Making a Booking
All school groups must be booked through the Education Service on telephone 01223 332904. This is to ensure that the part of the museum you wish to visit will be available for you to use.
When you bring a group to the museum you may wish to book a museum teacher or to teach the class yourself. DIY notes are available to help you plan your own gallery teaching.
It is absolutely essential that you book well in advance. The Museum reserves the right to refuse admittance to non-booked school groups. The office is very busy so when making your booking you may need to leave a message on the answerphone. Please be as ﬂexible as possible, have alternative dates ready. Do not book transport until your museum visit is fully booked.
The more we know the more we can help. We will ask you about pupils that have any type of special needs, but beyond this, the more we know about your aims, requirements and pupils, the better we can achieve your aims.
Photography is not allowed in the galleries. If you have a particular need to take photographs, please contact us in advance so that we can arrange a permit for you.
Make sure you understand which parts of the visit are your responsibility and which are ours. We will hand over to you when we have ﬁnished teaching. You need to prepare what your pupils will do then. You might find our Into-Action activity sheets useful. These are designed for pupils to use in the gallery. Fact Sheets are also available giving background information about particular objects and themes. If you arrange a previsit to the museum a member of the education team can meet with you to discuss all aspects of your visit.
The upper limit on group sizes varies according to the galleries being used. As a general rule, groups being taught by Museum staff are limited to one class of approximately 35 children. However, it is sometimes possible to accommodate larger group visits by teaching in shifts.
The student teacher ratio in the Museum should be at least 1 adult to each 10 students. If you have more than 30 pupils there should be 4 adults on your trip. This applies to all students up to 16 years of age. If you are bringing Key Stage 1 pupils we would ask you to increase the ratio to 1 adult to 7 pupils. This is very important in case of emergencies, the Museum teacher’s role is to continue to teach your class and they will then be booked to move on to another group, therefore you need enough adults to cover any emergency and to remain with the rest of the class.
Please be punctual. If you arrive late we will not be able to extend your session. When booking please be realistic and allow plenty of time for your journey.
Entrance to the Museum is free, as are all the services provided by the Education Service, with the exception of INSET courses and workshops.
We have a schools’ lunch room which can be booked for your group. You may also eat in the grounds of the Museum.
Visitors with special needs
Access for wheelchair users is through the courtyard entrance. If any member of your group has any type of special need that we do not know about already, please tell us so that we can do all we can to help.
There is no public parking space at the Museum, but there are 2 hour meters in the immediate vicinity. Coaches may drop off and collect outside the Courtyard Entrance.