Teacher tips to plan a First Class visit

Short on time, or want a printout? Download these tips as a Word document or as a PDF.

Plan your visit

The Postal Museum and Mail Rail is split across two sites, separated by a road with a zebra crossing.

  • The Postal Museum Welcome Space, exhibition galleries, shop, café and toilets are on the ground floor. Learning Space A for facilitated sessions, Learning Space B for lunches and lockable bag and coat cupboards are on the first floor.
  • Mail Rail is across the road. Mail Rail Welcome Space, shop, and Sorted! are on street level. Mail Rail exhibition, Mail Rail ride and toilets are on the lower ground floor.
  • Step-free access via lifts or ramps is throughout the Postal Museum and Mail Rail except for Mail Rail ride.
  • School facilities include lockable bag and coat cupboards and lunch room. Schools can book a visit for up to 3 classes of 30 pupils per day. Each class will be allocated a cupboard and a 30-minute lunch slot.
  • Browse our programmes and select from facilitated sessions, a self-led visit or a Postal Package with the option to ride Mail Rail and/or play in Sorted! The Postal Play Space. Choose activities that are suitable for the age of your learners.
  • Timetables are provided for each class with times for selected activities and a lunch slot.
  • Facilitated sessions last 45 minutes. Three session times are available between 10.30 – 13.00. Schools will be allocated a session time to fit your selected activities.
  • Sorted! The Postal Play Space is available Monday – Thursday in term time. Schools can book a 45-minute session at 11.00, 12.00 and 13.00. Smaller classes of less than 20 children may share a Sorted!session with other visitors.
  • Mail Rail ride is available Monday – Thursday in term time. A class of 30 children and accompanying adults will ride two trains. Smaller classes will ride one train. Schools will ride Mail Rail with other visitors if there are empty seats.

Available Mail Rail slots during term time:

Class 1 Train 1: 10.55 – 11.15 Train 2: 11.15 – 11.35
Class 2 Train 1: 11.35 – 11.55 Train 2: 11.55 – 12.15
Class 3 Train 1: 13.15 – 13.35 Train 2: 13.35 – 13.55

Mail Rail ride

  • Mail Rail was built to carry mail not people. Unfortunately, this means there are some access restrictions.
  • Accessible Mail Rail show is available for visitors to watch film footage of the journey through the tunnels.

Make an early request

  • Advanced booking is essential for schools and learning groups. Request your visit early to help us provide your preferred date and activities.
  • Complete our schools booking form with accurate information. Identify special educational and access needs to help us plan a first class visit for all your pupils.
  • Booking confirmation will be sent by email. Our Box Office team will contact you within two weeks to confirm your booking, offer alternative dates, or discuss your request if you have questions for us. If you do not hear from us within that time email schools@postalmuseum.org or call 0300 030 0700.
  • Your Welcome Pack with timetable, maps, terms and conditions and payment details will be included with your booking confirmation email.
  • Payment by BACS transfer or card payment over the phone must be made before your visit. We do not accept cheques. Our Finance department will email your invoice.

Get prepared

  • Request a familiarisation visit on the schools booking form. This does not include the Mail Rail ride (other restrictions may apply depending on dates).
  • Plan your journey. Allow plenty of time for your travel. There is no parking at the museum. Drop-off and collection points must be arranged with your coach operator.
  • Read your Welcome Pack. This includes your timetable, health and safety information, maps and guidance notes for Mail Rail and Sorted! (as relevant to your visit).
  • Risk assessments for all areas of The Postal Museum, Mail Rail and Sorted! are included in the Welcome Pack. Teachers are also encouraged to complete their own.
  • Learning resources and gallery trails can be downloaded from our website. Use them to introduce the topic and prepare your class for the visit.

On the day

  • Arrive in The Postal Museum Welcome Space 15 minutes before your first activity for a health and safety briefing and time to use the toilets.
  • Welcome briefings are provided by our Schools team who will show you where to leave your coats, bags and lunches.
  • Brief your school about the visit. Divide each class into groups. Print timetables and maps for each adult. Print gallery trails and resources as needed.
  • Code of Conduct is included in your Welcome Pack with rules for Mail Rail and Sorted!
  • Health and safety and behaviour of pupils is the responsibility of teachers.
  • Adult: child ratios must be as agreed in your booking. Schools that bring additional pupils/adults may have to pay full child/adult rates (at discretion of the museum).
  • Minimum adult : child ratios (not including additional SEND support):
    • FDN: 1:3
    • KS1: 1:4
    • KS2: 1:6
    • KS3: 1:10
    • KS4+: 1:15

Share your experience

  • Photograph your visit (flash photography is restricted in The Postal Museum). Share your photos with us on on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram @thepostalmuseum. We politely ask schools not to film facilitated sessions on tablets or phones.
  • Feedback forms with prepaid envelopes will be given to teachers. Please fill them in and post to us. Your comments will help us develop our learning programmes.

Read our Terms and Conditions for schools for full details about changes and cancellations.

Got a question for us?

Email schools@postalmuseum.org
Call 0300 030 0700