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Schools & Groups

School Visits

Our Learning Team is currently taking bookings for Summer 2021 onwards so do get in touch as soon as possible to arrange your school trip and secure your session. Email us at or call on 01865 790050.

We offer a range of tailored sessions from Nursery to Year 13, covering each Key Stage. With an emphasis on oral storytelling, our sessions are designed to help your students develop spoken language, engage in collaborative, social play and discover our shared oral and literary cultural heritage. Curriculum links include:

  • Literacy
  • PSHE
  • Local history
  • Global diversity

And at a time when stories are more important than ever, we’ve refreshed our sessions in line with the philosophy of Barry Carpenter’s Recovery Curriculum.

“Each teacher said how engaged their children were with your storytelling – some were hanging off your every word! Your use of props inspired some children to incorporate them into their stories. There was great discussion around the characters and what they might be up to. We were so appreciative that we couldn’t find anything to improve on!” – Teacher, Zoom storytelling session, March 2021
Small worlds 1

EYFS/Year 1: Story Play

Students enter our Small Worlds gallery for stories on our big bed. They create their own mini story landscapes and imagine the episodes that could unfold within their enchanting new world.

Outcome: speaking and listening presentation
Length of session: 2 hours
Session times: 10:00 – 12:00 or 12:30-14:30
Cost: £175+VAT per class of up to 35 students

Enchanted Library

Years 1-13: Galleries Visit and Story Session

A Galleries Visit and Story Session can be combined with a City Story Walk (see below) to explore how Oxford city has inspired classic children’s books.

Length of session: 2 hours
Session time: 10:00 – 12:00 or 12:30 – 14:30
Cost: £175+VAT per class of up to 35 students

Years 1- 3: Story Porridge

Students will join in with participatory retellings of traditional folk and fairy tales, and learn to retell the story in groups. They will use the classic device of the Rule of 3 to create their own story.
Outcome: speaking and listening presentation

Years 1-3: Story Tricksters

Students are introduced to oral stories that star the classic character of the Trickster, such as Anansi the Spider and Reynard the Fox, before creating and retelling their own versions.
Outcome: speaking and listening presentation, written draft if requested

Years 2-4: Story Power

Students look at the concept of powerful objects within stories from Thor’s hammer to Arthur’s sword in the stone. They then work in groups to concoct their own story about an object with a mysterious power.
Outcome: speaking and listening presentation, written draft if requested

Years 2-7: Story Portals

Students explore portals used in classic stories featured in the Enchanted Library, from the Rabbit Hole down into Wonderland to the Wardrobe through to Narnia. Students then create their own magical portal between two worlds, using a wealth of materials to stimulate the beginning of an enchanting story, including the beautiful mini worlds hidden in the mysterious cabinets in the Magic Common Room.
Outcome: speaking and listening presentation, written draft if requested

Years 4-8: Young Storytellers

Students listen and join in with traditional oral stories from around the world and then create their own version using the key elements of story - character, setting, theme and plot structure.
Outcome: speaking and listening presentation, written draft if requested

Years 5-13: Museum Maker

A revitalising approach to your own class set text. The students will explore The Story Museum's curation process and then design an immersive narrative environment based on close reading and analysis. Past bespoke sessions have included C. S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Betsy Byars' The Midnight Fox, Michelle Magorian's Goodnight Mr Tom, R.L. Stevenson's Treasure Island, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
Outcome: speaking and listening presentation; illustrated and annotated design using quotations

Summer Story Walk

Year 2 Upwards: City Story Walk

Take a story-themed walk through Oxford to see the places in the city that inspired its most famous fantasy writers. Our Learning Team will lead your group to iconic sites from some of fiction’s greatest moments.

Length of session: 2 hours
Session times: 10:00 – 12:00 or 12:30-14:30
Cost: £175+VAT per class of up to 35 students

Year 2 upwards: Alice Story Walk

Come on a walk through the story of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. We’ll begin at The Story Museum, then walk along to Christ Church Meadow, the location of many sites that inspired Lewis Carroll. As your Story Guide retells the story, we’ll have a Caucus Race, a Caterpillar Contest, a game of ‘Red Queen Says’, and fun with songs, riddles and charades along the way.

Years 2-4: Narnia Story Walk

Come on a walk through the story of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe with our Story Leader. We’ll begin at The Story Museum, and walk towards the grounds of Oxford Castle, the perfect setting for a retelling of the dramatic events at the White Witch’s palace and for a game of Musical Statues, and other themed songs, riddles and charades along the way.

Years 2-13: Wonder Walk

From the Narnia lamppost and Alice’s gate to a beautiful garden with no key, to Lyra’s room leading to the spires and rooftops of Oxford...the Wonder Walk route features stunning locations including the Radcliffe Camera and Christ Church, with a few dragons along the way! Choose three authors from C S Lewis (the Narnia series), J R R Tolkien (The Hobbit), Lewis Carroll (Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland), Philip Pullman (Northern Lights trilogy) and Katherine Rundell (Rooftoppers). During the walk your students will learn key facts about the writers’ lives and how simply observing the world can lead to ideas for classic fiction. Your students will also play the stories through a variety of multi-sensory games and storytelling.

Year 3 upwards: City Story Walk AND City of Stories Film Experience

Book a City Story Walk and then board our Story Craft for a 30-minute film, flying through a thousand years of story history - the perfect way to provide context for the Wonder Walk. This offer is ideal for studying local history and getting ideas for writing. Note the film experience is recommended for age 7+.

Length of session: 2.5 hours
Session times: 10:00 – 12:30 or 12:00 to 14:30
Cost: £195+VAT per class of up to 35 students

Year 2 upwards: Day of Delight

Includes a Gallery Visit, Story Session, and City Story Walk.

Length of session: 4 hours (includes 30-minute lunch break)
Session times: 10:00 – 14:00
Cost: £275+VAT per class of up to 35 students

Year 3 upwards: Day of Extraordinary Delight

Includes a Gallery Visit, Story Session, City Story Walk AND City of Stories film experience. Whew!

Length of session: 5 hours (includes 30-minute lunch break)
Session time: 10:00 – 15:00
Cost: £295+VAT per class of up to 35 students

Focus on Year 7: Write at The Story Museum

In September 2020 No More Marking’s extensive online study found that Year 7 students are, on average, 22 months behind expectations for writing. With this in mind, we have created a set of new sessions expressly for this year group. The Story Museum’s evocative settings provide the perfect space to give your students’ writing experience a lift.

Guided by our Learning Team, made up of experienced primary and secondary teachers, your students will explore the Museum’s story-based environments with a view to inspiring new pieces of writing with a focus on vocabulary and metaphor. In our Magic Common Room, they will explore the ways in which our immersive exhibitions, such the Narnia space, were created and analyse a section of a pre-1914 text or a piece of contemporary fiction to interpret and write a design brief for a new space in the Museum.

Book a half day, a full day or a week’s residency:

  • Half day includes an hour exploring the Galleries and a one-hour poetry writing session
  • Full day includes an hour exploring the Galleries and three hours on an extended, collaborative writing activity based on the creation of the Galleries
  • Full week’s residency during which students will read and respond to a whole book in a week.

Sessions are available immediately and throughout the summer holidays. For detailed information and how to book, please email us at

Book now for The Book of Hopes - Limited Time Only

September to December 2021

For a limited time only, we are offering sessions responding to our temporary exhibition, based on The Book of Hopes edited by Katherine Rundell (2020), created to offer hope and comfort during lockdown.

The students will explore the exhibition, including the Axel Schleffer-inspired Hope Tree full of parrots, the Liz Pichon 'doodle-shed' and the David Almond star-lit dreamtime space. The students will then have a workshop based on selected stories from the book.

Key Stage 1: Take part in games and group performances based on stories from The Book of Hopes, including The Song of Gladness by Michael Morpurgo and Hope Hunter by Joseph Coelho. They will then design their own Hope Hunter.

Key Stage 2: Students will meet hopeful and hopeless characters through participative storytelling activities from The Book of Hopes, including the palm-sweaty Hal from Sunflower by Geraldine McCaughrean and an Evil Supergenius from the Hope Machine by Sam Copeland. Students will then create their own character, exploring the themes of hope, self-esteem and resilience.

"I wish it was quarter past two, not quarter past three!" – Student


  • How do I make a school booking?
    Please contact the Learning Team by email to or call us on 01865 790050. When booking, please specify:
  • The name and post code of your school
  • Your name, email address and telephone number
  • The size of the group
  • The age range and ability of the group
  • Your preferred dates and times
  • The name of the session you wish to book (see details above)
  • If you would like an emphasis for your chosen session (each session has a specific focus) or have your session adapted to fit your scheme of work
  • If you would like to book our lunch room
  • If you would like to order goody bags and if so, how many and/or your intention to visit our shop
  • Any special requirements
  • When do school visits take place?
    School visits take place Tuesday – Friday, subject to availability. There is a morning session (10:00-12:00) and an afternoon session (12:30-2:30).
  • Who leads the school sessions?
    Each session is led by a member of our friendly and experienced Learning Team who are all qualified teachers. If you have any queries on the day, they will be happy to help.
  • How many students can we bring?
    Our school sessions are for groups of up to 35 students plus accompanying staff. We can accommodate two groups (up to 70 students) per time slot.
  • How many adults do we need to bring?
    The adult:student ratio for a school group will be:
  • 1 adult for every 6 students for groups in EYFS
  • 1 adult for every 8 students for groups in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
  • 1 adult for every 10 students for groups in Key Stage 3
  • What do I need to do before the visit?
    Please sign and return the booking form so that we can confirm your booking.
    We recommend that you visit the Museum before your group visit so that you know where we are and to complete your school’s risk assessments. You’ll receive two free preview tickets for this purpose; preview visits must be booked in advance by emailing us at
  • Do you provide schools with risk assessments?
    We do not provide risk assessments for schools but we do provide guidelines at the point of booking. It is the school’s responsibility to carry out a risk assessment for its own students. We recommend that you make a preview visit so that you can produce your own risk assessment - we offer two free preview tickets for this purpose. Preview visits must be booked in advance by emailing us at
  • What if we need to change/cancel our booking?
    We appreciate that sometimes plans can change. If you need to change your booking, please contact the Learning Team as soon as possible. We can’t guarantee to accommodate all requests but we will work with you to facilitate any changes.
    If you need to cancel your booking, we will endeavor to arrange another date for you. If you cancel within 14 days of your session and do not wish to change your date, you will not be entitled to a refund.
    Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information about payments and cancellations.
  • Can we eat lunch at the Museum?
    Our lunch room can be reserved free of charge at the time of booking. Lunch slots are bookable for 30 minutes after a morning session or 30 minutes prior to an afternoon session. Groups without a pre-booked lunch space will be required to leave the museum at the end of their session.
  • Can we visit the Museum shop?
    As visits to the shop can be time-consuming, we recommend instead that you pre-order goody bags. Find out more here.
    Please let us know at the time of booking if your students would like to visit the shop. We ask that students do so at the end of their visit, in groups of no more than 6, and that they are supervised by an adult at all times.
  • How do we get to The Story Museum?
    The Story Museum is located 42 Pembroke Street, Oxford OX1 1BP.
    If you are travelling by public transport, the nearest bus stops are on St Aldates but all the city centre stops are within a 10-minute walk of the Museum.
    We are approximately a 15-minute walk from Oxford railway station.
    The nearest public car parks are located at the Westgate Shopping Centre and the Oxpens car park on Oxpens Road. Both are a five-minute walk from The Story Museum. Please check here for current parking information on the Oxford City Council website here:
  • Where should the coach/mini bus drop off/pick-up and park?
    The nearest drop off point is a five-minute walk from The Story Museum at St Aldates South (northbound) – just south of the Combined Court OX1 1TL.
    There is NO PARKING or vehicle access at The Story Museum. Your coach company must make their own arrangements to park.
    Information about drop-off/pick-up points in Oxford city centre and coach parking can be found on the Oxford City Council website here:

  • What time should we arrive and what happens if we’re running late?
    Please plan to arrive at The Story Museum 15 minutes prior to your session. If you have pre-booked the lunch room, please do not arrive more than 10 minutes before your allocated slot.
    Please make sure that you have our number (01865 790050) in your mobile so that you can contact the Learning Team if you are running late.
    If you arrive late, we will not be able to deliver the full two-hour session due to other venue commitments and group bookings but the Learning Team will endeavour to adjust the session so that your students get the most out of the time available.
  • How accessible is the site?
    All of our spaces, including our galleries, café and shop, are fully accessible for wheelchair users. There are three lifts offering access to all floors. Accessible toilets are situated on the ground floor and the first floor.
    If you would like to discuss any particular needs or access issues, please speak to the Learning Team.

If you have any other questions, please contact the Learning Team who will be happy to help -


  • Coronavirus Safety Measures for Schools and Groups PDF (278.761 KB)
  • School Visit FAQ PDF (341.645 KB)
  • School Visits 2021 PDF (3.125 MB)