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Key facts

  • Suitable for: Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post 16, Post 18
  • Subjects: Citizenship, Personal, social, health and economic education
  • Session type: Museum led
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Class size (maximum): 15 (absolute maximum)
  • Venue: Seized! gallery at Merseyside Maritime Museum


Rummage is a fun interactive Seized! session that is the perfect accompaniment to any of the other  sessions at the Merseyside Maritime Museum, or can be enjoyed as a session on its own. Pupils explore the fully-fitted ship’s cabin on our Seized! gallery, and take part in the training exercises that professional rummage officers go through in their work at the UK Border Force. The session is available Mon-Fri, 10am - 5pm.

Further details

Pupils explore the fully-fitted ship's cabin in our Seized! Gallery and take part in the training exercises that proffessional Rummage Officers go through in their work at the UK Border Force. It is a fabulous and effective way to engage young minds in thinking about the impact of legal & illegal trade, and its impact on people and society. Due to the compact size of the cabin we accommodate fifteen pupils at a time, enabling us to work with a whole class within an hour.

“During key stage 2 pupils... develop their sense of social justice and moral responsibility and begin to understand that their own choices and behaviour can affect local, national or global issues and political and social institutions.” Department of Education

There are thirty objects concealed around the cabin for pupils to find; they can do this individually or in small teams and will need to use observation skills to succeed. The reconstructed cabin is based on one aboard the Altea, a training ship situated in Liverpool which is a centre for excellence in the training of Rummage Officers.

The museum’s education staff who run this session all regularly attend training sessions held by the UK Border Force, with whom we have a close working relationship. This ensures that pupils always have access to the most up to date information, and are able to learn about the work of the UK Border Force protecting our borders and some of the ingenious ways smugglers try to hide their loot. 

Curriculum links

Key Stage 2

Rummage is a perfect add on session to create a package for your group if you are planning on visiting the museum for a day. Sessions to compliment this are:-

Customs Contraband
Pills, Pop and Potions
Weapons awareness for year 5/6

All of the above sessions links to PSHE for all key stages with its focus on drug smuggling, making healthy choices, keeping safe, being a responsible citizen, drug use and misuse and provides an opportunity for informed debate. Following the changes to the curriculum the teaching of PSHE is still encouraged but with no statutory guidelines.

Key Stage 3 and 4 - Citizenship

Pupils should be taught:

  • To 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
  • The nature of rules and laws and the justice system, including the role of the police and the operation of courts and tribunals
  • The roles played by public institutions and voluntary groups in society, and the ways in which citizens work together to improve their communities
  • Human rights and international law
  • The legal system in the UK, different sources of law and how the law helps society deal with complex problems

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

Pupils will:

  • Use observation skills and critical thinking to discover the hidden objects.
  • Work as a team to enable all objects to be found.
  • Talk about the negative impacts of smuggling.
  • Learn about the work of the Border Force and in particular rummage Officers.
  • Learn about the role Liverpool and the docks plays in the world of smuggling and its detection.


Pupils will:

  • Improve their speaking and listening skills in a group discussion context.
  • Learn to question and discuss issues relating to smuggling.
  • Develop their confidence and ability to make safer choices in terms of their health.


Pupils will:

  • Be introduced to the role the UK Border Force and how it protects our society.
  • Be introduced to the work of the education team and the value of a visit to a museum.
  • Learn about the techniques used by smugglers to get drugs, endangered animals and fakes into the country and the ways the UKBF try to prevent this.


Pupils will:

  • See the museum as a fun and interesting way to learn more about the past and the present.
  • Be introduced to an unusual, important job role and be able compare it to other public service roles.
  • Be inspired to have the confidence to make the right choices for themselves backed up by factual information and expertise.