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Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 - 17:00
Sundays & Bank Holidays: 12:00 - 17:00
Closed: 24-26, 31 December & 1 January

FREE ADMISSION

All school groups must be booked through the Education Department, telephone 01223 332904 or email . This is to ensure that the part of the museum you wish to visit will be available for you to use. Most sessions are free (charges apply for studio workshops) and travel bursaries are available for schools meeting our criteria.

Please note that we are now operating a new booking system for schools.

Bookings for Spring Term 2018 open on Monday 14th November

Bookings for Summer Term 2018 open on Monday 13th February

 

When you bring a group to the museum you may wish to book a museum teacher or teach the class yourself. Services provided by the Education Department are free, with the exception of studio workshops which are £50. If visiting self guided, learning resources are available to help you plan your own gallery session and can be downloaded from our learning pages.

This short film has been designed to prepare school pupils for their trip to the Fitzwilliam Museum and our volunteer Lesley Sainsbury used the creation and evaluation of the film as the basis of her MA thesis. The format and script is based on educational theories evaluating preparing children for school trips. This indicates that reducing areas of concern to the children (eg lunch and location of the toilets) and increasing their expectations will result in enhanced experiences and learning outcomes.

 

Preparation

Please make sure you understand which parts of the visit are your responsibility and which are ours. We will hand over to you when your teaching session has finished, so you will need to prepare activities for the remainder of your visit. You might find our learning resources useful which will enable you to research and structure your time spent self-guided. If you would like to arrange a pre-visit to the museum a member of the education team can also meet with you to discuss all aspects of your visit.

Photography of the collections is permitted. Flash photography, photography of an exhibition or video recording is prohibited.

 

Class sizes and adult/student ratios

The upper limit on group sizes varies according to the galleries being used. As a general rule, groups being taught by Museum staff are limited to one class of approximately 30 children. However, it is sometimes possible to accommodate larger group visits by teaching in shifts.

We do ask that the student teacher ratio in the Museum should be:

1:7 pupils for KS1
1:10 pupils for KS2 and KS3

 

Lunch facilities

We have a schools’ lunch room which can be booked for your group. You may also eat in the grounds of the Museum or under the portico at our Main Entrance.

 

Transport and Parking

There is no public parking space at the Museum, but there are 2 hour meters in the immediate vicinity. Coaches may drop off and collect outside the Courtyard Entrance. The museum is also in the process of building partnerships with local coach companies. We plan to recommend affordable transport companies to our visiting school groups. More information will follow shortly.

The museum gates open at 10.00am, please note that we are unable to admit access to the museum or its grounds before this time. We aim for morning sessions to start in the galleries by 10.15.

Book your visit

It is absolutely essential that you book well in advance. The Museum reserves the right to refuse admittance to non-booked school groups. The office is very busy so when making your booking you may need to leave a message on the answerphone. Please be as flexible as possible and have alternative dates ready. Do not book transport until your museum visit is fully booked.

The more we know the more we can help. We will ask you about pupils that have any type of special needs, but beyond this, the more we know about your aims, requirements and pupils, the better we can achieve your aims.

01223 332904

 

True Colours: beetles and birds in the museum

Mon, 11 Dec 2017

Inspired by this year’s Festival of Ideas theme, Truth, educators from the Fitzwilliam Museum and Museum of Zoology created activities to help young children and their families explore the “true” essence of colours in art and nature. The Fitzwilliam Museum and Museum of Zoology have collaborated on Early Years activities in the past, but this time we wanted to change... Read full article


Learning about learning: the GEM Foundation course

Wed, 29 Nov 2017

At the beginning of October, I travelled to London for the first two days of the GEM Foundation Course in Museum Learning. This course is a combination of group discussion, reading, lectures, practical exercises, site visits, mentoring and self-reflection intended to expand and inform the thinking of museum education professionals at the start of their careers. For our first day... Read full article


Learning about Culture: Measuring what Matters

Mon, 13 Nov 2017

I was fortunate to be invited to attend the launch of the new Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) / Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Learning about Culture Programme on Tuesday 17th October. In this post I reflect on the programme and consider what arts and cultural organisations can do to improve the evidence base around our work with children and young people.... Read full article


My Nursery is at the Museum and Garden

Thu, 09 Nov 2017

What happened when a group of 3 year olds spent a week ‘in residence’ at the Fitzwilliam Museum and Botanic Garden? Inspired by the ‘My Primary School is at the Museum’ project, educators at the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Botanic Garden invited nine children from a local nursery to spend five mornings ‘in residence’. Over the coming weeks and months... Read full article


Families, Freedom and the Future: Under Fives in Museums

Fri, 06 Oct 2017

Museums are brilliant places for young children – the combination of exciting architectural spaces, amazing collection objects and the social aspects of museum visiting make for incredibly stimulating learning possibilities. However, engaging young children with museums can present challenges too. Nicola Wallis and Holly Morrison from the Fitzwilliam Museum Education Department share their insights from the Freedom to Explore: Engaging... Read full article