Royal Observatory Greenwich Outreach Visits

We want you to get the very most out of your outreach visit and this document should help you to do just that.  Here you will find answers to some of our most frequently asked outreach questions.  It will not only help you to find out what you can expect from us but also what we will require from you to deliver the sessions.  

If you have any questions that aren’t covered here please get in touch on

When do you run outreach sessions?

These are super special sessions and we currently run one session per month through term time.  In the 2018/19 academic year these will be on 11th September, 16th October, 13th November, 11th December, 8th January, 12th February, 12th March, 1st to 5th April, 14th May, 11th June, 9th July.  Please note we operate on a first come, first served basis so if there is a date you want – jump in quick!

What sessions do you offer?

We have a different outreach offer for primary and secondary schools.  Both have been developed specifically for outreach visits so unless we have visited your school before your students will not have taken part in either.  
  • Primary Session: Brand new to 2018 our Moons show (KS1 and KS2) or The Great Space Adventure (KS2)

Moons (KS1 and KS2) - this science theatre show is brand new to 2018 and looks at the different moons you might find if you went adventuring in space.  This 40 minute show is presented by one of our astronomers and has buckets of demonstrations and games sprinkled throughout.  Moons is linked to the KS1 and KS2 curriculum depending on which version you choose and explores the concepts of light and dark, shadows and even the Sun, Earth and Moon system. 

The Great Space Adventure Theatre Show (KS2) - this science theatre show is an interactive astronomer-led show, action-packed and full of demonstrations. Throughout our science theatre shows we often ask for volunteers to come and help us out with the demonstrations.  The Great Space Adventure is a 40 minute show linked to the KS2 science curriculum and explores the Sun, Earth, Moon system as well as our Solar System. 

  • Secondary Session: A Question of Space Show

​A Question of Space (KS3, KS4 and KS5) - this is a key stage linked, interactive quiz using digital keypads with a sprinkling of demonstrations to help us explain different physics concepts.  This 45 minute session can be delivered to KS3, KS4 or KS5 audiences as there are different versions for each.  We recommend not mixing key stages if possible enabling us to deliver the key stage appropriate version of the session.

How many sessions can you run in one day?

We can run 2 to 4 sessions a day. We would ideally like to see as many of your students and staff as possible.  For primary the only limit is the capacity of the spaces you would like us to use.  However, for secondary we are limited by the number of handsets we have for A Question of Space which is 110 per session.

How do I timetable the sessions?

Here is a sample timetable which we would recommend, however, if your school day runs slightly differently please do let us know so we can accommodate it.
1 9:30AM 10:15AM
2 10:30AM 11:15AM
3 11:30AM 12:15PM
4 1:30PM 2:15PM

Sessions take 30 minutes to set up and take down and the astronomers need at least 15 minutes between sessions to re-set any equipment.  If you are planning on using a school hall that needs to also be used for lunch please do let us know in advance as this will need to be factored into the timetabling. 

If you would like us to run two shows for lower primary and two for upper it is greatly appreciated if we can timetable them together so we only need to swap from one show to another once.

Who are our presenters?

Our presenters are Royal Observatory Greenwich Astronomers.  Everyone has a background in physics and present sessions onsite on a regular basis so are all very experienced science communicators too.

Are our presenters DBS checked?

Yes, all our presenters have valid DBS checks.

How many presenters will come to the visit?

Just the one, we use a minimal amount of equipment enabling one person to easily carry everything on public transport.

Will you require lunch?

Our staff won’t expect for you to feed them but it is very much appreciated when schools do.  

Do you need us to supply anything?

We travel light and other than supplying your staff and students we don’t need very much more.  Please see our list of requirements below:

  • Delivery Space – the space provided can have a huge impact on the experience.  If you have a school hall we can use that is perfect.  Whenever possible please provide a space that is separated from any other activity going on in the school so the presenter does not have to compete with anything else.  
  • Equipment and Facilities – please be sure you can supply a table, access to wifi, a projector and a screen.  If you cannot please notify us when you book.  It takes around 30 minutes to set up and we would need access to the space before the students are allowed access.  If you have a member of staff who is familiar with your technology set up it is always greatly appreciated if they can be there when we arrive to show us how things in your school work – every school is different.

Do teachers have to stay with the students?

Yes this is essential although we hope that you enjoy the experience too.  We require 1 teacher for every 30 students in a session to be present throughout and responsible at all times for the behaviour of the students.

Are you insured?

We are covered by our public liability insurance policy which you will receive a copy of for your records when you book.  We will also need to receive a copy of your school third party liability certificate for our records prior to the visit.

How far will you travel?

Our outreach currently operates within Greater London or within one hour of travel time from the observatory.  If you are based outside of that area but would like to discuss an outreach visit please contact us on

How much does a visit cost?

We charge £400 per school visit.  This is a flat fee that does not depend on how many sessions we run or how many students we engage with.

I want to book, what now?

It is all nice and easy, here is the process:
  1. Booking request form – this tells us everything we need to know so be sure to fill that out first.  You will also need to send us a copy of your public liability certificate at this stage.
  2. The details – when we receive your booking form we will check the date is available and look through the details of what you have requested.
  3. Confirmation – if you are happy with everything we will take payment then send you a confirmation pack.

What if I need to cancel?

When we receive your booking form we will send you a copy of our terms and conditions so please be sure to ready them before you confirm your booking so you are aware of the cancelation policy.