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Museums and Schools

Museums and Schools is supported using public funding by Arts Council England. It is part of a national initiative which aims to increase school pupils’ engagement with culture.

The ss Great Britain Trust is partnering with the Science Museum in London to create exciting new opportunities for local schools.  During the three years of the project the Trust will welcome over 8,000 Bristol school children to Brunel’s ss Great Britain. Pupils will participate in a varied programme of active learning experiences and discover the story of the ship, what life was like for passengers and crew and more about Isambard Kingdom Brunel and his engineering talents.

During the first two years of the project over 5000 Bristol pupils have benefited from opportunities to visit with their schools, attend exclusive summer family events, explore their inner Brunel as a class with the Trust’s award winning game Full Steam Ahead and return with their families to share their experiences. 

Information for schools

The Museums and Schools project offers your pupils a unique opportunity to engage with Bristol’s heritage and culture through a free programme of learning opportunities including  school visits to Brunel’s ss Great Britain, access to Full Steam Ahead (the Trust’s new educational game), summer evening events and family visits.

The Trust is working with primary and secondary schools across Bristol. If your school has been invited and you would like more information please get in contact with our Museums and Schools Project Officer, Sarah, at To book your visit please contact our bookings team on 0117 926 0680, quoting Museums and Schools. 

Once schools have booked their visit they will receive a confirmation letter and ideas for pre and post visit activities to enhance pupils’ experiences and make sure the class gets the most out of their trip to the site. Teachers will also be given the chance to visit Brunel’s ss Great Britain beforehand. 

Information for families

Family Ticket

As part of the Museums and Schools project, schools have the opportunity to obtain free family tickets for pupils involved in the project, which allow them to share their experience with their families by coming back to the ship free of charge. If your child has received a ticket through their school, we look forward to welcoming you aboard. Tickets do have an expiration date so be sure to use them while you can!

Summer Events

Over the summer we will be holding a number of events where new secondary school students from participating schools will have the opportunity to visit the ship and meet their new classmates before starting in September. If your child is starting year 7 this September and their school is participating in the project, then you should have received a flyer from the school inviting you and your family to our summer event. If you'd like to take advantage of this great opportunity, then please book your places here.


We have joined forces with Aardman Animations to create a brand new interactive game called Full Steam Ahead which has been designed to teach pupils that Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s determination and resilience to persevere, solve problems and learn from mistakes helped him succeed.

The game takes the player through a series of shipbuilding challenges, based on those that Brunel faced throughout his career. Successfully completing the challenges earns the player more money and stars so they can buy extra parts such as engines, propellers, sails, coal and paddles; eventually resulting in the ‘ultimate ship’ that can cut through rough seas, carry more cargo, go the furthest distance and destroy opponents in tug-of-war battles.

Anyone can play but schools involved in the project will have access to specially designed resources and will receive a code to unlock an exclusive version of the game. 

Take me to the game!