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Schools at Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive is now open in Manchester, hosted within a purpose-built venue at MediaCity piazza in Salford Quays. We can’t wait to welcome you and your students.

Watch our Schools Introduction Video here, detailing what to expect and look out for at the exhibition, ways of seeing and viewing tips from visual artists, alongside an insight into the creation and technology of the exhibition from its originators, Grande Exhibitions

There are dedicated Schools & Learning Groups sessions on a number of dates, as well as Relaxed Experiences for those with additional needs.

Learning & Access Partner


Hosted within a stunning, purpose-built venue at MediaCity Piazza, this covid-safe experience is anticipated to become Manchester’s biggest visitor attraction this Autumn.

Prepare to transcend time and space as you accompany Van Gogh on a journey through the Netherlands, Arles, Saint Rémy and Auvers-sur-Oise, where he created many of his timeless masterpieces. Set to an evocative classical score, a thrilling display of over 3,000 inspirational images transforms every surface that surrounds you in what has been described as an “unforgettable multi-sensory experience”.

At Van Gogh Alive you don’t just look at his paintings, you step inside them and feel their power. This immersive, digital exhibition is suitable for all, but most relevant for students at KS2 and above.

“It is a cross between the theatre, gallery and cinema. Expect a roller-coaster of emotions.” Year 7 student, London

“All galleries should be like this one.” Post 16 student, London

“I feel alive like I am in a plant pot!” Year 5 student, London

Dedicated sessions for Schools and Learning Groups

Tue 16 & Wed 17 Nov, 10am and 11am

Tue 23 & Wed 24 Nov, 10am and 11am

Tue 30 Nov & Wed 1 Dec, 10am and 11am

Tue 11 & Wed 12 Jan, 10am and 11am

For Schools and Groups that would find it beneficial, there are Relaxed and Assisted Experiences on the following dates:

Relaxed Experiences: Tue 18 and Wed 19 Jan, 10am and 12.30pm

Audio Described Guided Tours: Sun 16 Jan – 1pm and 3pm, Tue 18 Jan – 4pm, Wed 19 Jan – 4pm

BSL Interpreted Guided Tours: Sun 16 Jan – 2pm and 4pm, Tue 18 Jan – 5pm, Wed 19 Jan – 5pm

Relaxed Experiences are open to all but created for people with additional needs who may find public events challenging. This includes people with an Autistic Spectrum Condition, learning disability, or sensory and communication disorder. Relaxed Experiences also incorporate BSL Interpretation and Audio Description.

Here are Easy Read and Visual Story guides on what to expect.


For more information or to book your School or Group into any of these experiences, email schools@vangoghaliveuk.com

The Schools & Learning Groups price is £10 per student, with one free staff ticket with every ten paid student tickets. Schools visiting us where all students in the party have additional needs will receive additional free staff tickets, subject to needs and availability.


All Schools that book will also receive access to:

– Pre-recorded digital ‘have a go’ tutorial videos – supporting students to make their own masterpieces back at school inspired by Van Gogh

– Learning Resources and Materials to inspire learning across the curriculum

– Digital exhibition – an opportunity to submit a selection of student works to an online Schools Exhibition

– School Risk Assessment and Letter Home Template


If you’re ready to book, you can find our Booking Form here.

Simply complete and return it to schools@vangoghaliveuk.com

If you need further information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions below or contact us if what you need is not covered here and we will be glad to help.

Schools frequently asked questions

General Visitor Frequently Asked Questions can be found on our FAQs page.

We have incorporated the key information here and added some specific information we hope will be helpful for Schools and Learning Groups.

Where does it take place?

Van Gogh Alive is located on The Piazza, MediaCity UK, Salford Quays, Greater Manchester. To access information on how to get here, please click HERE for more information.

What is Van Gogh Alive?

Van Gogh Alive is not an art exhibition in the traditional sense. It is an immersive, multi-sensory multimedia art experience which combines high-definition projections of Van Gogh’s paintings with digital surround sound. Imagery and animations are projected at a scale that offers visitors the ability to see the details of the artist’s work like never before. More than 3,000 images transform each surface. However, there is no physical work by Vincent Van Gogh on display.

What is SENSORY4™?

Developed by Grande Experiences, SENSORY4™ is a unique technological system that combines multi-channel motion graphics, cinema quality surround sound and up to forty high-definition projectors to provide one of the most exciting multi-screen environments in the world.

When should I arrive?

You should plan to arrive about 15 minutes prior to the time printed on your ticket. Please arrive within the entry times displayed on your ticket. Due to the popularity of the experience, we may not be able to accommodate you if you arrive later than your ticket session.

Will students and staff need to wear a mask when they visit the exhibition?

We are asking all visitors to wear a face covering when attending the experience.

Will there be sanitiser stations and/or hand washing facilities throughout?

Yes, there are multiple electronic hand sanitiser stations throughout the exhibition which are easily accessible to all visitors. Toilets with hand washing facilities are located in a separate building, just outside the entrance to the exhibit itself.

What are the social distancing measures in place to keep the teachers & students safe?

There is a one-way system in place to ensure visitors can walk through the exhibition safely. The immersive experience itself has a maximum capacity which allows for space and distance within the viewing area. Schools will stay within their bubbles throughout the experience and will not come into close contact with any other schools. There will be no general public in the building during schools only slots.

How would you ensure that our school bubbles won't mix with members of the public and/or other schools?

The exhibition is closed to the public when schools are visiting meaning that there will be no mixing with the general public. School visits will be led by the Learning Project Manager, who will guide you through the experience, ensuring that your school bubble stays intact. If more than one school is visiting at the same time, staggered entry will ensure that schools stay separated from one another.

What would happen if the venue closed? Would we get a refund if we were unable to rebook?

If the venue were to close due to Covid-19 restrictions, once reopened, we would endeavour to find a new suitable time/date for your visit. If this were not possible, we would offer a full refund for the exhibition visit.

What would happen if a class/whole school had to isolate due to a confirmed case? Would we get a refund if we were unable to re-book?

If this was the case, we would work with you to find an alternative date for you to attend. If this was not possible, we would provide credit on your schools account to attend in the future.

What would happen if a few of the children in the bubble were off with symptoms (pending testing)? Would the rest of the bubble still be allowed to visit if Public Health is still allowing them to go to school? Would we get a refund for these few children as we obviously couldn’t re-book for just a couple?

Yes, you would still be allowed to visit, as long as Government Covid-19 regulations allow for the other students to be in school it would be in line with the public health guidelines. We would credit your account for the children who were unable to attend.

Is there anywhere for us to eat/drink safely? Can we bring our own food/drink at present?

Please note, no outside food or beverage will be allowed inside the venue. There is no food allowed throughout the exhibition and we cannot provide an eating space for school visits.

Can students bring bags/coats? Do they carry them with them or is there somewhere to store them?

Students can bring bags and coats, but if they do so they will have to keep them throughout the visit as we are unable to store them. No cloakroom will be provided, so all bags and items must be carried with you inside the exhibition. We therefore recommend bringing small, easy to carry bags.

Can my students take photographs?

Yes, your students are able to take photographs but please refrain from using flash.

Are there any school resources?

There will be a digital introduction film for schools to watch before visiting to prepare you for your visit and then after the visit we will send ‘Have a Go’ tutorial videos back into school. You will also have access to additional Learning Resources and Materials, only available to those who book.

What happens if our school is running late for its time slot?

In the event that your school is going to be late for your time slot, please email schools@vangoghaliveuk.com. If possible, we will make arrangements for you to enter the exhibition at a later time. Please note, in some instances this may not be possible due to maximum capacity numbers in the event and the time slots available. If this is the case, we will try to rebook your visit for another day.

Is there somebody to take us around on a tour or can we book a tour guide?

School visits will be led by the Learning Project Manager who will meet you when you arrive and support your engagement in the experience which is a self-led experience.

What happens if a pupil/teacher develops symptoms whilst on the trip? Would we be ok with a pupil being isolated with a teacher and waiting until their parents/carers arrived?

Yes, should this happen, we would make it a priority that the pupil/teacher be isolated and then to leave the venue as quickly as possible. Anyone who has had close and sustained contact with the symptomatic individual may also be asked to follow that same procedure.

What would happen if one of our staff or students that had visited tested positive within 10 days after our visit?

If this was to happen, we would ask that you contact schools@vangoghaliveuk.com as soon as possible after receiving this information.

Is there a Schools Risk Assessment?

Yes, please email schools@vangoghaliveuk.com and we can provide

What happens if one of our students becomes separated from the rest of the group?

If this was to happen, all FOH staff and Duty Managers have been briefed that two members of staff will accompany the individual at all times. They will wait with the student in the location they were found for a further 5 minutes, before taking them to the event office to be reunited.

Is there disabled parking available?

There are no parking facilities onsite – you can see where there is disabled parking nearby here.

Once I have made my booking, can I change it?

The booking is not flexible but if a year group had to be sent home to self-isolate, we would do our best to rebook your visit. We ask that you give us as much advance warning as possible if this was the case by emailing schools@vangoghaliveuk.com.

I’ve heard there is a gift shop — can students buy souvenirs?

The gift shop will be closed during all dedicated school visits. There is a souvenir brochure/guide that you can purchase for £10 and there is a USB stick which has a video of the exhibition on it for £15.99.

If you have any additional questions, please contact schools@vangoghaliveuk.com.

We hope to welcome you to Van Gogh Alive soon.


Official Charity


Created and Produced by

Grande Experiences
Van Gogh Aive London Sensory4

Delivered by

Active Entertainment

Supporting partners


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Van Gogh Alive is operated by Active Sport & Entertainment Ltd – registered in England and Wales, company number 10225082
Registered office and postal address: 495 Green Lanes, London, England, N13 4BS