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Key Stage 3 & 4 activities

Ages 11 – 18

Our 80-acre site comprising of iconic historic buildings, three warships, world class exhibitions and a Ropery; provides the perfect environment for stimulating and rewarding experiences. We have a range of team building challenges as well as guided tours and bespoke activities that make the Historic Dockyard the ideal venue for everything from small examination groups to large whole cohort days out.

Whether you are bonding a group together, setting the scene for your course, re-inforcing theory in the real world or celebrating success, you will find everything you need to make your project a success at The Historic Dockyard Chatham.


Make or Break

This guided exploration of the Victorian rope-laying floor, Hemp House and Test House highlights the science and technology of the rope making process that has developed over the last 400 years. Student ‘apprentices’ participate in the rope making process using our specially designed model followed by a visit to the longest brick building in Europe where rope is still made in the traditional way. After investigating some of the product designs currently sold by our rope making company Master Rope makers and working to their given design brief, teams of pupils are tasked with creating an inventive and practical design for a new product incorporating rope. Which team will produce the most imaginative and commercial design? Each pupil will be given an individual rope sample to take away with them.

Curriculum links: Design and Technology, Physics (Motion and Forces)

Educational Tours


Gun Deck Challenge

Straight off the gun deck of an 18th century warship, the students use their knowledge of chemistry and laboratory practice to create the perfect propellant, then launch a ball bearing from their chemical cannon to outgun the other gun crews.

Curriculum links: Working Scientifically, Chemistry (Chemical Reactions)


Rocket Squad

Students compete to develop their own accurate missiles using Newton’s Laws and principles of aerodynamics to destroy a target. This lively activity is inspired by the Sea Cat missiles on board HMS CAVALIER. Nothing beats the satisfying sound of a direct hit!

Curriculum links: Working Scientifically, Physics (Motion and forces)


Full Speed Ahead

Stimulated by the National Maritime Museum model collection, teams of students compete to construct and test prototype hull shapes and propulsion systems against their peers. Facing the challenge of the tow tank wind and wave machine, students realise what a difference the knowledge of naval architecture makes to the performance of a ship.

Curriculum links: Working Scientifically, Physics (Motion and Forces), Design and Technology

Year group VISITS

For those groups looking for a less curriculum-focused day out, The Historic Dockyard offers the perfect place for a group of any size as we can easily accommodate even whole Secondary year groups. The site has a wide variety of galleries and attractions, with experiences to appeal to all members of a cohort.

Overnight Stays

Crash Out on CAVALIER

Take part in a unique overnight stay experience on board the Royal Navy’s last operational Second World War Destroyer, HMS CAVALIER. Sleeping in real ships bunks, young explorers will get first hand experience of what life was like on board. Included within the experience is an evening programme of fun naval-themed activities, led by our friendly team, providing a fascinating insight into the challenges of life at sea. Overnight stays include breakfast in The Mess Deck.

For more information regarding our overnight stays please download our information pack below.

“The Dockyard brought History to life & engaged the students better than any PowerPoint presentation could. To be honest, our guides really made the day, so friendly and helpful!”


“Very knowledgable leaders and guides that were very informative and made the day run smoothly. The children really enjoyed the visit and were exposed to lots of information in a fun way.”


Get in touch

Please use the form below to tell us as much as you can about the visit you’re planning and a member of our learning team will contact you to discuss your plans in more detail.