Plan your visit
"To get the best value from your visit, we strongly advise you to embed your visit into your schemes of work for the term."
Dr Anjali Das, Head of Learning at The Centre for Computing History
This section will provide you with information about:
Before you book
Ready to send that booking email? Well perhaps, but before you do here are a few reminders to make sure you have everything in place.
Checkout the Learning section of the website and gather a good understanding of what is here and how that might support your students' learning.
Why not call in on us before your group visits and meet one of the Learning team to discuss your particular needs?
You might consider:
Before you book, look through the visit day workshop options and make your choice.
Downloadable versions of our: 'visit terms and conditions', 'education visit risk assessment information sheet' and 'safeguarding and child protection policy', are all available at the bottom of this page.
Before you visit
Before you bring a group of young people to the Centre it might be appropriate to offer three 'briefings' to best prepare them for their experience. This will depend upon their age and ability, but you might think about;
1. Weeks or months ahead.
Give your students advanced notice of the date of the visit in plenty of time to let them prepare for their experience.
Offer the web address of the Centre so that they can begin to learn more about what they will find here.
Set some research tasks relating to the history of computing.
Set some investigative tasks relating to the use of computers among family and community.
Set some tasks relating to the computer games older relatives played in the past.
Gather some older examples of computer tech in the classroom and explore their function.
We strongly recommend you make a preliminary visit to the Centre to familiarise yourself with the collection, galleries and geographic location. The pre-visit you make can help clarify your learning objectives and also support your visit risk assessment. Our education visit risk assessment information sheet can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
2. Two weeks before the visit.
Review any research undertaken by the students from the previous tasks.
Now it is time to give the students a focus for their visit. Are their specific questions that you want them to explore or what they wish to ask? You can email these to the Centre prior to the visit, so we can do our homework and find some answers!
How do you want them to gather evidence from their visit? They might use smart phones, tablets, cameras and audio recording devices to help them come away with evidence of what they have seen. What they choose to take photographs of may be dependent upon their interests, but some should be because you have asked them to look out for specific examples that support their learning of a particular part of their course or curriculum. The Centre cannot take any responsibility for equipment that students or the school brings with them. Please take extra special care with valuable resources.
Of course having a pen/pencil and note book might be helpful too!
You may give each of your students a worksheet to bring with them, that asks specific questions and prompts them to record information. Please send us a copy of the worksheet in advance so we can focus more on the priorities for your students.
3. The week or days before the visit
The final briefing and of course lots of practical points to make, including;
In the Autumn and Winter the main gallery can feel cold. Make sure the students are dressed appropriately.
A short period (typically 20-25 mins) will be dedicated to lunch, ensure students bring with them a suitable lunch.
The Centre shop does sell hot and cold drinks and some snacks like chocolate bars, but nothing suitable for a lunch break.
Apart from refreshments there is a small area dedicated to selling Heritage/Retro/Tech items and students may wish to bring a small amount of money with them.
We would ask you to brief the students about their behaviour whilst at the Centre. The vast majority of our visiting students behave appropriately at the Centre, but it is worth reminding them that;
On the day of your visit
Do please have at hand the contact number for the Centre as you travel to us. Upon setting out for the Centre, should any details of your booking be different, then please phone the Centre to inform us. This is especially true for changes in the number of students attending, supervising adults , estimated time of arrival and departure from the Centre, students with special access requirements.
Why not download and print the PDF 'directions to get to us' and give them to your coach or minibus driver.
If we have asked you to break down your group into smaller subsets for rotating around learning zones, do please save time by making these subsets known to the students before they arrive at the Centre.
Remind your supervising adults that the group may be divided down into smaller sets and that they must distribute themselves among the sets and that one of them must be with any subset of the group at all times.
Do please ask the 'visit leader' to make themselves known to the Centre staff at the point of arrival. Any new information or changes to the programme can be communicated at that point.
Your involvement as a teacher
We welcome your involvement and contributions during your students' visit to the Centre.
You may wish to: