Workshops for pupils

Class Workshops: The Magnificent Maya, the Rainforest and the Life of an Archaeologist

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Workshops on the Maya

A review from the children at Torriano Junior School!

Class workshops (maximum 32 children) usually take place in the morning and last until lunch (3-3.5 hours) or for the whole day if there are several classes.  Children carry out activities of historical enquiry and a large collection of Maya artefacts is available. There is also time for questions, as there are always many!



The workshop includes an informal and interactive powerpoint presentation with images, audio and video clips of:

  • How archaeologists gain an understanding about the past from only the material remains
  • Some of the things I have discovered and how I have used them to understand more about the Maya
  • What it is like to work as an archaeologist in the Maya rainforest
  • The magnificent achievements of the Maya in architecture, art, maths, astronomy, the calendar, writing and chocolate
  • We will bust some myths about the Maya as there is much inaccuracy about them
  • The children will be handling and carrying out historical enquiry with a vast collection of artefacts
  • Activities such as making your own Maya calendar, calculating sums using the Maya number system and deciphering Maya art




Aside from receiving a wonderful introduction to the Maya, the children get to meet a real-life archaeologist, which makes the experience quite unique! Teachers also come away with a good understanding of the topic, as well as ideas for future planning. 

A wonderful thank you letter I received from a child at Castlemorton Primary School


Please note: To ensure that all schools in the UK have the opportunity of these visits, there is no restriction on the distance I travel.  Discounts are given on travel for schools located a good distance from where I live.


“Thank you so much for coming to share your wealth of knowledge about the Maya with our children. They were so enthused about the topic and are really excited to learn more!  The way you delivered the information and the resources you used were perfectly suited to the age group and you had the children in the palm of your hand for the duration of the visit.”
Kirsty Singleton, Lympstone Primary, Devon


Children from Brookland Junior school, trying to play a Maya conch shell trumpet!

“Thank you so much for your visit to our school last week. The children found hearing all about your career and experiences really fascinating and came away with so much exciting information about the Maya. They especially loved hearing about your time in the jungle and had lots of fun in the interactive workshops.”
Louise Drage, Hamworthy Park Junior School, Poole


Presentations on the Maya

I also give 90-minute interactive presentations to more than one class or several years together, discussing what archaeologists do, the ancient Maya and then my life as an archaeologist and my work on the Maya in the Guatemalan jungle. There is also time for questions, but not class activities or handling of the artefacts.


“MANY MANY thanks for coming to West Park Primary School last Thursday. You truly inspired the pupils at our school. They have been full of it and have talked about it none stop!”
Janet Swift, West Park Primary, Wolverhampton


For schools with more than one class studying the Maya

If you have more than one class, then I can come for a full-day dividing my time between each class. Alternatively, I can visit for half a day offering a combination of a shorter presentation to all followed by mini-interactive workshops with each class.

The mini-workshops all include handling and carrying out historical enquiry with my collection of artefacts.  With more time, the children can make their own Maya calendar and learn how to work out the date in real-time, as well as learning how to calculate sums in the Maya number system.


Made by children from Woodfield Junior School, Wolverhampton


“I would like to thank you for taking the time to come in to our school last week and share your knowledge and experience of the Maya. We all enjoyed your presentation and the pupils have been inspired to become archaeologists.
I have put together a short video clip of the mornings events which you can find through the link below, I hope you enjoy it!”

Osi Ejiofor, Woodlands Primary School, Essex



“May I just reiterate how utterly fantastic your visit was and how much the children got from it.”
Bradley Young, Homefield Primary School, Great Yarmouth


 “Thank you so much for your wonderful workshop with the boys! It was well-organised, brilliantly interactive and the boys left so inspired! I received an email from a parent this evening to say it was ‘one of the few times James has come home talking about something other than football at break time! He was really inspired by the Maya talk and would now like to be an archaeologist if he doesn’t make it in the Premiership!’ I thought you would appreciate that one! “

Adelise Easter, Donhead Preparatory School, Wimbledon

My Commute to Work


“Thank you so much for the wonderful day last week. My colleagues all agreed that it was fantastic and I told my head that you were by far the best visitor I’ve ever experienced in my many years at Lomeshaye. One of my boys said that it had been the best day he had had in year six so far!”

Ellie Payne, Lomeshaye Junior School, Lancashire


Previous Workshops and Talks on the Maya

2017 Burnham-on-crouch Primary School, Essex
2017 Northway Primary School, Liverpool
Rainbow Montessori School, London
2017 Our Lady of Sion Junior School, Worthing
2017 Brookland Junior School, London
2017 St. Anne’s Stanley CofE Primary School, Liverpool
2017 Hertsmere Jewish School, Herts
2017 Middlemarch Junior School, Nuneaton
2017 Somerville Primary School, Birmingham
2017 Templewood Primary School, Herts
2017 Carpenters Primary School, London
2017 The Good Shephard Catholic Primary School, Northampton
2017 Alphington Primary School, Devon
2017 Petts Hill Primary School, Northolt
2017 Wolf Fields Primary School, Southall
2017 Faith Primary School, Liverpool
2017 Leys Farm Junior School, Scunthorpe
2017 Hampton Hill Junior School, Hampton
2017 Rotherhithe Primary School, London
2017 James Dixon Primary School, Kent
2017 Overleigh Primary School, Chester
2017 Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, Southport
2017 Birkdale Junior School, Southport
2017 Windmill Church of England Primary School, Batley
2017 Rufford Park Primary School, Leeds
2017 Yeadon Westfield School, Leeds
2017 Abbotsmede Primary School, Peterborough
2017 Edgware Primary School, Edgware
2017 Oak View Academy, Winsford
2017 West Park Primary School, Wolverhampton
2017 Lomeshaye Junior School, Lancashire
2017 Wellington Primary School, Hounslow
2017 Donhead Prep School, Wimbledon
2017 Torriano School, London
2017 Westover Primary School, Portsmouth
2017 Devonshire Primary School, Surrey
2017 Melling Primary School, Liverpool
2017 St. Anne’s RC Primary, Crumspall
2017 Scholes Village Primary School, Scholes
2017 St. Louis Catholic Primary School, Aylesbury
2017 St. Paul’s Walden Primary School, Herts
2017 St. Peter’s Junior School, Nottingham
2017 Riverside Junior School, Hebden Bridge
2017 Childwall Primary School, Liverpool
2017 Whitefield Primary School, Liverpool
2017 Bournehall Primary School, Herts
2017 Nevill Road Junior School, Stockport
2017 Beckley CE Primary School, Oxfordshire
2017 Mayhill Junior School, Hants
2017 Bathford Primary School, Bathford
2017 Bathampton School, Bath
2017 St. Cuthbert Mayne School, Surrey
2016 Old Ford Primary Academy, London
2016 Castlemorton Primary Schoo, Worcs
2016 Homefield Primary School, Great Yarmouth
2016 Bewick Bridge Community Primary School, Cambridge
2016 Hartsfield JMI School, Herts
2016 Hollymount Primary School, Cambridge
2016 St. Thomas Moorside School, Oldham
2016 East Crompton St. James School, Oldham
2016 St. John’s CofE School, Essex
2016 Manland Primary School, Herts
2016 St. John’s Upper School, London
2016 Broadoak Primary School, Ashton under Lyne
2016 Newton Primary School, Chester
2016 Milton Primary School, Staffs.
2016 Trinity Church School, Bath
2016 St. Ann’s Well Academy, Nottingham
2016 Leamore Primary School, Walsall
2016 Butler’s Court School, Beaconsfield
2016 St. James’s Catholic Primary School, Twickenham
2016 Mayhill Junior School, Hants
2016 St Cuthbert Mayne School, Surrey
2016 Stamford Hill Primary School, London
2016 George Tomlinson Primary, Leytonstone
2016 Birkdale Primary School, Southport
2016 West Park Primary School, Wolverhampton
2016 Brookland Junoir School, London
2016 Manor Field Primary School, West Sussex
2016 Huntington CP School, Chester
2016 Melody School, Chimaltenango, Guatemala
2016 La Inmaculada RC School, Arenal, Belize
2016 Chesterfield Primary School, Enfield
2016 St. Louis Catholic Primary School
2016 St. Teresa’s Catholic Primary School, Wokingham
2016 Richmond Academy, Manchester
2016 Hertsmere Jewish School, Herts
2016 Valley Road School, Henley-on-Thames
2016 St Peter’s Junior School, Nottingham
2016 Westover Primary School, Portsmouth
2016 Torriano Junior School, London
2016 Hamworthy Park Junior School, Poole
2015 Bransgore Primary School, Dorset
2015 London Fields Primary School, London
2015 Corpus Christi Primary School, Leeds
2015 Mapperley Plains Primary School, Nottingham
2015 Milton Primary School, Runcorn
2015 Newton Primary School, Chester
2015 Birkenhead High School Academy, Wirral
2015 Homefield Primary School, Great Yarmouth
2015 Linton Primary School, Derbyshire
2015 Weston Primary School, Runcorn
2015 Lympstone Primary School, Devon
2015 John Perry Primary School, London
2015 Butler’s Court Primary School, Beaconsfield
2015 Framfield CE Primary School, East Sussex
2015 Britannia Village Primary School, London
2015 Park Road Primary School, Warrington
2015 Whitefield Primary School, Liverpool
2015 St Oswalds CE Primary School, Netherton
2015 Wellesbourne Primary School, Liverpool
2015 Ashton Hayes Primary School, Chester
2015 Harwood Meadows Primary School, Bolton
2015 Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Ashton-Under-Lyne
2015 Story Wood School, Birmingham
2015 Holmer Green Junior School, High Wycombe
2015 St Mary Magdalen’s Junior School, London
2015 Woodlands Primary School, Ilford
2015 West Park Primary School, Wolverhampton
2015 Brookland Junior School, London
2015 Birkdale Primary School, Southport
2015 Dovedale Junior School, Liverpool
2015 Hamworthy Park Junior School, Poole
2015 Beckford Primary School, London
2015 Wrotham Road Primary School, Kent
2015 Hertsmere Jewish Primary School, Herts
2015 Stapleford Community Primary School, Cambridge.
2015 Halley Primary School, London.
2015 Valley Road School, Henley.
2015 St. Cuthbert Mayne Catholic Primary School, Surrey.
2015 Torriano Junior School, Camden
2015 St Louis Catholic Primary School, Aylesbury
2014 Butlers Court School, Beaconsfield.