Special Educational Needs Aurora Days

New to the 2017/18 academic year are Aurora Days; specially designed sessions for SEN groups that run once a term.  Aurora Days for the 2017/18 academic year will run on 22nd September 2017, 8th January 2018 and 23rd April 2018.  Visits are free of charge but spaces are limited so be sure to book yours fast.

While you are of course welcome to visit at any time with SEN 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 your visit as enjoyable and easy as possible.

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.