Essential information

Key stage: 
Key Stage 2
School subject: 
Astronomy
Location: 
Royal Observatory
Session price: 
£45 - £105 (maximum 30 students)

For KS2 groups we offer either a Discovery Day or Space Spectacular Day programme.

Our education programme explained

There can be a lot to think about when organising a school trip so we have come up with a ‘to-do’ list to help you to make sure you have everything you need to make your visit to the Royal Observatory Greenwich as enjoyable as possible. This can be found at the back of the Primary Programme Guide where you can also find full session outlines too.

PDF iconPrimary programme guide 2016-17

If you have any questions or would like to check availability, please contact our Bookings team: bookings@rmg.co.uk | Tel: 0208 312 6608 (The Bookings office is open 10.00–16.00).

Frequently Asked Questions

Our programme is very diverse so we are often asked questions about it. Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the KS2 schools programme. If you have any more questions please contact the booking team as they will be more than happy to help.

How much does a visit cost?

KS2 visits including a planetarium show and workshop carry a charge of £105 for a group of up to 30 students. If you wish to book only one of these elements you can do so at a charge of £90 for a planetarium show (for 30 students) and £60 for a workshop (for 30 students).

The Through the Telescope and Going Above and Beyond drama sessions carry an additional charge of £60 for a group of up to 30 students.

Are there activities that can follow on from my visit?

Yes, lots! We have a wide range of resources available for you to download and use for free before, during and after your visit. Find out about: our teacher forum, a growing collection of curriculum-linked classroom resources, videos, podcasts and even blogs. 

Find out more about our teacher forum and other resources

Search and download our teacher resources

Do you have a lunch space?

Yes. We have a lunch room that can be booked by groups taking part in our full day programme. Please speak to our Bookings team for more information.

What is a Discovery Day?

Discovery Days are designed to be flexible visit days that run weekly (except during school holidays and Space Spectacular weeks). 

It is up to you the sessions you select for your Discovery Day; you could choose from:

  • A planetarium show
  • A workshop
  • A drama session (on specific days only).
  • A gallery visit
  • All of these

What is a Space Spectacular Day?

Space Spectacular weeks run three times a year to coincide with International Space Week (Autumn 2016), National Science Week (Spring 2017) and just after the Summer Solstice (Summer 2017). See Space Spectacular and Study Day dates 2016-2017 for dates. A Space Spectacular Day for a KS2 audience would include:

  • Meet the Neighbours planetarium show
  • NEW Prepare For Launch science theatre show
  • A gallery visit

What sessions are available for KS2?

We offer science theatre shows, planetarium shows, drama sessions and workshops for KS2 audiences. Take a look at the information below to find out more about them and when they run.

Science Theatre Shows 

Please note: these are available on Space Spectacular Days only.

Our science theatre shows are interactive astronomer-led experiences, action packed with demonstrations. During our science theatre shows we often ask for volunteers to come and help us with the demonstrations. 

NEW Prepare For Launch (45 minutes)

It is time to fasten your seatbelts and prepare for launch. If you have ever wondered what it might be like to be a space scientist, to design missions or to explore the wonders of the Universe then this is the show for you. Packed with interactive demonstrations and brain-busting science facts this show will take you on an expedition to explore the unknown. The only question left to ask is…are you ready? The show will end with a 15-minute question and answer session with the astronomer who led the session. 

Drama Sessions 

We have two types of drama sessions to choose from for your visit, both sessions are led by actor interpreters who will take the students on an action-packed scientific adventure. 

Through the Telescope (45 mins)

This is an interactive session in which an actor interpreter takes the role of William Christie, the 8th Astronomer Royal at Greenwich. The session takes place in the Great Equatorial Telescope dome. Through storytelling and use of the 18 tonne Victorian telescope along with other props, he explains how we see light from distant stars, how telescopes work using lenses and mirrors and how the Earth’s rotation is responsible for the Sun and other stars appearing to move across the sky.

An accompanying KS2 Telescopes Trail is available on our website to download and print for FREE here if you would like to extend your visit and follow on from your Through The Telescope session. This comes with a set of teacher’s notes and student worksheets. 

Planetarium Shows

Think of our planetarium as a tour bus of the Universe taking you on amazing journeys to explore and experience the wonders of the night sky. Combining real images from spacecraft and telescopes with advanced CGI, all projected onto a fully immersive dome, the Planetarium can fly you into the heart of the Sun, transport you to distant galaxies, show you the birth of a star or land you on Mars. Shows take place in our state-of-the-art digital Peter Harrison Planetarium and are delivered live by Royal Observatory astronomers. Each planetarium show lasts 30 minutes and can accommodate up to two classes of 30 students.

Meet the Neighbours (45 mins)

Take an exciting interactive journey through the Solar System and beyond. Examine the role of light and shadow in the Sun, the Earth-Moon system, and tour the moons, planets, asteroids and comets in our Solar System, discovering new planetary neighborhoods circling other stars in our Milky Way galaxy.

Workshops

Our interactive workshops take place in one of three purpose-built learning spaces in The Lloyd’s Register Foundation Learning Centre, and are designed to encourage active learning and hands-on scientific enquiry. 

Delivered by Royal Observatory astronomers, sessions are 45 minutes long and focus on concepts of light and shadow and the Sun-Earth-Moon system, through interactive exploration of large-scale astronomical and/or digital models and student experiment. 

Shadows and Sundials (45 minutes)

Children use large-scale astronomical models to explore how shadows change as the Earth spins on its axis. The session includes investigative group work and practical hands-on activity, with each child making a sundial to take away. 

Sun, Earth and Moon (45 minutes)

In this interactive session, students participate in investigative activities and demonstrations using large-scale astronomical models to understand the shape and size of the Sun, Earth and Moon, to learn how their relative motions shape our days, months and years. 

For full details of our KS2 sessions see our PDF iconPrimary programme guide 2016-17

Book a visit

Primary visits including a Planetarium show and workshop carry a charge of £105 for a group of up to 30 students. If you wish to book only one of these elements, you can do so at a charge of £90 for a Planetarium show (for 30 students), and £60 for a workshop (for 30 students).

Sessions cannot be booked online, this is always done via an email or phone enquiry in the first instance.

To book a visit, telephone 020 8312 6608 or e-mail bookings@rmg.co.uk

Royal Observatory schools booking information

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