School visits 2023-24

Due to popularity, Discovery Day sessions for all key stages are very limited for the rest of this academic year. If you would still like to visit, there are Planetarium show-only slots available, as well as self-guided visits to the historic buildings of the Royal Observatory. 

We have temporarily suspended our Digital Outreach programme. Please keep an eye on this page for updates. 

2024 - 25 visits

Bookings for the 2024 Autumn Term will open in July. Bookings for January - July 2025 will open later in the year.

To keep up to date on announcements and news, sign up to our Schools Newsletter.

Onsite school sessions 2023-24

Looking for learning sessions that are out of this world? Then look no more! The Royal Observatory's onsite learning programme includes astronomer-led workshops and live planetarium shows, and we have offers available for every key stage.

Can't make an onsite visit? No worries - we'll be running some digital outreach sessions for schools who are unable to visit us.

The James Webb Space Telescope image of the Carina Nebula, showing clouds of gas and dust in this stellar nursery
James Webb Space Telescope image of the Carina Nebula. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, CST and STSci

I would like to book for...

Primary School group

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 astronomy activity, a self-facilitated visit to the historic north site, and a time-slot in the lunch room.

Discovery Days and Space Spectacular Days run on select days during the academic year - please consult the primary programme guide to see what dates are available before booking your session.

For descriptions and details of the workshops, Planetarium shows and programmes we offer, take a look at our handy guide:

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 group

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

Study Days and Space Spectacular Days run on select days during the academic year - please consult the secondary programme guide to see what dates are available before booking your session.

For descriptions and details of the workshops, Planetarium shows and programmes we offer, take a look at our handy guide:

The cost of a Study Day is £144 for 30 students and includes a: planetarium show, workshop, and self-facilitated astronomy activity. Individually, a planetarium show is £90 for 30 students and a workshop on its own is £90 for 30 students. The same pricing applies for a Space Spectacular Day (KS3 only).

SEND Group

We offer Aurora Days for groups with special educational needs which include a workshop and planetarium show. These days are specifically designed with SEND in mind, allowing for a more relaxed and tailored visit.

For more information about our SEND sessions and to book, see our dedicated page:

Aurora Days - SEND school sessions

If you are preparing for a visit we also have a visual guide to the Observatory available for you to download. 

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).

If you would like to speak to a member of staff regarding your group, contact us on ROGEducation@rmg.co.uk

Other groups and Home Education

Home Education groups

Home education groups are welcome to take part in the schools' programme. You can book into one of our Discovery Days or for a Planetarium show only visit, whichever suits your group and schedule. 

If you would like a workshop, depending on the ages within the group, we may recommend one of our curriculum-linked workshops, or if there is a mixture of ages, we may recommend our Ask an Astronomer session. You can see what sessions we offer in the Primary and Secondary programme guides linked below. 

Onsite sessions are charged at the same rates as those advertised for schools, with a maximum number of 30 learners (inclusive of all accompanying adults and siblings) per session. The minimum group size is 15 people. 

Other groups

We are unable to host international students within our schools programme. Please take a look at our Groups and Travel Trade page for help with arranging a visit. 

Decided on your programme?

Great! You can now begin to plan your visit!

Take a look at our planning guide, which tells you all you need to know about our programme and a guide for planning your trip to us. 

When you are ready to book, fill in the following form:

How to book an onsite session

Due to popularity, Discovery Day sessions for all key stages are very limited. There are Planetarium only slots available as well as sessions on our Digital Outreach programme. 

Our Programme Explained

What are the start times for the sessions?

We have created a handy document that lists our session start times. Whether you're looking for a jam-packed day, or just a planetarium show, you'll find all the session start times in this document.

 

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 self-facilitated astronomy activity
  • Use of the lunch room
  • A self-guided visit to the historic north site

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. They run similarly to Discovery Days with a Planetarium show, choice of workshop, astronomy activity, lunch room and self-guided visit.  

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 or We Are Guardians), the demo-filled science theatre show (Space Watch for primary only) or workshop (Exploring Ocean Worlds for secondary (KS3) only)a lunch room slot and a self-facilitated astronomy activity.

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 give plenty of opportunities to ask questions and discover new things. The workshops use a combination of sound, film, large-scale demonstrations and group activities to explain different scientific concepts.

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. These 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 use our trails and visit guides for those doing self-guided sessions.

FREE downloadable trails and visit guides

I have another question...

If we haven't been able to answer your question here, please get in touch with us on ROGEducation@rmg.co.uk

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 are unable to offer physical outreach sessions at the moment, but we are running a digital outreach programme

If you have any questions, please contact ROGEducation@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