Learning to Have a Heart for Heritage

Portadown Heritage Tours are helping communities ‘Learn to Love Heritage’ with a range of online and real time education and training courses.

In the wider work of protecting and promoting local heritage it became clear that many people did not engage as fully or benefit as much from heritage due to a lack of understanding about its role, value and just what it means. 

As part of our wider work we set ourselves the objective of helping others to love heritage the way we do, and to bring it to the heart of the community and into the heart of those around us.

So as part of of our wider work we have invested in a range of education and training courses to help local communities and others to better understand and in turn enjoy heritage. 

The confidence and skills this will give them will lead to more heritage being identified, protected and passed on to future generations.

Our Education and Training Programme is entitled HEART – Heritage Education  and Research Training. It will teach others to take heritage to heart.

We are all learning, and we invite you to join our journey of discovery and to gain the skills to help with heritage. The programme will look at the theory and concepts behind heritage and its role in communities; the practical skills needed to protect and promote it and finally the historic and cultural context in which it sits. 

So join us for one of our free courses today and let the journey begin.


Learn to Love Heritage

Heritage Education and Training

We see heritage education as a two way process, first how heritage can be used in education ….

Learning is fundamental to the purpose of museums and heritage projects. It is a special kind of learning because of the way it happens: not just from pages in a history book or the traditional teacher-pupil relationship, but through objects, places and experiences that engage our intellect, emotions and senses.

We preserve, display and interpret heritage offering vivid, experiential opportunities to discover the past and think about how it has shaped the world in which we live today. We make learning memorable by giving access to things we might never encounter so powerfully in the classroom or in the pages of a book: the medals of a war hero; the feel of a historic building; the rich detail of uniforms; or an insight into the lives of previous generations.

We aim to use heritage and our work to excite and educate communities and children.

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Learn to Love Heritage

Heritage Education and Training

Then we look at how education and training can be used to inform, involve and improve community heritage ….

Many local communities are custodians of heritage, from local buildings and landmarks, to artefacts or records and often this duty is a burden and a limitation. By helping individuals and organisations understand and utilise heritage we hope to turn it from a liability into an asset and help them to make heritage work for them. 

This means getting to grips with the throaty concepts and debate around heritage especially contentious heritage. It requires a specific skills set from organisational skills, through to digital and bespoke restoration and preservation techniques. Finally to aid understanding and interpretation heritage needs to be set in its proper historical, cultural and social context to help people understand it, make linkages and in turn explain and promote it to new audiences. 

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Investing in Education

Making Heritage Education as Easy as A...B...C...

Working with Education and Training Specialists we Advance Bespoke Community Dedicated Education

Our ABCD approach has been developed by Community Education experts and aimed to engage and educate a range of audiences from schools to community and voluntary sector organisations. Our courses cater for a range of ages and abilities and time to be exciting and engaging as well as educational.

The aim of the HEART Programme is to advance through traditional classroom or community based teaching or our E-learning and other online Educational Resources a range of courses, classes and other community education events.

They will engage, equip and educate a range of audiences from the schools sector to senior citizens and our mixed approach will ensure that the digital divide is bridged and that everyone can take part.

While we will work with other educational and heritage partners providing access to the very best resources and courses from around the world we will also design and develop our own bespoke heritage themed material. Our approach will be to break down the most complex topics and take on the most challenging issues in a step by step process which will see our learners embark on a journey of discovery.

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Loving to Learn Together

Creating a Communiversity

We take the quality and sense of shared experience of a university and distil it into a community education programme 

Using a ‘Communiversity’ Concept we do not simply sell or provide courses we develop a community of learners, who in turn can teach and take what they learn into a wider community setting. This multiplier effect will create real change and take heritage to the heart of our communities.

Our education programme is firmly embedded in our wider CATCH Initiative. CATCH – Community Activities Tourism and Cultural Heritage initiative has been developed under the present NLHF ARCH Programme to equip local community groups and individuals interested in heritage to engage with the wider programme and heritage generally in a meaningful way. The use of the HEART Learning portal will allow us to  deliver online training and awareness-raising events that will engage people with local heritage, in particular, the themes the wider ARCH project promotes.

Our approach is to develop a community of learners and activists who will take forward heritage projects and work at a community level. The design of our courses, their content and the way we deliver them is best described as a ‘communiversity’. By that we mean all the experience, and ethos of a university with the sense of belonging and purpose in a community setting geared to deliver courses at a community level.

Catch Up with CATCH
Begin Today

Start Studying Today

An amazing learning experience is only a click away, so have a look at our online perspective today and join a course beginning a journey that will become a lifetime of learning.

Never too young…….

By using heritage in education we add value and another layer of meaning to a range of subjects from history and citizenship to diversity and even PE! Our living approach to learning gives virtual and real experiences of the past which will help children understand and access the past in a way that traditional teaching often cannot. We have materials for all ages and all abilities and interests.

Never too Old…….

We believe that learning never stops and as an organisation we are very much still learning and hope to pass on what we have learnt and to add an authentic voice to educators and experts we work alongside to provide a range of course which will excite and interest all ages.

On this Teacher Resource Page we would like to introduce you to the virtual space we will be using to teach and reach children. We call it CHIME – Chinese Heritage Interactive Museum Experience. It aims to bring children virtually from the classroom to our centre, and allow them to explore and learn just as they would in a traditional museum. Think of it as a virtual field trip, all the experience without the anxiety, no travel sickness, lost coats or counting children back onto the bus!

This page will help you navigate the Virtual space and guide your class as they use it to complete activities and find information.

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Learning Journals

The HEART Learning Framework gives a foundation and structure to all of the awareness raising, educational and learning initiatives, events and materials which Portadown Heritage Tours provide. It also provides a meaningful, progressive and supportive framework to help all our learners.

The courses we offer cater to a range of ages and abilities, from primary school age to the most mature of students. Some courses are designed to impart information others are accredited and designed to be taken in succession to provide a qualification. For our schools programmes we map courses to the curriculum and for our Young Ambassadors or CATCH Activists we provide Accredited Courses which are part of the wider programme.

HEART short for Heritage Education and Research Training was initially envisaged as a platform to up-skill those interested in heritage work, as the ARCH Programme took shape this vision grew to accommodate all aspects of our education and training work. It is an exciting and holistic framework and foundation for all our education and training work. 

The structure of HEART means it can provide information and education at three levels. The top level is the theory of heritage, helping those individuals and organisations understand and engage in some of the bigger issues affecting heritage such as how it can be ‘contested’ and what that means. Then the second level is the practical skills needed to work in the sector, from traditional crafts to IT skills which are important in protection, preservation and promotion of heritage. Finally heritage needs a setting to be properly understood. This can be the historic events or the cultural context which gives it meaning and significance.

We have called these ‘Departments’ just like you would find at school or university. Each Department then has Courses which can be taken online or in a classroom or community setting. The courses are comprised of different lessons which draw together topics and learning activities.


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Concept of Heritage – courses, events and materials looking at some of the theories and concepts of heritage from an Introduction Course through to more advanced elements like dealing with Contested heritage.

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Capacity for Heritage – practical courses and approach which will see learners develop real skills to meet real problems around heritage helping them to work better eg digitally.

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Context of Heritage – Heritage always has a setting, often historical, cultural or social and to fully understand and in turn interpret it there needs to be a full and clear understanding of its context, this level will allow us to paint the wider picture to audiences.

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Lets Learn

Learning in Real Time or On-lIne

Our HEART Learning Courses and Events use a blend of virtual and physical platforms to deliver to students. Many of the courses can be completed via our E-Learning portal with students able to study at place and a pace that best suits them. For those who prefer a class or community setting or who don’t have online access or digital skills then the courses can be completed in real time.

The blended approach will suit all ages and abilities and offer learning that is tailored to needs and demand. Our Portal will take you through to the E-Learning Platform and our Physical Events will provide information on upcoming ing courses and classes allowing your to book and benefit from that face to face approach.

HEART Communiversity News
The HEART of the Matter

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