We have a range of resources and support for teachers looking to visit our museums or use our collections in their classrooms. Our CPD sessions offer hands-on learning and networking opportunities, whilst our downloadable resources can be used before, after or during a visit.

We’d love to hear from you about other resources or sessions that you’d like to see us offer. Please get in touch schools@nms.ac.uk or phone 0131 247 4041.

CPD sessions

Do you want to enhance your own learning and make the most of your class visit? Our varied continuing professional development (CPD) programme may be just what you need!

Get to know our collections and plan ahead for your class visit by booking one of our CPD events. Alternatively, contact us to arrange a pre-visit by telephone on 0131 247 4041 or email schools@nms.ac.uk.

Teachers' Private view – The Poppy: A Symbol of Remembrance

Friday 26 October
National War Museum, Edinburgh Castle

Discover more about the history of the poppy and its emergence as a symbol of remembrance in this unique event on the First World War for primary and secondary teachers. This is a joint event between National Museums Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland.

During this session you will:

    • Find out more about a First World War-related visit to the National War Museum and Edinburgh Castle
    • Hear from Elaine Edwards, Senior Curator, about the themes of the exhibition
    • Visit The Poppy exhibition and the National War Museum
    • Explore Edinburgh Castle to try our new First World War trail
    • Discover a range of First World War resources on Scran to use back in class

Refreshments and free resources provided. Meet at the drawbridge, at Edinburgh Castle entrance, at 1.30pm.

Spaces are limited and we do expect this event to be fully booked. Please make sure you have reserved one ticket for each person attending with you. Book online via Eventbrite

For more about the exhibition, visit our schools pages

Teacher & Adult Helper Notes

Adult Talks Programme for Secondary Teachers and Pupils

We are pleased to be able to offer a limited number of free places for teachers or senior secondary pupils on our adult talks programme. Details of the latest tickets available will appear below.

If you would like to book free places at these events below, please email schools@nms.ac.uk.

Senior pupils can attend with a teacher or by themselves if they are over the age of 16. Tickets must be reserved by teaching staff in advance of the event for the free rate to apply.

Loan boxes

As part of our outreach programme, we have developed loan boxes which are available for schools and community groups to borrow. Our  loan boxes include Ancient Egypt, Africa, Animals and The Rainforest. All boxes are FREE to borrow for a period of two weeks or one term. Find out more details or to book visit our loan boxes page.

Resources to support your visit

We have a range of resources which you can use to support your visit to our venues.

National Museum of Scotland

If you’ve booked a workshop with us, you can also find a range of related resources on our workshop outlines pages.

National Museum of Flight

We have a wide range of resources, which you can find here.

National Museum of Rural Life

You and download our Garden Detectives Pack here.

National War Museum

You can download our 1940s Wartime Life Resource here.

When you book a visit with us, you will also be given details of any additional resources we may have available for you to use on the day, such as trail sheets. Please ask when booking if you have a particular topic you’d like to study.

Online resources to use in class

We have a range of resources and interactive games on topics such as the Romans, Egyptians, Vikings and Dinosaurs available on our website. We also have a range of things to make, including animal masks and colouring-in sheets.

Online collections

You can also use objects from our collections to inspire learning in your classroom.

Object search

You can search our collections for objects relating to your topic or local area by using a simple search of our database. You can also explore our collections through the different areas we cover.


Scran is a learning resource with over 390,000 records bursting with imagery & information from many museums, galleries and archives. It offers free to access for all Scottish state schools. To see National Museums Scotland’s collections on Scran, choose the advanced search option and NMS as the 'contributor'. You will be able to explore nearly 20,000 of our amazing objects & artefacts digitally.  

Teaching history with 100 objects

The British Museum’s project to cover the English history curriculum in 100 objects will contain four from National Museums Scotland. Although it is aimed at schools in England, the topics are relevant for areas such as Vikings and Romans, and the objects span prehistoric to current day. Access Teaching history with 100 objects here. 

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