Gateway to the world

This interactive session considers the significance of the River Mersey and Liverpool's geographical location, and how trade and immigration helped it develop into one of the world's leading port cities.

Gateway to the world can be booked Monday to Friday at 10.15am, 11.30am and 1.15pm.

school children looking at maps

© Pete Carr

Key facts

  • Suitable for: Key Stage 2
  • Subjects: English, Geography, History, Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural
  • Session type: Museum led
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Class size(maximum): 30
  • Venue: Museum of Liverpool
  • £90 including VAT per session
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Resources and trails

Workshop details

This session begins in The Great Port gallery which outlines how Liverpool became one of the world’s great ports and how this shaped the city of today.  Pupils explore the trade goods wall to identify examples of imports and exports to and from Liverpool.

An important part of this session involves exploring the significance of the River Mersey to Liverpool and the city’s geographic location.  The growth of Liverpool’s docks is explored as a whole class timeline activity.

Group work investigates trading cotton, tea, sugar, salt and tobacco and pupils handle examples of these goods. Pupils discuss when goods were first traded in Liverpool, where they came from and what would have happened to the goods after they came to the docks?  The geographic location of each trade good is then identified on a world map by the demonstrator on an interactive whiteboard.

Liverpool’s history as an immigration centre throughout the 19th and 20th centuries is explored in a game involving role play and costume.  The decline of the docks and impact of container ships is also investigated.