English Heritage has won the prestigious Sandford Award for Heritage Education, given to museum and heritage organisations with outstanding education programmes, for its school visits to Stonehenge projects.

Kate Davies, General Manager at Stonehenge said, “We are thrilled to win the Sandford Award and delighted that the judges recognise that our schools offer at Stonehenge has been enhanced by having the visitor centre. This is a fantastic endorsement of the hard work that goes into of the education programme at Stonehenge and for its delivery by our Education Visits Officer and our team of dedicated volunteers.”

50,000 school children visit Stonehenge each year, taking advantage of the free school visits programme. In addition to this, many take advantage of our paid-for ‘Discovery Visits’ which are linked to learning objectives in the national curriculum.

The judge was impressed by the learning programmes on offer at Stonehenge, noting that the content and purpose of each session is clearly explained at the start and the Discovery Visits’ are successfully linked to the requirements of the National Curriculum. Sessions offer a variety of activities and equipment as well as facilities that would not be available in school. The programme has been developed in close co-operation with a number of partners, including the National Trust, Salisbury Museum & Wiltshire Museum, The Ancient technology Centre and Wessex Archaeology. The service was recognised as being “well managed, and expertly delivered by the Education Officer and a very well trained and supported team of volunteers. The facilities are first rate, and offer an exciting experience to all visitors.”

The Sandford Award is an independently judged, quality assured assessment of education programmes at heritage sites, museums, archives and collections across the British Isles.

For details of school visits at Stonehenge please visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/schools/