Special Educational Needs Aurora Days

Aurora Days for the 2018/19 academic year will run on 10th September 2018, 5th November 2018, 14th January 2019, 4th March 2019, 29th April 2019 and 10th June 2019. These are specially designed sessions for SEND groups that run twice a term.
While you are of course welcome to visit at any time with SEND groups Aurora Days are dedicated slots where we hand the Observatory over to you without any other school groups on site. This means that we are able to dedicate more time to you answering your space questions and making you visit as enjoyable and easy as possible.
We are developing our Aurora Day programme further throughout the 2018/19 academic year and have a SEND forum to help inform the programme. If you would like to join please take a look at our website for more details, we would love to have you with us. Aurora Days are made up of the following components where you can choose one workshop and one planetarium show. 

Planetarium Shows

Planetarium shows take place in the Peter Harrison Planetarium and are delivered live by Royal Observatory astronomers.  On Aurora Days we have two options available to choose from:

Starry Skies

This show takes the audience on a tour of some of the most beautiful aspects of our Solar System.  It was developed in collaboration with our local autism spectrum disorder visitors and their families and has consistently received fantastic feedback since it launched.  It is presented live by one of our astronomers and runs at a much calmer pace than many of our other school shows.   The lighting levels used are higher for this show so the planetarium never becomes pitch black and the music and narration is kept to a minimum.  If your students have any questions about space at the end our astronomer will be there to answer them.


Universe On your Doorstep

This action-packed show is very closely linked to our KS2 version but with an added element of flexibility.  This means that if you would like us to we can tailor the level of content to meet the needs of your group.  Unlike with Starry Skies the planetarium does get very dark for this show and the lighting levels remain low.  The pace is also slightly quicker with music and an astronomer narrating along the way.  The narrative will follow that of the KS2 version of this show so please see the Planetarium Shows section for more details.    If your students have any questions about space at the end our astronomer will be there to answer them.


Our interactive workshops take place in one of three purpose-built Lloyds Register Foundation learning spaces and are designed to encourage active learning and hands-on scientific enquiry.   

Sun, Earth and Moon or Shadows and Sundials

As with the Universe On Your Doorstep show above, these workshops also links closely to their KS2 counterparts so take a look at the workshops section for more detail.  Workshops on Aurora Days are very flexible so we are able to tailor the amount of content in them to your group’s needs.  You may want them to run exactly as they are pitched at KS2 or you may prefer to focus on a specific aspect only – it is completely your choice.  Please be sure to chat to a member of the bookings team when you are planning your visit so they can advise.

If you would like to chat about bringing a group to an Aurora Day or coming along for a pre visit please do get in touch with our booking team on 02083126608 or bookings@rmg.co.uk.