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Tour of the International Slavery Museum, key stage 4

Key facts

  • Suitable for: Key Stage 4, Post 16, Post 18
  • Subjects: Citizenship, History
  • Session type: Museum led
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Class size (maximum): 20
  • Venue: International Slavery Museum
  • Free


The tour can cover everyday life in West Africa, the journey of forced migration from Africa to the Americas, and life on the plantations. Or, depending on the teacher’s guidance, it could simply focus on life in West Africa and cover this in more depth.

Further details

contemporary sculpture in the International Slavery Museum

After an introduction to the Museum, the tour moves to the Life in West Africa displays and explores the cultural richness and sophistication of societies living there before people were enslaved. For instance it looks at the hand-woven Kente cloth from Ghana, at who would have worn it and the symbolic meaning of the colours. It explores other themes such as what life was like in a Nigerian Igbo village.

Depending on the guidance received, the tour then moves on to provide an overview of the biggest forced migration in human history and help students develop their understanding of the transatlantic slave trade and its impact on African people. It helps young people to consider a range of issues and to explore ideas other than their own.

Crucially the session is delivered by staff trained in communicating a sensitive subject to young people, and who are confident in using appropriate language and sharing their knowledge with students.

The tour highlights Black people’s continuous fight against their enslavement, slavery today, and how we can speak out on issues of concern as active global citizens. It also helps students to consider the causes and consequences of the transatlantic slave trade and Liverpool’s involvement.

Because of the sensitive subject matter of some of the displays, our specially trained staff begin by consulting the teacher about which areas of the Museum are appropriate for the class to cover.

Curriculum links

Key stage 4 – Citizenship

  • Develop a sound knowledge and understanding of the role of law and the justice system in our society and how laws are shaped and enforced.
  • Develop an interest in, and commitment to, participation in volunteering as well as other forms of responsible activity, that they will take with them into adulthood.
  • Are equipped with the skills to think critically and debate political questions.  

Key stage 4 – History

  • Know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day.
  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world.
  • Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change.
  • Understand the methods of historical enquiry.
  • Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

Pupils will:

  • Understand the richness of African culture prior to slavery.
  • Learn about Liverpool’s role in the transatlantic slave trade.
  • Find out about the brutality and injustice humans inflicted on others. 
  • Understand that slavery still exists in our society today.
  • Understand that there are practical things we can do to challenge injustice.


Pupils will:

  • Learn to evaluate information and make informed judgements about controversial issues.
  • Engage critically with evidence.
  • Weigh up what is fair and unfair in different situations.
  • Reflect on different ideas, opinions, beliefs and values.
  • Analyse and evaluate sources, question different values and viewpoints and recognise bias.
  • Learn to justify their arguments.   


Pupils will:

  • Be introduced to the role of a national museum.
  • Learn of the existence of human rights.
  • Learn about the importance of freedom. 
  • Appreciate that identities are complex.
  • Learn about rights and responsibilities


Pupils will:

  • Develop a better understanding of racial equality and diversity.
  • Be encouraged to play an effective role in public life.
  • Learn about their duties and responsibilities.
  • Understand about the need to respect diverse beliefs, cultures and identities.
  • Be encouraged to explore the rest of the Museum.