Sessions at Firstsite

Each year we welcome over 2000 pupils and staff from schools throughout the East of England and beyond to Firstsite, to interact with contemporary art and work with artists and artist-designed resources in a practical workshop.

We can also provide your school with bespoke INSET sessions, guiding your staff around our current exhibitions to see how you can make cross-curricular use of the building and resources. We can also arrange practical sessions for teaching staff, exploring art techniques and ways to include creativity within the wider curriculum.

Firstsite gallery is an ideal site for fun-filled educational trips in Colchester, Essex.

We offer a range of options to suit your group – each option is available from 10am every day. All must be booked in advance.


Choose from:

Self-led visit

When you arrive, you will be welcomed to the building and the current exhibitions by a Firstsite staff member. You are then free to conduct your own group tour around the art gallery and public spaces.

Cost: FREE for pupils and teachers

Suggested group size: Max. 30 pupils

Directed visit

A member of Firstsite staff will guide you through the current art exhibitions discovering and discussing the themes and techniques on display, encouraging active participation from the group.

Visit time between 45 minutes 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 a practical art session in our Learning Studio. The session can be related to the exhibitions, contemporary art or the construction of the building but may be based around a variety of art/craft forms that can link to the curriculum or your school topic. (Gallery visit and up to a 2.5-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)

Other information:

Lunch area

Firstsite has outdoor space which, weather permitting, can be used for eating packed lunches. There is limited bookable indoor space. Please contact Amy Williams 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 form below

For more information or to book a session, complete the form below or call our Learning Team on 01206 216 700.

Welcome area at Firstsite. 'Big Hello' (2018) Peter Liversidge. Photo by Jayne Lloyd.

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