The National Museum of Ireland (NMI) is inviting teachers and students to explore, engage with and enjoy our National Collections with a class visit to the Museum through the new autumn/winter schools programme 2023.
From a history of food and silver safaris to climate change, a bioblitz and the Vikings, there is a broad range of tours, events and activities on offer across four Museum sites in Dublin and Mayo.
The autumn/winter schools programme is a perfect opportunity to spark curiosity through engagement with culture and heritage.
School visits are free but booking is essential as availability is limited. Booking details are available on each event/activity page below.
Please note - the Bookings Office can only process school visits for dates up to the end of the school term in December 2023. We will launch the spring/summer programme in early January 2024.
Autumn/Winter 2023 PRIMARY programme highlights include:
Join members of the National Museum of Ireland’s Natural History team who are making a special visit to Turlough Park in Co Mayo to organise a ‘BioBlitz’. This is a fun and educational race against the clock to capture a snapshot of the variety of life living in our biodiverse grounds. Find and identify as many species of plants, animals and fungi as possible using guided tools to help you along the way. FIND OUT MORE
Hear a mix of traditional and contemporary stories linked to artefacts in the Museum's collections from some of Ireland's premier traditional storytellers, in collaboration with Poetry Ireland. FIND OUT MORE
Join a Museum guide to discover Ireland’s National Folklife Collection at Turlough Park. Learn how our ancestors lived in this interactive and informative tour told through stories about key objects in the Museums' collection. FIND OUT MORE
This interactive tour focuses on the history of food, drink and dining in Ireland. Students will examine how people dined in the past, and how dining was used as a means of expressing yourself and your social status or even showing your political affiliation. This tour will give a flavour of the wealth of artefacts on display in the Museum that connect with food preparation and dining, and the economics of food and trades such as the sugar, tea and coffee. FIND OUT MORE
This workshop introduces students to the Museum's Irish Silver collection and the different artistic techniques used by silversmiths. Students will then be encouraged to explore the gallery and hunt for examples of animals hidden within the artefacts around the room, before creating their own imaginary animal based on what they have discovered. The workshop promotes creativity and student-led learning about art, history and design. FIND OUT MORE
This workshop aims to explore the power of objects to tell stories and the role museums can play in interpreting these objects. Working in small groups, students are encouraged to think and work as historians and curators, through hands-on, object-based learning. Each group will engage with a selection of objects from the Museum's handling collection and will have the opportunity to explore the different meanings that we invest in objects. The workshop promotes student-centred and student-led learning about social history. FIND OUT MORE
The Prehistoric Ireland guided tour explores the jobs of the archaeologist and historian, and the role of the National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology. Strongly linked to the National Curriculum, this tour focuses on Stone Age and Bronze Age peoples, and the end of the Prehistoric period with the introduction of writing. Pupils will engage with artefacts from Mesolithic fish traps to Bronze Age swords and shields, using key objects from the Museum’s handling collection for a hands-on learning experience. FIND OUT MORE
The Vikings in Ireland session uses the Museum’s unique collection of artefacts to explore the three main activities of the Vikings in Ireland - raiding, trading and settling. Pupils will explore what these artefacts can tell us about Viking burial customs and beliefs, their society and politics, and the new inventions and materials that they brought to Ireland through travel and trade across Europe and the Middle East. FIND OUT MORE
Discover the amazing history of the Vikings in Ireland in this live virtual session. Museum Educators will share videos and use objects from the Museum’s handling collection to shed light on this fascinating period in Irish history. FIND OUT MORE
Join this new introductory tour of the Dead Zoo to discover some of the unique stories behind a selection of 3,000 animals and fossils on display. Students will see up-close zoological and geological examples of the natural world that have been on display since we opened our doors over 166 years ago. This tour includes curriculum linked themes such as biodiversity, ecology, endangerment and extinction. FIND OUT MORE
This is a new specifically designed session for junior primary audiences. Make some new friends as we visit the furry deer, feathery puffins, and scaly turtles in the Museum on a guided tour led by a Museum Educator. FIND OUT MORE
Discover the amazing extinct animals of the Museum in this live virtual session, led by a Museum Educator and beamed straight to your classroom. Your class will be virtually welcomed, and guided through some of the rarest museum specimens, all of which have one thing in common – they are extinct! FIND OUT MORE
Autumn/Winter 2023 POST PRIMARY programme highlights include:
This half-day workshop will introduce students to the Green Screen. Students get to 'step into' any picture or video using the Museum's collections as inspiration. Students will create their own short video, taking on the role of actors, directors, camera persons, costume, make-up and props. FIND OUT MORE
Join architect Stephen Gilmartin for a workshop looking at architecture of the past to design for the future. Good design in everyday life and the future quality and sustainability of our built environment will require young people today. Learn about architectural drawing, design and model making in this hands-on workshop. FIND OUT MORE
Take a tour through our solar system to see what would happen if the sun was half its size or the moon didn't exist. This exciting workshop with Science Ireland will explore the scale of the universe and allow for a discussion on how amazing it is that humans exist in this harsh universe. FIND OUT MORE
This interactive tour focuses on the history of clothing in Ireland, and in particular, how clothing can be seen as a representation of social change for women in Ireland. Students will explore examples of clothing that highlight how women were expected to dress, and how clothing could be used to show status in communities. Students will hear stories of individuals in Ireland whose clothing give us an insight into restrictions which may have been placed on them, as well as how their clothing could be a symbol of personal freedom and activism. FIND OUT MORE
Wexford-born Eileen Gray (1879-1976) is regarded as one of the most influential designers and architects of the 20th century. Students are introduced to her life and work through her furniture, architecture, drawings and other artefacts. This tour also enables students to evaluate an exhibition effectively, thinking critically about layout and design, lighting, labelling and display. FIND OUT MORE
Join Museum guide Sheila Robinson for an engaging, informative and thought-provoking examination of the changing roles of women at the beginning of the 20th Century. This virtual tour is designed for post-primary students of History, Politics and Society and CSPE. Museum curators, educators and historians look at political protest in Ireland and campaigns for social changes within society. It also examines campaigns and protests of women through domestic life, war and rebellion. FIND OUT MORE
Trace the developments of art in Ireland from the Neolithic Period to the 12th century. Take a closer look at how passage tombs were constructed and decorated in the Stone Age and see how some of Ireland’s gold objects were made and used in the Bronze Age right up to the creation and design of Early Christian treasures, including the ‘Tara’ Brooch and the Ardagh Chalice. This tour is specifically designed to cover key objects that appear on the History of Art Leaving Certificate specification and can be tailored to focus on Pre-Christian Art (c. 4,000BCE - 500 CE) including objects such as the Knowth Macehead and Broighter Hoard, or Insular Art (c.500 - 1100s) including such objects as the Derrynaflan Paten and Saint Patrick's Bell Shrine. FIND OUT MORE
Explore the work of the archaeologist through the artefacts of Viking Ireland. This tour for Junior Cycle and Transition year History aims to support students in acquiring historical skills, conceptual understanding, and historical consciousness, as part of their curriculum requirements. Students will learn about the role of the National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology and how we learn about the past through artefacts within the Museum's collection. Throughout the tour students will get the opportunity to engage with the Museum’s teaching collection and explore how archaeology helps us learn about the past. FIND OUT MORE
Join Museum educators for an onsite guided tour of key objects from the Museum's Collection. This tour for Transition year students explores 10,000 years of Irish history where students will find out more about life in Ireland from the Stone Age to Early Medieval Ireland and see some of Ireland's most iconic treasures at the Museum. Throughout the tour, students will get the opportunity to engage with the Museum’s teaching collection and get to discover even more about these incredible objects. This tour for Transition year students is fully accessible and will take place in the Prehistoric Ireland, Ór, and Treasury exhibitions. FIND OUT MORE
Let the Museum and its collections capture the imagination of your students with a self-guided visit to the ‘Dead Zoo’. Activity sheets are a great way to learn, explore and enjoy the objects and themes of the collections. Discover more about biodiversity, ecology and conservation with the curriculum-linked activity sheet ‘Everything Counts’. Booking is essential. FIND OUT MORE
Discover stories of extinction in the collections of the museum from the comfort of the classroom. Watch curriculum-linked videos that include Irish Sign-Language, and discover how animals like the giant deer, dodo and thylacine disappeared from this world. Download Teacher Notes to explore accompanying classroom activities to complement the learning outcomes. FIND OUT MORE
Discover the effects of climate change in Ireland using a 3D walkthrough of the museum from the comfort of the classroom. Students can explore the effects of climate change on Irish coastal ecosystems on their own virtual visit using the 3D viewer. Detailed teacher’s notes on featured animal species and associated impacts of climate change are provided, with suggested follow-up classroom activities. These may be used to create classroom discussion and expand on the topics of climate change effects and the environment in an Irish context. FIND OUT MORE
Subscribe to our Teachers’ Newsletter to receive regular updates direct to your inbox from the National Museum of Ireland with our latest events, resources and activities for schools