We want your visit to be memorable for all the right reasons. To ensure that your visit runs smoothly from start to finish please do take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the information below.
Useful information and resources
We can’t wait to welcome school groups back to the Science Centre and we're continuing to work hard to create a fun and safe environment for all our visitors and staff.
We have been awarded Visit Britain's 'Good to Go' mark which means that we are following government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, have a risk assessment in place and a process to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.
We are already following government recommendations on increased and frequent cleaning practices. This includes continuing to remind our visitors of best hand washing and sanitising practices, increased hand sanitising stations around the venue, more staff on the exhibition floor cleaning exhibits more frequently, cleaning products available for visitor use if desired and dedicated staff members monitoring and cleaning the toilets. We have also introduced weekly fogging, a well-established non-toxic disinfectant spraying method used in hospitals that is harmless to humans but kills 99.99% of bacteria including the coronavirus family.
We are currently requiring all visitors to wear a face covering throughout their entire visit (except children under 11 years old and those who are medically exempt). However, as the government's roadmap to recovery progresses, we will be following the latest advice on things like social distancing and mask wearing so please keep an eye on this page for the most up-to-date information for your visit date.
We hope that by working together we can all make Winchester Science Centre an inspirational, educational and safe day out.
We will have an updated floor plan available very soon.
This form is provided to assist in the development of your own risk assessment. We highly recommend attending one of the teacher preview evenings to fully prepare for your visit.
The social story provides a visual representation of a visit and may be a useful tool for those who are feeling anxious about their visit.
The child protection policy is reviewed annually. If you have any questions please contact us.
This policy is valid until 29 April 2021.
Lunches - There is an allocated area for school picnics and personal belongings. Please bring your own packed lunches and drinks. Lunch times are allocated by the Science Centre one week ahead; please get in touch should you wish to check your lunch time in advance. The Science Centre has a water fountain and a small outdoor area available in fine weather.
Science Shop - A shop where the children can spend their pocket money (and practice their maths!); prices start at 60p. Purchases will be placed in named bags for each group to be collected by a teacher at the end of the visit. Schools can choose to pre-order a souvenir for the children, the cost of which can be added to the invoice. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a price list.
Our team are here to help and are experienced at providing support for those of us with additional needs. If you have any special requirements and would like to discuss your visit further please contact us using the booking enquiry form or call 01962 891 942 / 01962 891 903.
Accessibility features at Winchester Science Centre
- Wheelchair access at both entrances and throughout the buildings
- Wheelchair accessible toilets with shower (no hoist nor changing table)
- Free parking with level access
- Roll-on roll-off lift between floors
- Induction loop in the planetarium (please ask if using)
- Large print format worksheets (available by advance request)
Accessibility features in the planetarium:
- Wheelchair access (six designed spaces and the possibility to fit in more).
- Astronaut, We are Astronomers and Cell! Cell! Cell! contain flashing segments.
- All shows contain large moving images which may be of concern for some forms of photosensitive epilepsy and/or disorienting for those with balance disorders.
- Signers can be accommodated for group bookings; please ask in advance if this is required.
- Scripts are not usually available but please ask if this would be of interest.
Accessibility and outreach:
If your students are unable to visit Winchester Science Centre, we would be pleased to bring a bit of the Science Centre to you. Our Outreach workshops are fully accessible and can also be adapted to meet specific needs.
Health and safety
You will be sharing the Science Centre with other school groups. To ensure that everyone enjoys the experience please be considerate of others.
- Drop off and bus parking is in the main car park, a short walk from the main entrance.
- Science Centre staff will meet your group at main entrance inside the building.
- The group leader must confirm final numbers (adults and children) on arrival.
- Groups will be escorted to an area where students can leave their belongings and the group will be briefed on day's itinerary.
- Pupils must be supervised at all times, including during workshops and shows. The centre recommends a generous adult/pupil ratio of 1:6 for Reception and KS1-KS2, and 1:10 for KS3-KS4. These recommended ratios are in place to enable pupils to focus on the full opportunities they can gain from a visit.
- The Science Centre has a technical team with 20 years' experience, which designs, builds and maintains exhibits to the highest standards of safety. Full risk assessment is undertaken for all new exhibits and annually for existing ones. The exhibition is checked repeatedly throughout the day and any hazards detected are rectified or isolated immediately.
- If a Hampshire, Portsmouth or Southampton LEA school, please refer to Hampshire County Council regulations and guidance
- Other schools, please refer to DfEE Health and safety: advice for schools
Fire and evacuation
- A fire alarm will sound.
- Staff will direct visitors to the nearest fire exit.
- The assembly point is in the car park where teachers should take the register and report any absentees to Winchester Science Centre staff.
- Please do not use the lift.
Winchester Science Centre has a fully equipped first aid room and members of staff trained to provide first aid treatment.
Cancellation and booking terms
1.1 We will invoice your school after your visit, for the number of students and teachers on the original booking confirmation letter.
1.2 If you arrive with fewer students than originally booked, for each student unable to attend and up to a maximum of 10% of your total group booking, you will receive general admission vouchers for students to use with their families within one month of the booking date. Any additional adults or students who arrive on the day will be added to your invoice.
1.3 If you need to cancel or amend your booking once you have confirmed your attendance, the following charges apply:
Less than 2 weeks from date of visit
100% of original booking value
50% of original booking value, plus new booking value
Less than 1 month and greater than 2 weeks from date of visit
75% of original booking value
35% of original booking, plus new booking value
Less than 2 months and greater than 1 month from date of visit
50% of original booking value
25% of original booking, plus new booking value
Over 2 months from date of visit
£50 administration charge
£50 administration charge
1.4 If a cancellation or substantial changes have to be made because of situations outside your control, for example bad weather, then provided the booking is rescheduled for a date within 6 months of the original booking, the cancellation charge will be waived.
2.1 Visitors are reminded that for technical, operational, weather or other reasons, any part of your day may be closed, altered or amended at any time without prior notice.
2.2 Please arrive at your workshop, planetarium show or Explorer:Space session at your allocated time to ensure your day schedule can run according to plan. Late arrival may result in either cancellation of or an amendment to your schedule for the day.
3.1 The responsibility for the children at all times rests with the responsible adults accompanying the children.
3.2 We are pleased to be able to offer our educational groups use of our car park at no additional charge. However, Winchester Science Centre cannot accept any responsibility for damage or theft to any vehicles whilst in these premises.
All vehicles are parked at the owner’s risk.
3.3 Winchester Science Centre cannot accept responsibility for items lost inside the Centre or car parks.
If you need to report an item of lost property please phone us on 01962 863 791
4.1 Our payments terms are strictly 30 days from the date of invoice.
4.2 The minimum school visit charge is based on 15 students*, if you wish to bring a group that is smaller than 15, the minimum charge will apply.
By making a booking you are agreeing to the terms and conditions above.
*SEND schools wishing to bring group sizes smaller than 15 please enquire through email@example.com