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Digital Sessions and Loan Boxes

To request a loans box booking please complete the online form

Loans Boxes

We offer National Curriculum focused schools loans boxes to explore independently and enhance in-school teaching over a 10-day loan (£50).

All boxes contain real or replica artefacts, images, and information linked to Gallery Oldham’s collection and, where relevant, Oldham itself.

As part of your booking you will also receive via email a link to a topic video on our YouTube page. Follow a step-by-step guide to doing a creative activity with your class!

  • Prehistoric Oldham
  • The Egyptians
  • Roman Oldham
  • The Anglo-Saxons & Vikings
  • Oldham Remembers (WW1 & WW2)
  • Rocks & Fossils
  • Plants
  • Life Cycles & Food Chains
  • Faiths

Digital Sessions plus Loans Boxes

We offer three 1 hour facilitator-led live digital sessions straight to your classroom.

Each session is accompanied by a loans box on a 10-day loan to explore before, during and after the workshop (£100 for max. 35 pupils).

  • Oldhamers at Work – pupils learn about cotton mills, other industries and jobs in Victorian Oldham before making a pop-up millscape
  • Oldhamers by the Seaside – pupils discover how Oldhamers spent their Wakes Week holiday in Victorian times before making a pop-up seaside artwork
  • Art Inspired Poetry – pupils learn about Victorian artist William Stott of Oldham and use his painting, ‘The White Mountain’, to create a poem

Booking Loans Boxes and Digital Sessions

To book a loans box, please complete our booking form on Oldham Council’s website. You will then receive an email confirming your booking.

If you would like to enquire about our loans boxes or book a live digital session, please email librariesandgalleryschools@oldham.gov.uk or call 0161 770 4643.

Please note: our school loans boxes are H105, W50, D50cm.

See below for everything you need to know in advance of your loan and/or live digital session. 

Pre-loans box & live digital session information

Please ensure you read and follow our procedures for our loans box bookings and our loans box and live digital session delivery. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to get in touch via email librariesandgalleryschools@oldham.gov.uk

Please ensure you read in advance and adhere to our School Loans Box Risk Assessment.


  • Our school loans boxes are H105, W50, D50cm.
  • Let a staff member at the Main Desk know you are here to collect a loans box.
  • A Gallery Oldham member of staff will then bring out your loans box and hand it over to you.


To ensure that our objects are well looked after, we ask you to remember that they are fragile, and to observe the following guidelines:

  • In advance of your lesson read the contents list (£50 loans boxes also have additional historical information), to decide how you will use the loans box (please make a note of heavy/sharp and/or fragile objects).
  • Please note how the box is packed when you receive it so it can be returned in the same condition.
  • Please remove jewellery e.g. bracelets and large rings to avoid scuffing or scratching any objects.
  • Please make sure that all food and drink is put away before handling the objects, and that the objects are not kept on the same table as any food or drink.
  • Unpack over a large, clean, empty and stable surface.
  • Use both hands to pick up the objects.
  • Always pick up the whole body of the object – handles and spouts may not always be robust.
  • Children should be supervised when handling the objects in a calm and positive environment – ideally, they should be seated at a table or on the floor to avoid breakages.
  • Children should be told to handle only one object at a time.
  • Objects should be held firmly, but not squashed.
  • After use, re-pack the box carefully, using the bubble wrap provided to protect the objects. Please put heavy items at the bottom of the box and lighter fragile items near the top.
  • Please ensure the box lid is attached securely.

Please note: If you have booked one of our loans boxes with a live digital workshop the Gallery Oldham workshop facilitator will discuss some of the contents with your class.

However, we suggest that you allow your pupils to explore the loans box in advance of your session to encourage your pupils’ curiosity. They could perhaps write down some questions about the objects which they could ask the facilitator on the day.


If you have booked a loans box with a live digital session, you will receive a Zoom link with a Meeting ID and Passcode within your Confirmation Form. There will also be a hard copy of these details within your loans box.

A Digital Lesson Plan for your session will be emailed to you. This will include:

  • a breakdown of the session
  • a materials list with substitutes depending on what you have access to
  • a set of on-the-day session requirements for you to support the live workshop

Live Digital Sessions are booked for a duration of 1 hour 15 minutes; with 15 minutes for set-up and 1 hour delivery. However, as soon as everything is ready we can get started!

Please ensure you read in advance and adhere to our Digital Workshops Risk Assessment and our Digital Engagement Schools Code of Conduct.


If you have booked one of our National Curriculum focused loans boxes you will receive via email a link to a topic video on our YouTube page. Follow a step-by-step guide to doing a creative activity with your class!

Please do not share the link with schools who have not paid for a loans box.


We would love to see photos of your pupils exploring our loans boxes, as well as the work they complete during live sessions. If you are able to provide Gallery Oldham with photography consent for your class, please complete a Schools Photo Permission Form and send it to librariesandgalleryschools@oldham.gov.uk along with your photos.


  • Let a staff member at the Main Desk know you are here to return a loans box.
  • A Gallery Oldham staff member will then take the loans box from you.
  • Please email librariesandgalleryschools@oldham.gov.uk if anything is broken or missing. You won’t be in any trouble! We realise that these things sometimes happen, and your honesty will ensure the box is ready to go out in good condition after quarantine to another school.

If you have any queries or require any further information about your loans box booking and/or its safe use, please email librariesandgalleryschools@oldham.gov.uk.


Oldham Library is housed in the same building as Gallery Oldham. It may be possible to borrow relevant books and session resources to accompany your Gallery Oldham loans box. These items are quarantined for 72 hours after use.

If you have any queries or require any further information about borrowing Oldham Library books with a Gallery Oldham loans box and/or their safe use, please email librariesandgalleryschools@oldham.gov.uk.