At the V&A Museum of Childhood we want to create an exciting, engaging experience for all our visitors, including students with special educational needs and disabilities.
We know that planning visits collaboratively with teaching staff is vital to ensure that learners with SEND have a positive and memorable experience that supports your school curriculum. We can work with you to adapt any workshops that we already offer or alternatively create a bespoke session tailored to learners’ needs.
Bespoke activities can include handling toys, dressing up and turn-taking games, or take inspiration from our existing workshop offer, adapted to suit your pupils. All sessions will encourage children to build practical, visual, cognitive, and social and communication skills.
To help prepare your students for their visit, a vocabulary list can be provided along with images of the types of toys that learners will handle during facilitated sessions. We send a social story in PowerPoint format to show different parts of the museum and some of the adults that the learners might meet, and you can also use our virtual tour to introduce our galleries. (Could we have a link to the power point?)
Sessions are available on Fridays between 10.30am and 2pm, when the learning space can be booked for the group to use for the morning or afternoon. You may use our lunch space, or the learning room can be used as a lunch and quiet space for students with auditory sensitivity.
As well as gallery trails and resources, the Museum also offers sensory Explorer Bags to aid learners with sensory needs such as ADHD and ASD.
If you’d like to discuss a visit, please email our SEND Schools Officer. We look forward to meeting you and your students!
Each term, one Thursday is set aside for groups with special educational needs only. All ages of children and young people are welcome to these popular and inclusive days, when the Museum is generally quieter and students have full access to the galleries and interactive displays.
Short teaching sessions (free, 20 minutes) are available to SEN groups visiting on quiet days. These are available between 10.30 and 13.30 and are allocated on a first-come first-served basis. Topics vary and include:
- Clothes (dressing up, materials and textures)
- Sensory (touch, sight and hearing)
- Puppets (glove, finger and marionette)
- Seaside (Punch and Judy, dressing up and play)
- Moving Toys (spinning, clockwork and push/pull)
Specially developed resource boxes are available for SEN groups to borrow when visiting on quiet days. The boxes are themed Moving Toys, Clothes and Sensory and have handling objects and simple activities to enhance your visit.
- 1 wheeled trolley containing a selection of objects similar to those in the display cases
- A4 photo book: “In the Museum you will find…” which provides a guide to the Museum and its facilities
- Simple PECS activities and matching games
Information and bookings
Bookings taken from the beginning of each school term.
Spaces are limited. For more information or to book, email email@example.com. When booking please provide us with as much information as possible, such as P levels and physical needs, so that we can structure your session accordingly.
SEN resource bags, tailored to pupils with special educational needs, are available to school groups as part of a self-guided visit or teaching session. Example contents include moving and sensory toys, simple games and a large-print story book. Resource bags can be reserved when booking a Self-guided visit or Teaching session.
Ahead of your visit you can take a virtual tour of the Museum.