The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre

FAQs - On-site sessions

Find out answers to all your on-site school session questions.

A school visit to the Roald Dahl Museum

What's in the Museum?

The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre has three fun and fact-packed galleries, and over 40 hands-on activities. Specific schools and public programmes run throughout the year. Our Museum is the perfect place to see the writing process in action by one of its masters. Pupils will discover how they can use the same techniques themselves and find out more about the life of the famous children’s author while exploring our interactive galleries. Find out more about the galleries.

What age range are the Museum school sessions suitable for?

The school sessions are aimed at Year 2 to 8 pupils.

What do school sessions include?

Our sessions are based around a key literacy area, such as re-drafting or developing characters. They include small group activities where your pupils will work with your adult helpers. All sessions are suitable for up to 32 students and we offer one free adult place for every 6 children that you bring. 

We offer two types of sessions – 90 minute galleries-based morning/afternoon sessions and an extended 180 minute archive-based session. 

Both types of session include:

  • Time exploring the Museum’s galleries with our 40 interactive installations
  • Small group activities working with materials from the Roald Dahl archive
  • Discovering more about Roald Dahl’s life

Explore sessions for years 2 to 4 

Explore sessions for years 5 to 8 

What does the 180 min archive-based session include and how is this different from the 90 min galleries-based sessions?

The extended 180 minute sessions allow pupils to get hands-on with Roald Dahl’s drafts and letters from our archive in an active and fun way.

Why have the sessions changed, and can we have a 90 min session using the old format?

We have been running a successful and popular schools’ programme programme for over 10 years. Like all centres of excellence, we want our sessions to be as sparky and as relevant as possible so we updated and expanded our offer in 2017. Although we still offer 90 minute sessions, these have new content and structure so they are different to the sessions that we have offered before. 

What should I expect from the schools programme?

All of our sessions are fast-paced, active and fun. We believe in child-led learning through exploration and discovery, purposeful engagement and directed activities. So expect your students to be moving around, taking part in discussions and having fun. We have a unique resource in the Roald Dahl archive and we aim to use this as much possible for groups to learn more about an aspect of the writing process.  

We will ask all of your accompanying adults to work with your group at various points in the visit, especially during the galleries-based galleries challenge and small group activities. This is because we understand the benefits of children learning alongside adults. Our testing and development of the new sessions showed us that searching, selecting and responding in the Museum with an engaged adult offers students a powerful learning experience, different to classroom learning.

If you’ve visited us before, some elements will be familiar such as exploring our galleries and creating in the Story Centre, and you may visit the replica Writing Hut (depending on the session you choose). But we know that you can access knowledge about Roald Dahl without visiting us, so we don’t provide talks about Roald Dahl facts; instead, all elements of your visit will focus on an aspect of the writing process, using the unique resources of the Museum to bring this to life.  

What is the capacity for each of the three sessions?

All sessions are suitable for up to 32 students plus accompanying adults. We recommend a 1:6 ratio for schools, and offer free adult places at this ratio. We also offer free entry to all essential 1-to-1 adult carers.

How many classes can we bring to the Museum at one time?

You can bring up to 32 students for each session. If you booked all three sessions (2 x 90min galleries-based sessions and 1 x 180min archive-based session) you could bring a maximum of 96 students. See our school visit timetable for more information.

Are the children able to eat during the 90 min or 180 min session? Is there time during the session for the children to have a snack either before or after they eat lunch?

Our sessions are very busy and packed full of great activities for the children to do. For you and your class to get the most out of the sessions we need to maintain strict start and finish times which don’t allow for additional snack breaks (a 30 minute lunch break is included in the 180 minute session). If you are travelling a long way to the Museum and you think your children will need a snack before lunch, we suggest providing them with this to eat on the coach or when you arrive at the coach drop-off point. If you have children or adults with specific requirements which means that they will need to eat during a session, please make the Learning Team aware of this at the point of booking. 

When can we visit the Museum?

School sessions run throughout the academic year during Buckinghamshire term time only. 90 minute galleries-based sessions take place Tuesday to Friday and some Mondays. Extended 180 minute archive-based sessions take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and some Mondays. The Museum opens at 10am.

The Museum is not open to the public on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays so the shop is closed on these days.

Morning 90 minute galleries-based sessions start at 10am and afternoon sessions from 12.30pm. The extended 180 minute archive-based sessions start at 11am and run until 2pm with a 30 minute lunch break included.

See our school visit timetable for more information.

If you’ve booked a session your school will be designated an indoor area to eat in during your visit.

How much does a school visit cost?

£205 for a galleries-based 90 minute session for up to 32 students.
£240 for an archive-based 180 minute session for up to 32 students.

Adults are free at a ratio of 1:6 children, and any 1-to-1 support is also free. Additional adults are £7.95 each.

You can also choose to make your visit longer with our free self-led Village Trail.

Access to a designated area to eat lunch is included with every session booking.

How do I book a school visit?

Please contact our Learning Team on 01494 892192 (Text Relay 18001 01494 892192) or click here to contact us online. Our Schools pages on our website contain a wealth of information about school visits including costs, session descriptions and key facts. Please note that due to high demand our school sessions can book up many months in advance. Find out more.

How do we arrange payment for our visit?

Please contact the Learning Team to arrange a provisional booking. When your school booking is confirmed we will provide the school with an invoice for the session/s. The invoice can be settled by cheque or bank transfer. Full details are included on the invoice. Payment must be made 28 days before the visit. Cancellations within 28 days will incur a 50% charge. Cancellations within 7 school days will incur a 100% charge.

Please read our terms and conditions regarding payment and cancellation. Find out more.

We will be bringing packed lunches. Is there somewhere to eat these on site?

Yes, if you’ve booked a session your school will be designated an indoor area to eat in during your visit.

We are looking to book a school session. Can we look around the Museum galleries before or after our visit?

The 90 minute galleries-based session or 180 minute archive-based session includes time to explore the Museum as part of the structured session. The session does not include general access to the Museum outside of the agreed session times.

If you would like to extend your day you can choose to take your students on the self-led Village Trail, or book a Guided Village Walk if you have booked a galleries-based 90 minute session. Click here for more information.

Access to the Museum galleries is only possible during your structured school sessions. However, access to the children’s eating areas, toilets and shop will be available to you at all times from 10am while the Museum is open.

How do you get to the Museum?

The Museum is in Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire, England, about 20 miles northwest of London. As our Museum is situated on a historic high street, coaches are unable to drop schools or groups off directly outside the building. Please download the coach driver instructions so your travel company knows exactly where to drop you off and pick you up. Coach driver Instructions.

We have been advised by Buckinghamshire Council that coaches using the coach drop-off point must use the turning circle.

Please let us know if you are planning to visit by minibus. Some minibus parking available on request subject to availability. Please speak to the Learning Team at least 10 days in advance of your visit.

Where can the coach/minibus park?

As the Museum is part of the historic High Street, there is no parking at the Museum itself. Coaches are not allowed along the High Street - please use the coach drop-off point in the Buryfield car park off Link Road. Please do not park or wait in the Link Road pay and display car park. There are a number of parking bays along the A413 where coaches can wait while the class are in the Museum. Coach driver Instructions.

We have been advised by Buckinghamshire Council that coaches using the coach drop-off point in the Buryfield car park must use the turning circle.

If you are planning to visit the Museum by minibus please let us know in advance of your visit. 

We would like to arrive/leave at different times to those advertised. Is this possible?

We will always do our best to accommodate individual requests. However there will be times when we have three school sessions on site and we cannot be flexible. We will need to ensure there is adequate time to prepare for each school session and staffing available. See our school visit timetable for more information.

What happens if we are running late? Will we still get our full 90 min/180 min session?

Please try to arrive on time, and let us know if you are running late on the day as soon as you possibly can. On days where we have three school sessions running we will not be able to let any session overrun at the end to compensate for a late start to the session. We will do our best to ensure you still have a wonderful experience in the Museum with the time available.

Does the school pay for the teachers/adult carers who are accompanying the visit?

Adults are free at a ratio of 1:6 children, and any 1-to-1 support is also free. Additional adults are £7.95 each.

How many adults do we need to have with our students?

We recommend a ratio of 1:6. We reserve the right to refuse admission if you arrive with less than 1:8. Please contact the Learning Team if you are planning to visit with a different ratio. 

Is it possible for the teachers/adult carers to leave the workshops/site while the school is in the session?

No, the teachers/adult helpers at a recommended ratio of 1:8 must supervise their students at all times during the visit. This includes supervision of lunchtimes.

Is the Museum open to the public while the school programme is running?

Yes, in most cases general visitors and small groups can visit the Museum at the same time as schools. We monitor visitor numbers to make sure everyone’s visit is as enjoyable as possible. We will ask school groups to split into smaller numbers during their time in the galleries to make sure your experience with us is as comfortable as possible.

Is the Museum accessible?

The Museum and Shop are fully accessible. The extended school sessions take place in our first-floor learning space. We have a lift to access the room which can take two people, or one wheelchair user and one other at a time. Find out more about accessibility.

Do you provide a risk assessment, or can we visit to conduct one?

We offer two Golden Tickets per school to allow teachers to visit the Museum in advance and carry out their own risk assessment.

The Golden Tickets will be emailed to you with your invoice and timetable. We will also include a copy of our Health and Safety information sheet.

When you have received your Golden Tickets, you can call 01494 892192 to arrange a date and a time to visit. Please note that the Museum is open Thursdays to Sundays.

Is there a shop at the Museum that children can use?

Yes, our Museum shop stocks a wide range of books and Roald Dahl goodies and is open on Thursdays and Fridays during Museum opening hours. The shop is open for non-Museum visitors too. Alternatively you can take a look at our online shop.

For school visits children will need to enter the shop in small groups of no more than 8. All children must be accompanied by at least one teacher/adult helper. The shop can be visited before and after your session. You will not be able to visit the shop during your school session.

Please be aware that if you are attending the extended session there will not be time to visit the shop during your lunch break. If you wish to visit the shop please do so before 11am or after 2pm.

Visiting the shop can be time-consuming. Instead we can provide goody bags containing delightful gifts, at a cost of £3 each. Goody bags must be ordered in advance, but paid for on the day of your visit by card, cash or cheque. Cheques for goody bags must be made payable to The Roald Dahl Centre (Trading) Ltd.

Do you cater for smaller groups?

Yes, we do. These visits differ from a school visit as they are self-guided and do not include any literacy sessions or talks. We offer a 10% discount for prepaid groups of 15 or more. Simply give us a call on 01494 892192 (Text Relay 18001 01494 892192) to book.

Depending on what date you are visiting, we may be able to arrange talks and tours at an additional cost, subject to staff availability. See our Group Booking page for more information.


Question we haven't answered? Please visit our contact us page.