Secondary schools & colleges

Our extensive secondary schools & colleges programme is designed to give students advice and practical hands-on experience of working in the creative industries and opportunities to meet and work with professional artists, designers and performers.

There has never been a better time to visit! We have moved back to the Sackler Centre for Arts Education and have a beautiful new courtyard and exhibition space to enjoy.

Our 2017/18 programme has just launched. Download the brochure to discover and book our latest gallery sessions, workshops, events and more:

Making a Visit

Making a Visit

The V&A is the home of art, craft, design and performance. From Bauhaus to Bowie, Mackintosh to McQueen, it is packed with creativity and ideas just waiting to be unlocked and it’s all free for you and your students to explore!

All school group visits must be pre-booked. A minimum of three weeks' notice is required for gallery-based sessions and workshops, and a minimum of 10 days for self-guided and exhibition visits.

To book workshops, gallery-based sessions, special Events or exhibition tickets please contact:

Contact Centre
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, 09.00-17.30, 7 days a week
Email: bookings.office@vam.ac.uk

To book a self-guided visit:

Please download the booking form below and return it to: bookings.office@vam.ac.uk

To book SEND sessions and for further advice on planning a school visit, please 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
  • If you would like to book a study room

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 closures or contact us using the details above.

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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 10 days’ notice is required).

Teachers receive a complimentary exhibition ticket (except for Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains) when making a group booking in order to make a preparatory visit.

Find out more about our exhibitions.

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 Secondary School Teachers:

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

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Further resources for planning a visit

Art, craft & design

Art, craft & design

Gallery-based sessions

Led by professional artists and designers, these sessions explore creative responses to museum collections, develop research skills and take inspiration from historical and cross-cultural objects through innovative hands-on activities.

Download our session summary guides to find out more about our Gallery-based sessions:

FREE
90 minutes, starting at 11.00 & 13.00
Maximum 25 students per session.
Sessions take place on set dates.
Booking essential: Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, 09.00-17.30, 7 days a week.

You have given a very talented young designer a fantastic platform and a step towards a successful career. I am hoping that winning this competition will make him realise just how talented he is!

Teacher, Graphic Gathering

Workshops: Art, Craft & Design

In-depth practical sessions exploring design process and taking inspiration from museum objects to develop creative thinking and making skills. Students will meet and work with industry professionals, get careers advice and come away buzzing with ideas and creativity.

Download our session summary guides to find out more:

£150
10.30 – 14.30
Maximum 30 students per session (unless otherwise stated)
Sessions take place on set dates.
Booking essential: Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, 09.00-17.30, 7 days a week.

A creative and fun workshop with contextual links to develop new skills

DT Teacher

Fashion & Textiles Handling Resource (KS 4 & 5)

Examine historical dress and take inspiration from contemporary designs by London College of Fashion students. Self-guided handling session, teachers’ notes available online to plan in advance.

£45, bookable timeslots, 10.30-12.30 and 13.00-15.00
Available on request
Booking essential: Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, 09.00-17.30, 7 days a week.

DesignLab

DesignLab

DesignLab brings schools together with museum educators, practising artists and designers and the Museum's collections to work on projects. It provides teachers with training and CPD opportunities to develop new and innovative ways of teaching design.

SPECIAL EVENTS AND COMPETITIONS

SPECIAL EVENTS AND COMPETITIONS

It has been an amazing day. I've seen and learnt a lot of stuff!

Year 9 student

Creative Quarter 2017

17 November 2017, 10.30 - 16.00
FREE, Places limited, booking essential
Suitable for 13 – 19 year olds
Booking essential: Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, 09.00-17.30, 7 days a week.

Don't miss out on the V&A's flagship careers event for Secondary students - a unique opportunity to get advice from artists, designers, performers and theatre practitioners, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students via exciting activities, workshops, talks and demonstrations.

In collaboration with Discover South Kensington.

Download the full programme here:

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Graphic Gathering


Graphic Gathering is the V&A’s annual graphic design challenge for secondary school students. The competition is designed to give students a taste of professional practice and help prepare them for higher or further education and work in the creative industries through answering a live brief. Each year we set the brief to focus on a different area within Graphic Design from digital to print. Previous partners have included the V&A shop, Art on the Underground and BBC Radio 1. We are delighted to be working with Amnesty International UK for 2017-18. This year’s brief is to design an icon for Amnesty International UK that conveys the message ‘Refugees Welcome’.

This two-day project consists of a group briefing in the autumn term and culminates in a student presentation evening to a panel of industry experts and other participating schools in the spring. Teachers are supported with a CPD evening in advance of the project starting, bespoke resources and optional research visits. Graphic Gathering is designed to be delivered as a unit of coursework or a portfolio project.

22 September (CPD), 3 October (Student Briefing) & 2 February (Presentation Evening)
Suitable for GCSE/ AS & A Level
Free, places limited to 20 schools with a maximum of 2 teachers and 25 students per school, booking essential.
Booking essential: Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, 09.00-17.30, 7 days a week.

You have given a very talented young designer a fantastic platform and a step towards a successful career. I am hoping that winning this competition will make him realise just how talented he is!

Teacher, Graphic Gathering
Performing arts, media & English

Performing arts, media & English

The V&A is home to the national collection of performing arts. From ballet to theatre to rock 'n' pop, galleries explore the history and practice of performance through key objects.

Gallery-based session: Perform

An ideal introductory session for discovering more about the history and process of performance from rehearsals to opening night. Key objects, including posters, set and costume designs, illustrate how performance has captured audiences’ imagination over the centuries.

Download our session summary guide to find out more about our Perform sessions:

On request
FREE, 60mins, starting at 11.00 & 13.00
Maximum 25 students per session
Booking essential: Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, 09.00-17.30, 7 days a week.

Workshops: Performing Arts and English

Giving your students access to the work of practicing performance artists is central to these sessions which link objects in the collections, including unique filmed material, to the world of Performance.

Download our session summary guides to find out more:

Maximum 30 students per session
Workshops take place on set dates.
Booking essential: Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, 09.00-17.30, 7 days a week.

FREE Schools’ Screen

Shows in the National Video Archive of Performance (NVAP) are only available for screening, free of charge, at the V&A. Titles of set texts include Antigone, The Crucible, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Doctor Faustus, Equus, An Inspector Calls, Jerusalem, Our Country’s Good, Waiting for Godot plus Shakespeare titles Hamlet, King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest and Othello.

Visit our NVAP page for a full list of titles.

FREE, available on request
Maximum of 250 students per screening
Booking essential: Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, 09.00-17.30, 7 days a week.

Jerusalem Screening

A set-text on both OCR and AQA exam boards, the V&A has the only live recording of this play, starring Mark Rylance as Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron.

FREE, 23 January 2017
Booking essential: Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, 09.00-17.30, 7 days a week.

Opera: Passion, Power and Politics Schools & Colleges Day

To celebrate moving back to the Sackler Centre for Arts Education and our beautiful new courtyard and exhibition space we are offering free tickets to visit the inaugural exhibition in the space.

Free for students and teachers.
7 November 2017
Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Booking essential: Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, 09.00-17.30, 7 days a week.

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Projects: Performing Arts & English

Shakespeare in a Suitcase

A unique devising and performance opportunity. Discover the many objects in the Museum that link to Shakespeare. Work with a professional actor/director, using objects as starting points for your own take on the themes and characters of Shakespeare’s plays. Develop the work back at school and re-visit the V&A in April 2018 to perform to the general public.

Inspiration day on request, performance in April 2018.
FREE
Maximum of 30 students per group
Contact schools@vam.ac.uk to find out more and book.

Peter Brook: Focus on the Practitioner

Visit the archives of the Theatre and Performance department at Blythe House, West Kensington to see extracts from the Peter Brook Collection. This 2 hour session introduces groups to the range of Brook’s work, invites them to explore how his ideas developed and encourages the link between theory to practice.

Available on request
£150
Contact schools@vam.ac.uk to find out more and book.
Maximum of 30 students per group

Exam topic & bespoke sessions

Exam topic & bespoke sessions

Need help delivering a particular module or exam topic? We'd love to hear from you. The breadth of our collections and expertise covers a huge range of subjects. Our team can offer advice or we can devise and deliver a research day, tour or workshop.

Contact: schools@vam.ac.uk
A minimum of six weeks' notice is required for tailored sessions and costs apply.

SEND

SEND

The session was sensory focused and pitched very appropriately for the class – it enabled my class to access a public museum in a way that worked for them

Teacher, SEND school

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 Armour, Medieval Tapestry and Islamic Tiles.

Dates: 6 October; 3 November; 1 December; 12 January; 2 February; 9 March; 20 April; 11 May; 8 June; 6 July.

FREE
Suitable for groups of up to 10
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.