Schools and teachers


Students making models, Education Room, RIBA
Student making models and looking at collection material, RIBA, 66 Portland Place


As part of the V&A + RIBA Architecture Partnership the Library offers programmes for primary and secondary schools to get hands-on with the collection across two central London locations – RIBA’s HQ at 66 Portland Place, and the RIBA Architecture Study Rooms, Architecture Gallery and wider collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

RIBA HQ at 66 Portland Place 

  • Book a workshop for your group to get hands on with the collections  
  • Book an interactive tour of this amazing 1930s Art Deco building

RIBA at the V&A

There are a number of options both self-guided and supported available for groups.

Both sites 

  • Pick and mix any of the above options from both sites to make the most of your time out of school.

To book any of the above options, please contact the Education and Outreach Programme Manager.


Interactive building tours of 66 Portland Place 

Students sketching in the Florence Hall, RIBA, 66 Portland Place

Students sketching in the Florence Hall, RIBA, 66 Portland Place

  • Suitable for Key stage 2 and 3 groups

Investigating the history of 66 Portland Place, this interactive tour gives students the opportunity to discover how the building was designed and made and how it has changed over time. Incorporating creative tasks and observation drawing, this tour is a hands-on exploration of architecture and design. To book contact the Education and Outreach Programme Manager.    

Resource boxes

Resource boxes containing original archival material are available to facilitate self-guided visits to the RIBA Study Rooms at the V&A, and can be paired up with self-guided activities in the Architecture Gallery and around the museum for a full day visit. Resource boxes are free, easy to use and a great way to shape your own investigations. They must be booked by contacting the Education and Outreach Programme Manager.

Choose from the following resource boxes to use with your group:

Exploring Skylines

  • Key stage 3-5 Art & Design

This resource focuses on city skylines and explores how individual buildings, their design, structure and materials, combined create an important aspect of a city's visual identity: its skyline. The resource asks students to explore a range of drawing approaches, discuss their views on historical and contemporary architecture and think about what they would like cities to look like in the future. It investigates drawings models and fragments of buildings from the V&A and RIBA's unique architecture collections. It identifies key designers and historical events that have influenced the design of London's skyline and considers what factors make some skylines more distinctive than others.

Designing Pattern

  • Key Stage 3-4 Design & Technology
  • Key Stage 3-4 Art & Design

This resource provides an innovative approach to teaching pattern and design. Explore the outstanding V&A and RIBA architecture collections and the decorative V&A building with students to discover how patterns are used in architecture and interior design. Investigate how pattern motifs can reflect different cultural values and identity. Give students an exciting design brief to create their own pattern designs, inspired by their research.

Design Processes

  • Key stage 3-4 Design & Technology

This resource explains the design processes used in architecture and shows how they can inspire and facilitate other design projects. It draws on the V&A collections and the RIBA archive of architectural drawings, manuscripts and models. Suggested activities in this resource will develop students' design knowledge and skills. With reference to major building projects including Stansted Airport, Sydney Opera House, the Eden Project and 30, St Mary's Axe (the Gherkin), students will learn how to translate ideas and inspiration into practical designs and how to present their designs in sketches, scale drawings and models.

Architects' drawings and ideas

  • Key stage 3-5 Design & Technology

This resource contains a selection of some of the different types of drawings architects produce at different stages of the design process in order to develop and communicate their ideas. Produced in the 1770s to the late 1990s they also demonstrate how architects’ approaches to drawing and techniques have evolved over time.

Interactive tours of the Architecture Gallery

V&A + RIBA Architecture Gallery

V&A + RIBA Architecture Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum 

Investigating the collections on display in the Architecture Gallery at the V&A, there are currently two interactive tours offered for school groups:

Structure, Function and Beauty

  • Suitable for Key stage 3 Art & Design and Design & Technology

Structure, Function and Beauty investigates how buildings are designed and made, and how this has changed over time taking a close look at drawings, models and materials samples from the collections. Incorporating group tasks, discussion and observation drawing, this tour is a hands-on exploration of architecture and design.

Telling stories

  • Suitable for Key stage 3 English Literature & Language

Telling stories gives students the opportunity to discover the narratives woven into the images and artefacts in the Architecture Gallery. Exploring tales of Grecian Gods and Arab Dynasties students use the collection as inspiration for their own creative writing activities.

To book, please contact the Education and Outreach Programme Manager.

Teachers’ Notes

Download presentations, notes and activity sheets to guide you through your visit and investigate ideas in the classroom.


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