Learning Programme

Welcoming schools & young people to the Cowper & Newton Museum – a treasure trove of fascinating personal belongings and stories, set in a historic Georgian building and gardens on the Market Place in Olney.

We are able to support your National and Creative Curriculum:

PLEASE NOTE:  Visits to St Peter & St Paul should be booked directly with the church.

The Museum is closed to the General Public on Mondays but is available for School Visits.

Larger groups will be split into smaller groups of no more than 15 children.  These groups can be run concurrently in different rooms within the Museum or one after the other by using the Gardens, Gazebo and/or Viper Barn.


Educational Visits – Includes a Guided Activity Session of 1 / 1.5 hours but you are free to stay throughout Museum opening hours.

  • 10 children and over = £3 per child 5-16 years
  • Under 10 children = Minimum fee is £30
  • Adults free up to a ratio of 1:6.  One (free) adult to every 6 children.

Please email info@cowperandnewtonmuseum.org.uk for more information and a booking form.

PLEASE NOTE:  The house has 6 flights of stairs, and old (uneven!) floorboards. Contact the Museum for our House and Garden Risk Assessment.

Online Resources 

All resources below and additional material can be downloaded via this link Britain’s Role in the Transatlantic Slave Trade 

Britain’s Role

in the

Transatlantic Slave Trade

Britain as a Slave Trader: Rebellion, Revolt, and Resistance

To introduce learners to that part of the Transatlantic Trade route known as the Middle Passage, the impact it had on the physical and mental states of the enslaved and how enslaved Africans and those of Caribbean descent resisted enslavement.

Learners will be:
• Encouraged to reflect on social, moral, spiritual issues raised with the treatment of the enslaved Africans on board the slave ships.
• Able to understand the importance of human freedom and the lengths people will go to achieve it and keep it.
• Made aware of the living conditions and treatment of the enslaved Africans on-board the slave ships.
• Able to outline the methods and structures that supported the Transatlantic Slave Trade during the Atlantic voyages.

By the end of the lesson learners will be able to:
*Judge the motivations behind the behaviours of the sailors and traders on-board the slave ships.
*Question the methods used to create physical and mental trauma and dehumanise the enslaved Africans.
*Understand that enslaved Africans were not passive and identify the ways in which enslaved Africans resisted, rebelled and fought for their freedom from enslavement

These resource materials quote directly from 18th and early 19th century historical sources and contains details about the attitudes towards, treatment of, and violence towards people who were enslaved and trafficked from Africa during that time.

who have been enslaved
Information Fact Files
Lesson Starters
Information Fact Files
Lesson Activity
Insurrection resource front
Historical Sources Resource pack
Film (below) to accompany the Resource Booklet

The Abolitionists

To investigate key players in the abolitionist movement, their impact and global legacies in human rights, literature, and legislation.

Learners will be:
• Able to state the reasoning of key abolitionists who opposed the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
• Aware of the strategies employed by abolitionists leading to the emancipation of the enslaved.
• Able to describe the factors that influenced the granting of emancipation by the British Parliament.
• Read and understand texts written by abolitionists, the points and ideas contained within them, the meaning of the words and phrases used.

Information Fact Files
Historical Sources Resource Pack
Lesson Activity

Additional Resources:

John Newton: Enslaver to Abolitionist – Quotes from Newton’s diary, journal, letters and books which track his change in attitude towards the transatlantic slave trade and slavery

John Newton – short biography

William Cowper – short biography

John Newton & Amazing Grace – virtual exhibition

How the hymn Amazing Grace came to be written in the town of Olney by John Newton

The Life of John Newton / Amazing Grace

The Life of John Newton – an outline of his life

KS3 & 4 Resource pack ‘John Newton & Amazing Grace’ (includes: information, a film by Rick Wakeman from BBC Manchester & Jerusalem Productions, Powerpoints) from RE:ONLINE

A link to a short American film about the life of John Newton and Amazing Grace.  Suitable for worship or lessons.

A short film made by Junior Filmmakers MK, part of their ‘Because of Them, We Can’ series.  Amazing Grace


The Atlantic Slave Trade / The Campaign to Abolish Slavery

Additional Resource pack to accompany the films by Royal Holloway, University of London: What was the transatlantic slave trade?
Who profited from the slave trade? Who were the Abolitionists?

Show Racism the Red Card is the UK’s leading anti-racism educational charity.  Find education materials and information about school based visits.

Anti-Slavery International Information and learning resources.  Founded in 1839, they are the oldest international human rights organisation in the world

A wide range of resources from Professor Brycchan Carey: Slavery, British Abolitionists, Olaudah Equiano, Ignatius Sancho, Quobna Ottobah Cugoano, 

A Chronology of Slavery, Abolition, and Emancipation – Prof Brycchan Carey 

Syllabus and resources from the West African Senior School Certificate Examination; ‘West Africa and the Wider World from Earliest Times to 2000’

Actor performed readings from the Amazing Grace Festival:  Olaudah Equiano  William Cowper   Hannah Moore

Direct link to William Cowper’s anti-slavery poetry 

Also see information and hear Rev Martin Luther King jr at Glenville High, Cleveland in 1967, referencing William Cowper

Resource Pack from CMS and the Citizenship Foundation, incl links to video clips from the film ‘Amazing Grace’

Learning Activities from The Abolition Project

Learning Activities about the The Campaign for Abolition from The British Library

USI Understanding Slavery Initiative: Supporting those teaching and learning about Transatlantic Slavery

Slave Voyages website: Explore the dispersal of enslaved Africans across the Atlantic World   The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database

3D video reconstruction the slave ship Marie-Seraphique.  This ship was of a similar design to the Duke of Argyle, the slave ship captained by John Newton

Legacies of British slave ownership database University College London

The Lewis Walpole Library online exhibition  Prospects of Empire: Slavery and Ecology in Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Britain

The Impact of the Slave Trade on Africa:  National Museums Liverpool,  Open University resources

Black Lives – Heritage & Culture

Black Singers and Folk Ballads  Learning Resources – The English Folk Dance and Song Society 

Black Sailors and Sea Shanties Learning Resources – The English Folk Dance and Song Society 

Amazing Grace: The American Spiritual -exploring diversity, equity, equality, and inclusion through America’s music

Black History Month www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk

Pages from ‘Golden Legacy Illustrated History Magazine, 1966,  ‘The saga of Toussaint L’Ouverture and the birth of Haiti’,  Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Black British History – resources from Institute of Commonwealth Studies.

Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels – Education resources 

 Ashlee McIntosh presents on two free films for schools from the Citizens Project. She shares why she supports the Royal Holloway, University of London made materials , explains what her experience was as the only black student in her class and gives her suggestion for how they are used in the classroom.  

Contact Us

01234 711516

Orchard Side
Market Place
MK46 4AJ

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Book Museum Tickets

Our Museum building remains CLOSED.  We are opening our gardens on limited entry.  The Cowper & Newton Museum gardens will be open to welcome you on Wednesday 5th August 10.30 – 12.15 and Saturday 8th August 10.30 – 12.15

(Follow our social media accounts or check back here for further opening days & times as they become available)