Schools

Visiting Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery houses some of the most superb collections of fine and decorative art, historical artefacts and archaeological treasures in the country. We have a variety of facilitated art, history, and on-gallery sessions available for schools, delivered by our experienced Learning & Engagement Officers and developed to support the curriculum.

To make the most of your visit we have provided comprehensive information for teachers bringing students on a visit to Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery. See below for information on our Discovery Days, as well as useful pre-visit and on the day information.

What to expect from your visit

To make the most of your museum experience we have simplified ways to choose your visit and activities on site. You can choose either a full or half-day Discovery Day package that operates within social distancing measures. 

Discovery Days

Discovery learning days aim to help teachers and students access core activities whilst providing controlled guidance and practical handwashing, toileting and lunchtime support during your visit.

Our sessions are available to Key Stage 1-3 and are based around the subjects of Art and History. Our sessions are interactive and hands-on and have been developed by a team of experienced on-site museum Learning & Engagement Officers, and are linked to the National Curriculum.

To see what Discovery Day sessions are available check out our on-site sessions at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery webpage.

Self-Guided Visits

Self-guided visits are not available at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Home Educators

We offer a warm welcome to Home Educating groups. All of our taught sessions are available for home education groups. We can adapt the content of the taught sessions to fit with mixed age groups, abilities and needs. A minimum charge may apply.

Pre-Visit Information

Address

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
Chamberlain Square
Birmingham
B3 3DH

(Coach drop off at Great Charles Street: B3 3LG)

Contact / Book a Visit

All visits require advanced booking - this includes teacher previews and taught sessions.

For enquiries or to make a booking contact the Education Bookings Team on 0121 348 8001 or email educationbookings@birminghammuseums.org.uk

Risk Assessment

Download the school risk assessment for Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (PDF). The risk assessment does not cover any time spent away from the site. We strongly suggest you visit us beforehand.

Teacher Previews

If you are a first time visitor to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery it is recommended that a member of your teaching staff attends a pre-visit. Proof of teacher status must be shown at the ticket desk on entry (e.g. General Teaching Council membership, union membership card or signed headed school paper). Please contact the bookings team to arrange this.

Disabled Access

All of the Education Space is accessible for wheelchair users by lift and by ramp from the Great Charles Street entrance; we also have an easy access toilet available. Access to the rest of the museum is then accessible via a lift in the Learning Zone.

Please let us know if you have any students with special educational needs, or any students unable to use stairs this information is required in the event of fire evacuation, or lifts being out of order.

We ask that our Bookings Team are made aware of any access needs for your group in advance.

Goody Bags

Goody bags are available to pre-order and need to be paid for on the day or via invoice. We can prepare your own individual goody bags.

For more details and to pre-order your bags please download the goody bag order form (Word format) and send this to educationbookings@birminghammuseums.org.uk

Pupil / Teacher Ratio

  • For Foundation and Key Stage 1 groups a minimum of 1 adult to every 6 children is required.
  • For Key Stage 2 and over a minimum of 1 adult for every 10 children is required.
A failure to meet these ratios may result in your session being cancelled upon arrival at the mill.

On the Day Information

Arrival 

We strongly recommend that you arrive approximately 30-15 minutes before the start of your planned itinerary. This will allow for students to disembark from the coach, access the building, drop off lunch bags and visit the toilets before the start of your session.

Please report to our Great Charles Street Entrance. Directions are available on: www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag/visit. This entrance is not open to the public; if a member of staff is not available on your arrival, please telephone the museum’s Control Room team on: 0121 348 8030. Please ensure that you know the numbers in your group before your arrival.

Late arrival may result in your taught sessions being shortened. Sessions may not be carried over due to other groups visiting.

It is very important that you follow your group itinerary. Several of the areas within the museum have a very limited capacity, and itineraries are produced so that all the groups in the building can move around as easily as possible.

Coach Drop Off and Parking

The coach drop off / pick up point for school coaches is on Great Charles Street (B3 3LG). No waiting is allowed. There is no dedicated parking at the Museum and Art Gallery.

Education Space 

In our education space we have a lunch area and two classrooms available, one that is designed primarily for history sessions and one for art. Teachers are required to remain within the Education Space throughout their taught sessions.

At Birmingham Museums Trust we take safeguarding and security very seriously, as such the area available to schools and known as the Education Space will only be accessible to authorised personnel through use of an Access Card. For this reason the School Group Leader will be issued with the access card for the purpose of access to locker area, lunch area and toilets to escort the group. The area is not accessible to the general public. This card will be issued on the day and must be returned the same day. Please note you will incur a fine of £25.00 for non-returned access card.

As the number of cards provided are limited, it is important that all accompanying adults remain with the group, or are provided with the card by the group leader for a short period (i.e. if using the facilities).

Lunch Area

We have a dedicated lunch area that can seat 60-70 people. It will show on your itinerary if lunch is included as part of your full discovery day only.

Cloakroom and storage

A dedicated school cloakroom is provided with trolleys for bags and coats, these can be locked away. You will have a designated storage unit with your group’s name on it. All coats, bags and lunches can be left on these rails and you will be able to return to them at any time. It is recommended to keep high value items on you at all times.

Toilets 

Dedicated school toilets are available in the Learning Zone including an easy access toilet. Accompanying adults will be directed to use the accessible toilet unless supervising their group’s use of the facilities. There are further public toilets located throughout the building.

Museum Shop

You are welcome to visit our Museum and Art Gallery Shop please book your time slot on arrival or with the education booking team ahead of your visit. The gift shop is located on Level 2. We ask that a maximum of 15 pupils visit the shop at one time. Please allow a minimum of 20-30 minutes to visit the gift shop; for larger groups it may be necessary to allow more time. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Alternatively, you can pre-order goodie bags upon booking your visit.

Pupil Behaviour

  • It is the responsibility of the class teachers and accompanying adults to control the behaviour of pupils.
  • It is important that students are never left unattended or allowed to wander around the building alone, that they are not left unaccompanied in the shop, and that the group reaches each area at the time specified on the itinerary.
  • We strongly recommend that if your school has a uniform it should be worn on the day of your visit.
  • Pupils are asked not to touch the objects on display unless invited to and not to run anywhere.
  • Pupils and accompanying adults are not permitted to eat or drink (with the exception of bottled water) in gallery spaces, other than the dedicated lunch space, Edwardian Tea Room, or another space specifically indicated by a member of staff on the day. This helps to ensure the safety of our collections.
  • Pupils are expected to show respect, listen to the museum staff and follow instructions. If it is felt the children are putting themselves, others or the museum in harm’s way you may be asked to leave.
  • Adults must stay with the pupils at all times.

Photography

Photography is allowed throughout the galleries at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, unless specified (this may be the case with some temporary exhibitions). Please check with a member of staff during your visit. If you are taking photographs in your taught session please let the Learning and Engagement Officer know.