Visiting Aston Hall
This page contains comprehensive information for teachers bringing pupils on a visit to Aston Hall, it includes pre-visit and on the day information.
Aston Hall offers an extensive programme of taught sessions and self-guided activities for school groups aged 4 – 18 and welcomes SEN groups and home education groups.
Pupils will be able to explore this magnificent 17th century property, discovering the beautiful Jacobean architecture of a home long ago. They will learn about how the rooms were used and the people who lived here. Many taught sessions are themed around National Curriculum topics, such as the Great Fire of London . Pupils will develop key skills and gain valuable knowledge for subjects.
Contact / Book a Visit
All visits require advanced booking - this includes self-guided visits, teacher previews and taught sessions.
For enquiries or to make a booking contact the Education Bookings Team on 0121 348 8001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Download the schools risk assessment (PDF) for Aston Hall.
If you are a first time visitor to Aston Hall 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 who will liaise with the onsite learning team so that you your staff can meet the Learning and Engagement Officer to discuss logistics for the day, show you around the site and discuss self-led activities.
All taught sessions take place within the historic building of Aston Hall, giving pupils a truly immersive experience.
The taught sessions have been designed by a specially trained Learning and Engagement Officer with expertise in museum education. Taught sessions are active, hands-on and multi-sensory; appealing to all learning abilities and learning styles. Sessions include object handling, dressing up in costume, role-play and for all art sessions a practical art activity is included.
Taught sessions can sometimes be adapted to fit with a particular classroom topic. Please get in touch to find out if this is possible for your group.
Self-guided are only available to the gardens and park at Aston Hall, these are free of charge and available all year round.
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.
Disabled access is available to some areas of Aston Hall. However, as a Grade I listed building we have been unable to install a lift within the main house. Therefore those in wheelchairs will be unable to access the upper floors of the house. We can adapt our taught sessions to use the ground floor rooms only allowing all of your class to participate in the session together. A virtual tour of Aston Hall is also available on the ground floor, which wheelchair users can explore, should you wish to allow the rest of your group to continue to the upper floors of the house.
All visitors must wear appropriate footwear when visiting Aston Hall. The house has historic floors, with some wooden panels having a slippery surface and an uneven tread. It is advisable that flat footwear be worn. Stiletto heels are strictly forbidden.
Aston Hall becomes very cold between October and February. Please ensure pupils arrive in appropriate clothing for the lower temperatures. Coats will need to be worn in the house.
Goodie bags are available to pre-order and can either be paid for on the day or via invoice to your school. We have a range of goodie bags to order:
- £0.75 - pencil and postcard
- £1.55 - pencil, pen and eraser
- £2.25 - pencil, pen, eraser, notepad and postcard
Goodie bags contain items in a random selection of colours (see bottom of page for images) and are subject to availability. For more details and to pre-order your bags please download the Goodie Bag Order Form (Word format).
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.
Ahead of Your Visit
You may like to consider helping your class prepare for their visit, perhaps using the following ideas:
- Display a photograph of Aston Hall and encourage children to discuss and describe what it looks like. You may like to use questions as prompts: Is it an old house or a new house? What materials is it made from? What similarities / differences are there between Aston Hall and our homes?
- Discuss what a museum is and how they can help children learn.
- Explain that the day may be structured differently than a regular school day.
- Discuss and decide acceptable behaviour during the visit. (see Pupil Behaviour below)
- You may like to download the Social Story
- More information can be found on the Aston Hall website
On the Day Information
School groups should arrive 15 minutes before the start of their first taught session. This will allow for pupils to disembark from the coach, drop off lunch bags and visit the toilets before going into the main house.
Late arrival may result in your taught sessions being shortened. Sessions cannot be carried over due to other groups and activities around the house.
Coach Drop Off and Parking
Coaches are welcome to drop pupils off by the chain link fence at the front of the main house. If the coach is staying for the duration of the visit, it must not block the chain link fence as this is an emergency access area.
Free coach and mini-bus parking is available at the front of Aston Hall.
School groups will be met by the Learning and Engagement Officer by the North Lodge by the chain link fence at the front of the main house. They will then be welcomed and admitted to the site.
The classroom is situated within Aston Hall, and has an entrance separate from the main part of the house. There are coat hooks in the classroom. Accessible toilets with hand washing facilities are a short distance away in the Stable block.
Teachers wishing to book a full day visit may book the classroom to use in addition to their half day facilitated session. Visiting teachers lead the classroom activities and activities are provided free of charge. There is a range of craft activities designed to complement the teaching session that teachers may use in the classroom. You may not have time to complete all of these activities, so please choose those most suitable for your topic / age-group / abilities. Anything the children make, they may take with them. Schools are also welcome to bring their own activities. Please contact the Bookings Team if you have further questions about these activities.
There is a second lunch space next to our classroom that can also be booked. The classroom and lunch space are adjoining spaces, giving both classes access to each other throughout the lunch break. In the event of two different schools using these spaces, the door between them can be closed to give your group more privacy. Groups may picnic on the grass, weather permitting. Groups should be adequately supervised at lunchtimes.
There are two lunch rooms available at Aston Hall for school groups to use free of charge. The lunch spaces have an accessible entrance and are adjoining. One of our lunch spaces is accessed by a short flight of steps. These must be booked prior to your visit, to ensure the rooms are ready and available for your groups. Between November and the end of March our tearoom is only available on Wednesdays and Thursdays and we have no vending machines, so adults must bring their own lunch and drinks. There are no kitchen facilities for visiting teachers.
There is not a dedicated school cloakroom but teachers and pupils may leave their belongings in the lunch room area (if this has been pre-booked for use by your group) which is a secure space, but it is recommended to keep high value items on you at all times.
General visitor toilets are available in the Stables building, which includes an accessible toilet (a key must be collected from the main reception for access to this). Toilets are also available in the main house, but we do ask that all children use the toilets before the taught session to avoid disruption.
The shop is open all year round. Pupils are welcome to visit the shop as part of their day. We ask that a maximum of 10 pupils visit the shop at one time.
Please inform the Learning and Engagement Officer on arrival if you plan to use the shop.
- It is the responsibility of the class teachers and accompanying adults to control the behaviour of pupils
- All taught sessions take place in the main house of Aston Hall, which is a Grade I listed building and has many historic artefacts on open display. Artefacts must not be touched unless permission is granted by museum staff
- Pupils are expected to show respect within the house, listen to museum staff and follow instructions
- Adults must stay with the pupils at all times
- Pupils should not be led away from the Learning Officer unless instructed to do so and no one is to exit the building unless escorted by a member of Aston Hall’s staff
Photography is permitted. We request that you take photos without flash to help us protect our historic artefacts.