Thank you for making an Educational booking with Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Here are some instructions to help you to plan your visit.
HEALTH & SAFETY
Groups are asked to provide Education staff with accurate numbers of attending children and adults on arrival, in case of emergency. Education staff will inform you of any maintenance or emergency repairs known to be taking place on site on the day of your visit.
Please ensure that you brief all attendees about key risks before your visit. The up‐to‐date Education Risk Assessment can be found on‐line at:
https://www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk/education/risk-assessments/. However, we recommend that all group leaders complete their own Risk Assessments, as this will identify any further measures required that are specific to the needs of the visiting group, such as supervision ratios.
Please ensure that you inform Education staff, via the booking form, of any relevant medical, physical or behavioural conditions that we need to be aware of (including nut and plant allergies). Groups are requested to bring their own first‐aider, as there will not always be one available onsite. A first aid box is kept at Reception and is where the accident book is located, in which to record any incidents taking place on site.
Once a visit is booked, up to two teachers are welcome to conduct a free pre‐visit to carry out their own risk assessment and plan their self-guided time, at any time during the Gardens’ opening hours. Please inform the Education team of your intended date and time of arrival, so that we can keep within our Covid-safe limit of numbers of visitors on site. Teachers bringing their own cars onto our car park to conduct a pre‐visit, or on the day of the visit itself, must enter their registration numbers into the machine at Reception to avoid parking charges. (Please inform all of your drivers of this procedure – the Gardens do not have the ability to cancel fines!)
ARRIVAL AND COACH INSTRUCTIONS
The Gardens open at 10am – please do not arrive before this time as we cannot permit entry for safety and insurance reasons, and there is no waiting area (other than the car park). On arrival, please have your group wait outside, under the Banqueting Suites’ entrance concourse (half-way down the Gardens’ car park), and telephone 0121 450 5093 to alert Education staff of your arrival. Education staff will then be straight out to welcome you.
If travelling by coach, please see the Risk Assessments and Additional Information page of our website at:
https://www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk/education/risk-assessments/ for our coach instructions, as coaches are not permitted to enter or park on our car park due to restricted space. Please can this be confirmed with your coach driver before departing your school on the day of your visit. Minibuses and cars are permitted to park in the car park and their registration numbers must be entered into the machine at Reception (if staying on-site for more than one hour) to avoid parking charges.
If you have chosen to be self‐guided, you will need to plan your own timetable. There may be other groups booked in alongside you, so please be prepared to split your group and spread out on site to avoid congestion. Our busiest areas tend to be the Glasshouses, which become even busier in wet weather.
If you have chosen teaching sessions, Education staff will liaise with you about these before your visit. Sessions may be offered to you to be delivered either; back‐to‐back, concurrently or before and after your lunch break – this will depend on your visit times, other bookings and the length of the teaching sessions you have requested. Education staff will advise on how best to structure your day in your visit confirmation. Most teaching sessions are delivered to a group of up to 30 at a time, but some adjustments have been necessary to ensure Covid safety. This will be detailed in your visit confirmation. Please plan carefully for any time you are not in a teaching session. Please also plan for any snack/toilet breaks in your self‐guided time. Teaching sessions take place in; our dedicated classrooms, the Glasshouses, outdoor marquees or in the grounds, so please wear weather-appropriate clothing.
We require that no more than 15 children from your group(s) be on the Gardens’ Playground equipment at any one time, so please factor this into your timetable, whether you be self-guided or are having teaching sessions.
In order for us to plan your visit correctly, please inform us via your booking form, if anyone in your group(s) cannot climb a spiral staircase.
Please note that in the event of your school being late on the day and you missing the start of your allocated teaching session, Education staff will do their best to offer you a later slot. However, if it is not possible to re‐schedule your session, we regret to advise that the full teaching rate will still be charged.
Your group may be required to eat lunch at different times and in different locations around the Gardens, so please be ready to split into groups on arrival (if you are bringing more than 15 children). It is important to have your groups planned before you arrive, as you will be immediately split into them on arrival.
Groups may eat lunch in their allocated covered space or anywhere outside in the grounds (except the Pavilion Tea Room or its outside seating). We request that groups bring lunches with minimal or reusable packaging, and sort any waste into the appropriate recycling and refuse facilities available. We do not insist on groups taking their refuse away with them, but in order to help maintain the Gardens, we would be grateful if you could if you are able.
Please note that the Gardens cannot accept liability for loss or damage to belongings left on site so we recommend that you keep valuables with you at all times.
Please note that our Glasshouses become hot and humid, even in cooler weather. Therefore, we recommend that visitors bring at least two drinks each, as it is not possible to re‐fill bottles onsite and we do not have water fountains. We regret that we are unable to provide adults with hot drinks. However, they are available to purchase from the Pavilion Tea Room.
The Gardens is an independent educational charity, for which the entry fee provides visitors with a beautiful and tranquil haven in the heart of Birmingham. Educational groups are warmly welcomed to enjoy the varied areas to explore in the Gardens. To respect the needs of all visitors, we ask groups to keep noise to a minimum and not to run onsite. Please ensure children are supervised at all times, including in the playground, in the toilets and at lunchtimes. Please ensure that your school complies with your Local Authority’s recommendations for adult to pupil ratios. The Gardens reserves the right to ask any group that is behaving irresponsibly or spoiling the enjoyment of other visitors to leave the site immediately. Please note that the cost for any deliberate damage caused by your group will be added to your invoice.
Please note that all toilets at the Gardens are public toilets, so adults must ensure that children are supervised for safety reasons. Therefore, we strongly recommend groups bring both male and female staff whenever possible. Education staff are not permitted to supervise children in the toilets. Please ensure toilets are left in a tidy state for other visitors to use.
We require that children go to the toilet in groups of no more than 6, while the remainder of the group waits in your allocated classroom. This is to prevent crowding in the Reception and around the Shop exit.
Groups may make payment on the day of their visit (by cash, cheque or debit/credit card) for which a receipt will be given. Alternatively, groups can be invoiced before or after their visit. (Please note that we are only able to invoice for groups with 10 or more children.)
CANCELLATION POLICY / CHANGE OF NUMBER
In these uncertain times, we are waiving our usual cancellation policy, as we fully appreciate that bookings may need to be cancelled at very short notice, through no fault of the school/group. Therefore, we would ask that you provide the Gardens with as much notice as possible if you are unable to visit on the date(s) that you have booked.
If the number of children in your group changes after you have completed the booking form, you must inform the Education Team as soon as possible.
For your visit, we offer Activity Packs for hire for use in self-guided time. (There are Cryptic Orienteering, Ecological Sampling, Musical Rainstorm and Tree-mendous Trees to choose from.) Each Pack is charged at only £25 per group of 30 children, and this can be added to your invoice if required. Packs contain comprehensive instructions, but please be aware that all activities are conducted at your own risk (and so should form part of your own Risk Assessment). Please note that the Musical Rainstorm Activity Pack must remain indoors at all times and only be used in the classroom allocated to you for your visit. Please be advised that for any Pack not returned to Gardens’ staff at the end of your visit, you will be invoiced the total cost of replacing the full Pack: Cryptic Orienteering £60, Ecological Sampling £170, Musical Rainstorm £250, Tree-mendous Trees £400. Any missing or damaged items from the Pack will be charged for on an individual basis, as per the cost price to replace.
There are also many free resources available to download from the Educational Resources section of our website. These resources are not provided on the day of your visit, so please ensure that you bring with you all that you require.
Groups should ensure that no more than 6 children visit the shop at any one time, to prevent overcrowding. If groups prefer not to visit the shop but would still like to make a purchase, goody bags can be made up for collection instead. Please advise of your requirements on your booking form. (We are unable to invoice for any shop/goody bag purchases. These must be paid for on the day of your visit by cash, cheque or debit/credit card.)
Group adults are to bring tissues and ask their students (and other adults) to follow the `catch it, bin it, kill it` advice for coughs, sneezes etc.
Group leaders are required to immediately inform the Gardens’ Education Manager if anyone in their class/pod of students and staff tests positive for Covid-19 in the two weeks after their visit.