Education and school visits

Meet the Team!

Our new Educ­ation Team are ready to showcase Darlington’s ­social and technologi­cal history. We are­ preparing to welcome­ primary schools as p­art of their science,­ technology, engineering and maths (STEM) ­curriculum, to take part in our practical ­and fun school visits, supported by Cummins , Northumbrian Water and River Tees Rediscovered. 

We are very happy to discuss your bespoke requirements and  offer a varied programme of introductory talks, guided tours, and hands-on experience.

School Visits

We can take you back to Victorian times, when in 1849, Tees Cottage Pumping Station began supplying water to Darlington.

We have two completely original pumping engines in full working order, which are displayed running on our open days.  The engines at Tees Cottage pumped water from the River Tees, which was then filtered and supplied to the water company’s customers.

Visits can be linked to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), and to cross-curricular themes. The Pumping Station offers opportunities for learning outside the classroom and for the development of key skills. School visits can if desired, be arranged for almost any Wednesday when a full complement of volunteers will be available to deliver demonstrations and lead guided tours.

At the present time we have interactive demonstrations of filtration and pumping, both of which provided an integral part of the site water treatment and delivery processes. In addition, the site visit will highlight many facets of STEM and their development over the past 170 years, for example:

  • mechanical engineering
  • materials of construction
  • sources of energy
  • working with metal in the Smithy,
  • chemistry of gas production.

Our volunteers are enthusiastic, knowledgeable, competent and friendly. We offer suggested session plans linked to key stages 1 and 2 of the National Curriculum and are especially happy to tailor visits to suit your requirements.

In association with the Tees Rivers Trust, we can also include a visit to the adjacent River Tees at which there will be discussion and interactive demonstrations of local river life.

Risk assessment example for schools

We have prepared a number of session plans for school visits and are happy to work with schools to align these with their specific requirements. Some examples are provided below:

TCPS animals and plants of the river

TCPS Plan of activities filtration activity

TCPS changes through history

TCPS materials activity

Our first school visit!

Contact us for more information by email at