Primary schools

From handling replica objects and trying on costumes in our workshops and gallery sessions, to the ever-changing exhibition and displays programme, the V&A is the place to bring students to experience inspirational learning.

Download the Schools & Colleges 2017/18 brochure to discover more:

With fantastic, state of the art facilities in the Sackler Centre for arts education and a beautiful courtyard entrance and exhibition space to enjoy, there has never been a better time to bring your pupils to the V&A!

We offer an exciting programme of hands-on workshops run by artists and designers, as well as free discovery sessions in our galleries on topics including the Great Exhibition and the Anglo-Saxons. Our free Literacy Live sessions are a great way to develop students’ speaking and listening skills using museum objects to develop exciting stories.

Our Sackler Centre provides the ideal base for a visit with your class, with locker facilities and a pre-bookable lunchroom. We also offer a wide range of resources to support self-guided visits, as well as discounted tickets to exhibitions.

Making a Visit

Making a Visit

Step inside and explore a wealth of art, design and performance that brings cross-curricular learning alive. From Anglo Saxons to Victorians, da Vinci to Rodin, Buddhism to Islam, the V&A is a fantastic learning resource for primary schools and it is free to visit.

All school group visits must be pre-booked. A minimum of three weeks' notice is required for tours and workshops and a minimum of two weeks for self-guided and exhibition visits.

To book Primary Workshops, Primary Discovery Sessions, Special Events or Exhibition Tickets please contact:

Contact Centre
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000
9.00 – 17.30, 7 days a week.

To book a self-guided visit:

Please complete this online form. Visits are only confirmed once you have been notified by our Contact Centre.

To book SEND sessions and for further advice on planning a school visit, contact:

Schools Liaison Assistant
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2622
Email: schools@vam.ac.uk

At the time of booking please let us know:

  • The session you would like to book
  • If you would like to book tickets for any exhibitions
  • A range of possible dates for your visit
  • Contact details
  • Group size and age of pupils
  • Whether you want to book a lunchroom slot
  • Payment or invoice details

You will be sent a letter of confirmation which you must bring with you on the day of your visit.

The V&A is currently undergoing a major programme of renewal and restoration. If you are planning to see a specific gallery or object with your students please check the gallery closure or contact us using the details above.

Exhibition visits

Enjoy our vibrant exhibitions programme and take advantage of the concessionary ticket rate for educational groups - £3 per student and teacher. Booking essential (a minimum of two weeks’ notice is required). Tickets for self-guided exhibition visits must be paid for 48 hours prior to visiting the exhibition. Tickets can only be issued once payment has been processed. If payment isn’t received beforehand unfortunately you will be unable to access the exhibition.

Teachers receive a complimentary exhibition ticket when making a group booking in order to make a preparatory visit. We can issue one ticket per booking.

Find out more about our exhibitions.

For special Schools events linked to our exhibition programme please see Special Events.

Self-guided visits

We recommend you make a preparatory visit before bringing your class. You can find activities and ideas for a self-guided visit in our free guide to the V&A for Primary School Teachers:

You can also use our free resources for Primary Schools to support self-guided visits and inspire activities back at school.

Further resources for planning a visit

Resources

Resources

Use our curriculum-linked resources and activities to design exciting self-guided visits to the museum, and to inspire activities in the classroom.

Our range of resources include fantastic ideas to inspire learning in the classroom and on a visit to the museum. Themes include, Islamic art and design, China, Japan and India, as well as British history.

Discovery sessions

Discovery sessions

Explore our galleries with V&A experts, investigate objects first-hand and try on costumes to bring to life a range of cross-curricular themes.

FREE
Available Monday – Friday
10.30, 11.45 & 13.00
Maximum of 30 students per session
Booking essential: Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, 09.00-17.30, 7 days a week.

Download our session summary guides to find out about each themed session, how the sessions map to the National Curriculum Key Stages (KS1/2) and for museum-based and in-class follow up ideas:

Art & Design / DT

History

This was an excellent session; the guide was superb at encouraging and working with the children.

Teacher, KS2
Literacy Live

Literacy Live

Museum objects are fantastic starting points for storytelling. Professional performers will encourage your pupils to explore narrative structure and vocabulary and perform to each other in small groups.

Available Wednesdays
Cost: FREE
Timing: 1 hour, starting at 11.00
Capacity: Maximum of 30 students per session

Download the session summary to find out more about this popular part of our primary schools programme.

Practical workshops

Practical workshops

Challenge and inspire your primary school students with our hands-on, cross-curricular practical sessions led by professional artists and designers.

Cost £100
2 hours starting at 10.30
Maximum of 30 students per session
Available on selected dates. Download the Schools & Colleges brochure at the top of the page for details.

Booking essential: Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, 09.00-17.30, 7 days a week.

Download our session summary guides to learn more about what you can expect from each workshop, find out about the artist or designer that runs the session, how the sessions map to the National Curriculum and for in-class follow up ideas:

A really excellent, fun and well-resourced workshop – Thank you!

KS 2 Teacher
SPECIAL EVENTS

SPECIAL EVENTS

FREE The Future Starts Here: Schools & Colleges Exhibition Day

Schools can book in alongside the general public for visits throughout the run of exhibitions, or book one of these exclusive Schools’ Exhibition Days and enjoy the space to teach and draw. Don’t miss our special Winnie-the-Pooh workshops on these dates, find out more here.

9 October 2018
Schools can book in alongside the general public for visits throughout the run of the exhibition, or book this exclusive FREE Exhibition Day for schools and colleges and enjoy the space to teach and draw.
Bookable time slots, 10.30 – 17.30
Free, please book
Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund

Christmas Carol Concert

If you have a school choir, get into the festive spirit by performing Christmas carols and songs to our visitors in our Grand Entrance. Contact us for more information on how to take part.

03 December 2018
Cost: FREE
Timing: 45 minute performance at 11.00 and 13.30
Capacity: 90 performers per session

Booking essential: Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, 09.00-17.30, 7 days a week.

SEND

SEND

The visit by the facilitator to the school in advance of the trip was great. The freedom given to the children when they made their own tiles enabled them to create art work that had a lot of energy and individuality

SEND teacher

Multi-sensory and interactive, our sessions for students with special educational needs and disability are based around some of the most popular objects in the collections and encourage exploration through hands-on tactile objects and activities. Each session involves a practical activity, creating artworks inspired by the collections.

For museum visits, we can arrange a separate quiet space for lunch and changing facilities, if required, or we can come out to you and deliver the session at your school or specialist unit. We arrange a pre-visit to your school to meet students and staff before their session, to enable us to adapt the session to your group’s needs.

Session themes include: Tipu’s Tiger, 18th Century Fashion, Chinese Dragon Robes, Japanese Suits of Armour, Medieval Tapestry and Islamic Tiles.

FREE
Suitable for groups of up to 10
Dates: 28 September, 2 & 30 November, 25 January, 1 March, 5 April, 24 May, 28 June, 5 July
10.30 – 14.30 (flexible)

Contact us at schools@vam.ac.uk to get advice about visiting, to check availability or to book one of our sessions.