Heritage education in the field

Grimsthorpe Castle, Doddington Hall, Holdenby House, Kedleston Hall, Nottingham Castle Grimsthorpe Castle
Doddington Hall
Holdenby House
Kedleston Hall
Nottingham Castle

Wilf Weeks OBE


The Heritage Education Trust has always been proud of its unique contribution to raising the standard of education within the historic environment through the granting of Sandford Awards for heritage education. Through the many visits to historic sites throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland we became aware that the development of learning programmes had often become moribund and were not necessarily meeting the full needs of schools with changes in curricula and delivery.


After wide consultation we agreed to take the lead in developing more meaningful programmes for the contemporary agenda.  As a small organisation with limited resources and no salaried staff, it was a challenge to set up the Project, to fund and resource it. Through our own network, resources from The Living Landscape Trust and primary grant from The Heritage Lottery Fund, ‘HERO’ was born.

We have worked principally in the East Midlands region of England, but throughout the three year Project, it has been the intention that our outcomes be shared on a national basis. The methodology employed, programmes developed and the outcomes are worthy of wide consideration and dissemination. 

I hope that owners, curators, heritage education professionals, teachers and most of all children benefit from our work and that the HERO Project forms the basis of much good interpretation and delivery in years to come.  The Heritage Education Trust is committed to introducing HERO principles of innovation and inclusiveness to the Sandford Award for Heritage Education scheme, whenever and where ever relevant. HERO is for all to take and use.


Wilf Weeks OBE

Chairman, The Heritage Education Trust"


What was the HERO Project?


"Tell me and I will forget, show me and I will remember, involve me and I will understand."

Confucius 500 B.C.


The HERO Project enabled thousands of children to visit five historic sites in the East Midlands. Moreover everybody who used HERO resources whilst they were being developed helped to improve the quality of visits for others, thus making children, teachers and all other stakeholders the real heroes of the HERO Project.


HERO (Heritage Education Regional Outreach) was a 3 year Heritage Lottery Funded project, which developed new heritage education programmes working in partnership with five sites within the historic environment in the East Midlands. Each site successfully developed distinct heritage education opportunities, demonstrating good practice to the education and heritage sectors. These opportunities were:


Programmes that are not available elsewhere, but recognise existing good practice; programmes that respond, where appropriate, to contemporary agenda in education; programmes that utilise educational opportunities within the historic environment; programmes that are developed as a result of wide consultation within and outside of the heritage and educational sectors.



Programmes that are able to continue beyond the three year funded period, within the capacity of the partner organisations; programmes that recognise the sustainable development agenda; programmes that can be adapted to remain relevant to schools and to contemporary issues in education.



Programmes that can be disseminated as examples of good practice and used by other organisations in whole or in part and where relevant.



Programmes that recognise diversity; programmes that offer opportunities to users who have been excluded from engaging with the historical environment, for whatever reason.’


This is an important contributor to successful learning. As the ‘Excellence and Enjoyment’ agenda states, “We want schools to continue to focus on raising standards while not being afraid to combine that with making learning fun.”



          Click above to view

           'The Book of Hero'

       (Large text and image free)

To receive a hard copy version, including images and a DVD which further details the work of the Heritage Education Trust email het@boughtonhouse.org.uk and quote 'HERO website'.


The Heritage Education Trust is delighted to be a signatory to the Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto, which was launched by the Secretary of State for Education and Skills on 28 November 2006.








The HERO Project was developed and run by The Heritage Education Trust, which is a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee, Registered in England No 2080758.

The Charity Commission Registration Number is 297311

Registered Office: Walnut Tree House, The Pound, Bromham, Chippenham, Wiltshire