Onsite school sessions 2021-22

We're looking forward to welcoming you back onsite with our learning programme including our astronomer led workshops and live planetarium shows from September 2021. And we'll be continuing to run a small amount of digital school sessions too.

What does the Primary Programme consist of?

For early years and primary groups we offer a Discovery Day or a Space Spectacular Day.  Depending on which you choose your visit can be made of: a planetarium show, an interactive workshop or science theatre show, a self-facilitated visit to the historic north site and a time-slot in the lunch room.

For more detail about the primary programme take a look at the guide below:

We also offer Aurora Days for groups with special educational needs which include a workshop and planetarium show.

Aurora Days - SEND school sessions

If you are looking for additional activities to do before, during or after your visit then don't forget to check out our trails and visit guides for primary groups:

FREE downloadable trails and visit guides

What does the Secondary Programme consist of?

For KS3, KS4 and Post-16 we offer a Discovery Day, a Space Spectacular Day or a Study Day (which are exclusively for secondary school groups). Depending on which you choose your visit can be made of: a planetarium show, an interactive workshop, a self-facilitated visit to the historic north site and a time-slot in the lunch room.

For more detail about the secondary programme take a look at the guide below:

We also offer Aurora Days for groups with special educational needs which include a workshop and planetarium show.

Aurora Days - SEND school sessions

If you are looking for additional activities to do before, during or after your visit then don't forget to check out our trails and visit guides for secondary groups.:

FREE downloadable trails and visit guides

How much does a visit cost?

Primary school visit costs

Primary visits including a planetarium show with either a workshop or science theatre show carry a charge of £144 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 £90 for a workshop or science theatre show (for 30 students).

Secondary school visit costs

Study Days run on Thursdays and are by far the most popular choice for our secondary school visitors. The cost of a Study Day is £144 for 30 students and includes a: planetarium show, workshop, and self-guided visit to the historic north site. Individually, a planetarium show is £90 for 30 students and a workshop on its own is £90 for 30 students.

Aurora Day visit costs

The charge for an Aurora Day (limited to a group of 10 students maximum) is £48 for a planetarium show with a workshop, or individually they can be booked at a charge of £30 for a planetarium show (for up to 10 students) and £30 for a workshop (for up to 10 students).

Booking Royal Observatory onsite school sessions

We are now taking bookings for the 2021/22 academic year.

How to book an onsite session

Our programmes explained

What is a Discovery Day?

Discovery Days are designed to be flexible visit days. It is up to you which sessions you select for your Discovery Day. You can choose from:

  • A Planetarium show
  • A workshop or science theatre show
  • A visit to the historic north site
  • Use of the lunch room
  • All of these.

The bookings team will be able to timetable your day to include all the components you have chosen.

What is a Study Day?

The Study Day offer is exclusively for secondary groups with specific sessions for KS3, KS4 and Post-16 and a wider variety of workshops on offer. They run similarly to Discovery Days.

What is Space Spectacular Week?

Space Spectacular weeks are very special as they only run 3 times a year so you will need to book fast. Visits during Space Spectacular weeks are made of: a planetarium show (Final Frontier), the demo-filled science theatre show (Space Watch for primary only) or workshop (Exploring Ocean Worlds  for secondary only), a lunch room slot and a visit to the historic north site.

In 2021-22 they will run:

  • 4th - 8th October 2021
  • 14th - 18th March 2022
  • 6th - 10th June 2022

What is a Planetarium show?

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 even land you on Mars.

What is a Workshop?

The astronomer-led workshops are very interactive and plenty of opportunity to ask questions and discover new things.  The workshops use a combination of sound, film, large scale demonstrations and team activities to explain different scientific concepts.

For a full list of workshops and planetarium shows, see our Visit Guides:

What is a Science Theatre show?

A science theatre show is an interactive astronomer-led show action-packed full of demonstrations. Throughout our science theatre shows we often ask for volunteers to come and help us out with the demonstrations. They only run during Space Spectacular weeks.

What else can I do on a visit day?

If a Discovery Day, Study Day or Space Spectacular Day still doesn’t satisfy your scientific appetite you can also visit our temporary exhibitions gallery and we also have trails and visit guides for those doing self-facilitated sessions.

FREE downloadable trails and visit guides

Who develops and runs the sessions?

The sessions are run by our real astronomers so there is always an expert available to ask any questions. Our content is developed by the astronomy education team in collaboration with our teacher forum. All sessions are tested and evaluated with the teacher forum and also with school groups to ensure that the content developed is exactly what teachers are looking for and what students will thoroughly enjoy! 

Join our teachers forum

Do you come out to schools?

We normally release a small number of bookable outreach slots every year, but unfortunately we won't be able to offer any outreach sessions until at least January 2022.

We'll update our programme here when we're able to deliver outreach sessions again, so you can find information about the different sessions we run and how to book.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact ROG.Outreach@rmg.co.uk.

Keep in touch

We have a monthly e-newsletter so you can easily keep up to date with our schools programme, new resources and other student/teacher events.

Subscribe to our mailing list

Are there activities that can follow on from my visit?

Yes - LOTS.  On our website you will find information about: our Teacher Forum, free teacher training sessions - both onsite and online, a growing collection of podcasts, blogs along with curriculum-linked classroom resources, animated videos.

Get involved - blogs, podcasts and our Teacher's forum