King Coal KS2 1 hour
Goathland Station, 30 Pupils

This session explores the importance of coal and steam in the development of the railways and the importance of the railway to the local economy in transporting and selling mined natural resources. Pupils will examine Victorian bun pennies, to introduce the concept of the Industrial Revolution and the role of the railways in helping open up new markets. There is an interactive story of the development of Goathland Station, covering the role of George Stephenson in the building of the Whitby & Pickering line and with chance to look at some of the NYMR’s archive. Pupils will explore the station with archive photographs and sensory clues to help find the key parts of the station’s industrial past and think about how natural resources are used, including the coal and lime drops and the whinstone crusher. A hands-on demonstration of a model steam engine will further explore the role of coal and its uses, linking to states of matter and changing states. With a chance to look at coal and coal fossils, the session will finish with a discussion – do pupils think coal deserved the title of 'King Coal'?

National Curriculum Links


  • A study of an aspect of history or a site dating from a period beyond 1066 that is significant in the locality.

Geography: Human and Physical Geography

  • Describe and understand key aspects of human geography, including types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water.

Science: States of Matter

  • Observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled.

View our Suggested Visit Itineraries and Generic Risk Assessment, designed to help primary schools visiting Goathland Station; it contains all the information you are likely to need, helping you and your group make the most from your visit to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

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