Welcome to an unique world of learning, inclusive and accessible for all to visit. From self-led visits to workshops on our incredible collections, your pupils will be able to take part in hands-on learning experiences outside the classroom at the National Museum of Scotland.
You can book a self-led visit or take part in a workshop adapted to suit your pupils.
To help support pupils during their visit, we have developed the following resources:
A colourful sensory backpack is now available to borrow for free for pupils with additional support needs.
This contains an appealing selection of items ranging from fun and soothing sensory toys to ear-defenders and dark glasses, and has been created to support and enhance the museum experience for pupils.
Visual museum communication cards are provided, enabling children to highlight particular objects of interest during their visit, while topic-specific books are included for a quiet moment of relaxation.
These resources can be requested when you book your visit to us. The backpack is available on a first come, first served basis and must be booked in advance when using with a school group.
A selection of visual communication cards (in the style of PECS) have been developed for some of our most popular objects in the museum. These are available to download before visiting to help with planning your visit and can also be borrowed from the Museum’s information desks.
The Museum has developed two visual stories featuring pictures of the museum and some information about what to expect when you visit. They are available in Powerpoint form so you can edit it yourself or in PDF.
1. For self-led visits
2. For workshops
There is also lots of information available on the museum’s website. This also includes a short video (less than one minute) which shows you a number of the spaces in the Museum.
Download a map to show you possible routes around the museum, where the toilets are and where the different galleries are.
Many of our galleries offer large print labels. Please ask upon booking as to which might suit your class.
We can provide resources beforehand such as trails or workshop booklets so you can enlarge and view before your visit. We can also provide some resources in larger formats.
Staff leading our workshops are happy to wear microphones provided. We also have a set of hearing helpers which staff can use during a session.
Information about getting to the museum can be found here. All our entrances are wheelchair accessible.
You may wish to enter the museum via the Tower Entrance – this avoids the busy entrance hall by the main entrance and the need to go upstairs/lift to get into the main part of the museum.
We can adapt some of our schools programme to suit pupils with additional support needs. Get in touch with us to discuss what sessions might suit your class: firstname.lastname@example.org
It can get noisy and busy in the museum. There are also a number of exhibits that feature noises. Particular things to note include:
In general, the Scottish galleries and the Art, Design and Fashion galleries are calmer spaces.
If at any time your child finds the visit overwhelming, a member of staff can direct you to quieter areas in the museum. A number of calmer spaces are also identified in the pre-visit visual story.
If you have any questions or problems during your visit, please speak to a member of our Visitor Experience team. They will be present throughout the galleries or at our information desks in the Entrance Hall, the Tower Entrance or outside the Level 3 Exhibition Gallery. The VE team wear purple shirts and navy blazers.
You may also see members of our Learning Enabler team in the museum. They are situated in our family-orientated galleries (Imagine, Adventure Planet and Explore) and may also be running any workshops or sessions you've booked into. You can find out more about our schools programme here.
The resources above are also available for families visiting the museum, so do mention to parents if your pupils enjoy using these.