Here are some of our frequently asked questions. Please do not hesitate to get in contact with us if you have further questions.
What does a typical visit consist of?
Primary, lower and middle schools typically book one lesson and one other facilitated session from the available options, plus a lunchtime session. The following facilitated sessions are available:
- 1840 Monitorial Lesson
- 1880 Gallery Lesson
- World War Two lesson
- Toys, Play and Design Workshop
- People and Places Workshop
- Life as an Evacuee Workshop
There are slightly different arrangements for the GCSE Sociology sessions, please see the session pages for full details.
What are the timings of a school visit?
A typical school visit arrives at 09.45am for a 10am start, and finishes at 13.20 for a 13.30 departure.
All sessions last 1 hour and there is a 10 minute gap between sessions to allow for smooth transitions and prompt starts. We usually start with the lesson 10.00-11.00, then the second facilitated session 11.10-12.10 followed by lunch and drill 12.20-13.20. Although these are our typical timings, we can be flexible to suit your requirements and are happy to include a snack break if planned in advance.
On arrival you will be asked to put coats and bags away, get into costume if desired and be welcomed properly before starting your first session.
Your departure time should be around 10 minutes after the end of your final lunch session. Afternoons are reserved for group visits so schools groups must depart by 1.30pm.
Please note that if you are only bringing one class another school may also be visiting on the same day. You will not have to share facilitated sessions with another group but may have to share the lunch space and other areas at lunch time.
When can schools visit?
The museum is open for pre-booked school visits on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from February half term until the end of November.
Some Mondays may be available upon request.
Fridays are reserved for public opening and adult groups.
How many children or classes can I bring?
We can accommodate up to three classes (maximum 33 pupils in each) on a visit but due to capacity restrictions you can only have the 1840 Monitorial lesson alongside one other session and two classes will have their lunch at 12.20, while the third has theirs at 11.10.
All other visits under 66 pupils can have any style of a lesson and also eat lunch together.
Can we eat our lunch at the museum?
Yes. In common with the facilitated sessions, the lunch session is an hour long. In addition to having time to eat your lunch, you will also have time to take part in a short drill session (Victorian PE). You can also use our pop-up shop at lunchtime if you wish. Tea and coffee for adults is provided.
There is no additional charge for this session.
Is there a gift shop?
Yes. We have a special pop-up shop for school visits which can be opened during the lunch break for children to spend a bit of pocket money. The shop includes a selection of our most popular and relevant items including slates, traditional toys and replica coins, all costing between 50p and £4.
Alternatively, you could pre-order and collect your items on the day through our 'goody bag' service. Please contact the museum for more details.
Do you have disabled access?
Yes, but not to the entire museum. There is no step-free access to the air raid shelter, Gallery classroom and Headmaster’s house but the rest of the museum is fully accessible. This affects the 1880 Gallery lesson, WWII Evacuee lesson, Life as an Evacuee and People and Places.
For further details please see the additional information section on the relevant session pages and contact us on 01462 420144 to discuss options and alternatives if necessary.
Where does the coach stop or park?
Please ensure that you pull up on the museum side of the road so that groups do not have to cross the road to access the Museum.
If you choose not to do this there are pedestrian crossings further down the road. For everyone’s safety, British Schools Museum volunteers and staff have been directed not to help groups cross the road.
How do we book?
You can book by contacting our Booking Officer, Jacky Birch, on 01462 420144 or by email Jacky.firstname.lastname@example.org
We can often get quite booked up in advance but will always try and find some options for you, even last minute ones, so please just ask.
Can we do a pre-visit/ risk assessment?
Of course, just contact our Bookings Officer, Jacky Birch, on 01462 420144 or by email Jacky.Birch@britishschoolsmuseum.co.uk to arrange a time.
What is the cost of a visit?
The cost for our standard primary programmes is £100 per facilitated session (lesson or workshop). There is no charge for the lunch and drill session but this can only be booked alongside facilitated sessions.
There is a maximum of 33 children per session. For example, a standard 1 class visit with a lesson, workshop and lunch is £200.
We can offer concessionary per head rates for small groups from special needs schools.
How do we pay?
Your booking form will include details of the cost of your visit. Once your visit is confirmed you will be sent an invoice. You can pay by BACS or bring a cheque on the day.
We want to dress up, can we borrow costumes?
We have pinafores for girls and collars and waistcoats for boys should you wish to get dressed up in Victorian costume on your arrival. You may also choose to come in costume already, here are some suggestions:
Girls: • Hair off faces • Wear plain hair ribbons, no modern slides or fastenings • Knee length plain socks • Calf length skirts if possible • Long sleeved dark coloured jumpers OR plain dark dresses • Plain dark shoes
Boys: • Dark trousers tucked into knee length plain dark socks • Plain dark shoes • Plain long-sleeved jumpers over white (or plain) shirts
And for adults who want to enter into the Victorian spirit:
Women: Suitable white or dark blouse or jumper and long dark skirt, thick tights and dark flat shoes. Hair fastened up and off the face. Shawls and hats can be worn.
Men: This can be more difficult. Plain dark trousers, white shirt, collar up, silk scarf (or similar) tied as a cravat, waistcoat (unfortunately we don’t have any adult sized ones), dark jacket, dark shoes.
Our buildings are very cold, so unless it is a warm summer’s day, jumpers are essential.
Getting into costume can be quite time-consuming so please take this into account when you plan your arrival time (see information about timings for school visits).
Do children need to dress up in costume?
Not at all, many schools come in their school uniform, it is your choice but it can help the children get into character for the day.
What activities do you offer children and young people with special needs?
Children and young people with special needs are welcome to book on any of our standard sessions and we will adjust to your needs on the day. Alternatively, we are happy to customise any aspects of our programme to meet your needs – please contact us to discuss your requirements and we will see what we can do.
What activities do you offer for further and higher education students?
We are happy to customise any aspects of our programme to meet your needs – please call us to discuss your requirements and we will see what we can do.
Can we do a self-guided visit?
Unfortunately not. We are a small site and are not suited to large unguided groups. We believe children get the most out of their visit through the facilitated sessions lead by our experienced staff and volunteers.
Do you visit schools?
Yes. Please see our outreach pages for more details. We can come to you and deliver a 1880s style lesson in your classroom. A lesson typically lasts an hour but we can be flexible to fit in with your school day. Toys, Play and Design is also available as an outreach session. The cost is £100 per session plus travel expenses.