During your visit to the museum

A girl looking at an exhibit display

When you arrive

A Visitor Services Officer (VSO) will welcome you when you arrive. The VSO will:

  • Register your group and record your details.
  • Confirm the details of your visit and discuss your itinerary.
  • Show the students where to store their bags.
  • Welcome the students and brief them about their visit and how to move around the Museum
  • Handle any invoicing or payments or 
    direct you to the appropriate location and staff member for this (please have your final visitor numbers prepared).
  • Direct you to the area of the Museum where you are starting your visit.

Orientation

Allow time at the start of your visit for student orientation (unless you are starting with a Museum staff led program). This allows student groups to freely explore the whole Museum or to explore the whole exhibition. This orientation helps students to be familiar with their surroundings, satisfy initial curiosity and excitement and may alleviate feelings of ‘missing out’.

Following this orientation, students will be less distracted and able to focus on learning activities.

Rest pauses and reflection

Allow time for rest pauses during your visit. Allow students to have a break from focused learning (both physically and mentally), eat and relax, take a toilet stop and socialise with their peers. Rest pauses are good opportunities to reflect on what the students have seen, experienced and learnt.

Spaces for refreshments*, reflection or regrouping include:

*Please be aware that you cannot eat or drink inside the Museum unless you have specific medical needs.

Exploring insects in the Inquiry Centre.

Learning at the Museum

Museum exhibitions and activities are developed to support diverse learners. Exhibitions increasingly cater for visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners and use visual displays, real objects, hands-on activities, multi-media and reference materials.

Adults can support student learning by:

  • Encouraging students to work in small groups and adopt specific group roles.
  • Asking questions that encourage investigation.
  • Demonstrating curiosity and encouraging wonder.
  • Encouraging students to talk, ask questions, share ideas.
  • Directing students to ask questions of Museum staff.
  • Encouraging students to use multi-media and available technologies.
  • Encouraging students to engage with interactives and touch specimens.
  • Responding to students' queries.
  • Guiding students to interesting or relevant exhibits.
  • Making suggestions about how students can complete their activities.
  • Suggesting students record difficult questions, differing views, favourite exhibits and objects for further research or discussion back at school.
  • Expressing feelings and encouraging students to share theirs.

Re-visiting favourite exhibits and objects

Allow time towards the end of your visit, for students to re-visit their favourite exhibits or objects. This supports student interest and learning, allows students to have some choice and control over their learning, enables students to share their views with peers and may support students being in the role of 'expert'.

You may wish to build on student favourites as a follow up activity back in the classroom.