Each year we welcome over 2000 pupils and staff from schools throughout the East of England to Firstsite, to interact with contemporary art and work with artists and artist-designed resources. We can provide your school with a bespoke INSET session, guiding your staff around a current exhibition to see what’s on offer and how Key Stages 1-5 could make cross-curricular use of the building and resources. Firstsite gallery is an ideal site for fun filled yet educational school trips in Colchester, Essex.

Choose from:

Self-led visit

When you arrive you’ll be welcomed to the building and the exhibition by a staff member. You’re then free to conduct your own group tour around the art gallery and public spaces. Short, directed tours may be available.

Cost: FREE for pupils and teachers

Directed visit

A member of staff will guide you through the current art exhibition and your groups will be able to make use of our hands-on resources boxes. Visit time between 45mins and 1 hour.

Cost: £1 per pupil, teachers free (min.10/ max 30 pupils per session)

Artist led session

A Firstsite artist will lead you through the current exhibition and then deliver an art session in our Learning Studio. The session will be related to the exhibition, contemporary art or the construction of the building but may be based around a variety of art/craft forms. (Gallery visit and up to a 1.5-hour session).

Cost: £150 per session (max. 30 pupils per session)

Study session

Designed for groups of older pupils or students. Complete a self-led visit and then access our Learning Space for a self-led work session (up to 2-hour session in the Learning Space and gallery visit)

Cost: £40 for two-hour booking (up to 30 pupils or students)



Available every day from 10am.

Other information:

Lunch areas
Firstsite has outdoor space which, weather permitting, can be used for eating packed lunches. There is limited bookable indoor space. Please contact Sue Hogan to ask about availability.

Storage for bags, coats and packed lunches
Firstsite has storage space in the Learning Studios for the pupils’ belongings. There is also a free cloakroom at Firstsite where bags and coats can be left by those conducting a self-led visit.

Complete the booking-form and email to [email protected] or post to:

Sue Hogan, Education and Learning Officer, Firstsite, Lewis Gardens, High Street, Colchester CO1 1JH. Alternatively, call Sue to discuss your needs and book on 01206 713707.

Once we have received your booking we will confirm full details of your visit by email. You are welcome to make a preparatory visit or to attend one of our Teachers’ INSET Programme events as detailed here.