station which is open daily. Give us a call before your visit to find out if this activity is running.
- Family activities on school holidays – We have a range of activities available during school holidays from our History Detective’s gallery trail to arts and craft activities. You may even be able to have a go at driving our tanks! Activities typically cost £1 per person and some of these activities are not available every day over school holidays. If there is something specific you would like to do give us a ring before you arrive and check out our Facebook and Twitter
All of the above activities can be booked for private groups for a reasonable fee or donation. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
Royal Gun Salutes are given as a sign of respect or welcome for important Royal occasions. They happen on Royal Anniversaries and Birthdays and take place throughout the UK. The Royal Gun Salutes for Cardiff are usually based here in Cardiff Castle.
Events are organised by 160th (Welsh) Brigade and Headquarters Wales. They often host pupils from schools in Wales for various activities throughout the day. It is a chance for participants to meet members of the Ice Maidens – the British Army team who became the first all-female expedition to cross Antarctica, or explore our collection with gun, sword and helmet talks, and driving remote controlled tanks.
If you are a school and interested in experiencing a Royal Gun Salute, contact @ArmyinWales on Facebook and they will be able to organise a visit directly with you.
Gun salutes are supported by military bands. In the past they have been supported by the Regimental Band and Corps of Drums of The Royal Welsh and the Band of the Prince of Wales’s Division.
Entrance into the castle grounds is free for this event.
What you need to know
Where: We host education sessions in our museum which is in Cardiff Castle. We can travel to you for outreach sessions in and around Southeast Wales.
Access: The Firing Line Museum is fully accessible including a lift down to the museum itself from ground level. The disabled toilets are located on Floor 2 of the Interpretation Centre Building to the left of the lift.
Cost: For schools, museum-based sessions cost £5 per pupil. Our outreach sessions include a travel fee to cover our fuel costs. For other types of education session including community groups and private parties get in touch for more information about costs.
When: We offer sessions on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Timings: When visiting the museum, we recommend a 2-3 hour session so that you can do a few activities with us. For a 2–3 hour sessions we would typically have a twenty minute to half an hour introduction, then split into smaller groups and run two or three activities simultaneously rotating after about half an hour. Then bring everyone back together to discuss what we have done.
Here is an example of a session outline:
Introduction Talk: 9:30 till 10:00
Activity Session 1: 10:00 till 10:30
Break: 10:30 till 10:45
Activity Session 2: 10:45 – 11:15
Activity Session 3: 11:15 – 11:45
Bring everyone back together to talk about what we have done 11:45 till 12:15
Our timings are flexible, and we are happy to offer different length sessions based on your needs. We have a variety of activities for you to choose from.
For outreach sessions we can adapt to your requirements. Typically, two members of staff will come to your school. We are happy to fit in with your regular lesson timetable. We can run the same session (based on one theme) multiple times over a morning/day to cover a whole year group. Or focus on a theme with one class similar to our museum-based sessions.
Food and Drink: If you are coming to us then we have a free lunch space you can request when booking. If your session with us is over 2 hours long we offer a space for a short break with a snack and drink. You will need to bring all food with you.
Size of group: We can run up to 3 sessions at a time each with 12 participants. We can therefore host a total of 36 participants plus their accompanying adults. We find it works best if the groups of 12 are divided up before you arrive with us. If you allocate each group a name or number, we will be happy to use this throughout our visit. Each group will need to be accompanied by at least one member of staff from your school.
Who: Our School sessions are designed for Primary and Secondary level students and young people. We can also provide activities for lifelong learners, college students and university students. Our sessions are flexible and adapt to your requirements.
COVID 19: We provide hand sanitising stations during activities. The current Government guidlines note that masks are not manditory, however you are welcome to wear a mask. If you have any questions about our COVID 19 policies email email@example.com
TIP: Do you want to make more of your trip to Cardiff? The Firing Line Museum works in partnership with other museums in Cardiff including the Museum of Cardiff and the Temple of Peace, both of which are a ten-minute walk away. We can organise your trip to include visits to other sites so you can make the most of your time in the capital. Ask us more when you book.
Home School Visits
The Museum welcomes Home Education Groups. Our sessions can work for multiple ages simultaneously and can focus on what you are interested in. Get in contact with us to book a visit.
To arrange your visit, contact us on 029 2078 8370 or firstname.lastname@example.org