Secondary schools & colleges

Our extensive secondary schools and 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.

Download the schools and colleges 2019 – 20 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 two weeks 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 | 09.30 – 17.30, 7 days a week
Email: hello@vam.ac.uk

To book a self-guided visit:

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

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.

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

Learning Co-ordinator
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.

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.

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 20th century design, fashion, photography and jewellery.

Art, craft and design

Art, craft and 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 | booking essential
90 minutes, starting at 11.00 and 13.00
Maximum 20 students per session.
Sessions take place on set dates, however, please contact us to discuss alternatives.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, 09.30 – 17.30, 7 days a week

It was packed with activities that are relevant to practical skills and theory-based content.

Art & Design teacher

Workshops: Art, Craft and 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 | booking essential
11.00 – 15.00
Maximum 30 students per session (unless otherwise stated)
Sessions take place on set dates.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, 09.30 – 17.30, 7 days a week

The workshop involved lots of group work and encouraged creativity and exploring through making.


D&T Teacher

Fashion & Textiles Handling Resource (KS4 and 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.

£65 | booking essential
Bookable timeslots, 10.30 – 12.30 and 13.00 – 15.00
Available on request
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, 09.30 – 17.30, 7 days a week

V&A Innovate

V&A Innovate

V&A Innovate is a teachers' resource hub and annual National Schools Challenge, asking students in years 7, 8 and 9 to work in teams to design a solution to a real-world problem.

Combining the shared knowledge of today's leading designers with our world-leading collections, this Key Stage 3 initiative will energise the next generation of creative, thoughtful and change-making young innovators.

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

SPECIAL EVENTS

Creative Quarter 2019

Amazing – I didn’t realise there were so many different creative careers

Year 10 student

Free | places limited | booking essential
22 November 2019, 10.30 – 16.00
Suitable for 13 – 19 year olds
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, 09.30 – 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

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 and pop – explore the history and practice of performance through key objects.

Free gallery-based session

Perform

This fast-paced overview of the Theatre and Performance galleries is the ideal way to introduce students to the world of performance and key aspects such as set and costume design. Why not book before seeing a show in the afternoon or evening?

Free | booking essential
11.00 – 13.00
Maximum 25 students per session
Selected dates, please contact the Contact Centre to find out more
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, 09.30 – 17.30, 7 days a week

Schools’ screen

The National Video Archive of Performance is a unique resource of live recordings that are only available for groups to view at the V&A. Over 25 years of shows are represented from theatres around the country. These are a brilliant way to explore how drama and English set-texts are realised on stage. Please email schools@vam.ac.uk for a list of available titles from the National Video Archive of Performance.

£100 flat fee | booking essential
Selected dates, a minimum of 6 weeks' notice is required
Maximum of 100 students per screening
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, 09.30-17.30, 7 days a week

Jerusalem screenings

This is the only live recording of this hugely-successful show, written by Jez Butterworth and starring Mark Rylance as Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron.

Free | booking essential
20 January and 23 March 2020
11.00 – 15.00
Maximum of 200 students per screening
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000, 09.30-17.30, 7 days a week.

Exam topic and bespoke sessions

Exam topic and 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 suits of armour, Medieval tapestry and Islamic tiles.

Free
Suitable for groups of up to 10
10.30 – 14.30 (flexible)
4 October, 1 November, 29 November, 24 January, 28 February, 27 March, 15 May, 26 June, 10 July

Workshops take place on set dates – please see our schools and colleges brochure at the top of the page for dates and session themes.

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