School workshops

We offer a variety of exciting school workshops, ranging from pre-school up to S5.

Nursery–Primary 1

Tim’rous Beasties

Using storytelling and Scots language, children explore the museum dressed as Burns’s wee tim’rous beasties in order to learn more about his well-loved poem ‘To a Mouse’. This workshop is ideal for building movement and language skills through imagination and performance.

Curriculum for Excellence: LIT 0–01a/0–11a; LIT 0–20a; LIT 0–07a; LIT 0–16a; ENG 0–17a; EXA 0–14a; EXA 0–08a

Primary 2–Primary 4

When Burns was a Bairn

Pupils will explore Burns Cottage in order to find out more about the Bard and his family through the objects they used and the chores that they did. They then have a fun competition to make butter using historical methods. This session provides an excellent opportunity to bring together teaching history and technology.

Curriculum for Excellence: SOC 1–02a; SOC 1–04a; SOC 1–18a

Primary 5–Primary 7

Being Burns

Using traditional 18th-century costume, pupils explore the Cottage to understand how Robert Burns became a poetic genius in a time before compulsory education. This workshop develops Scots language and brings history to life through the use of re-enactment and drama skills.

Curriculum for Excellence: SOC 2–03a; EXA 2–01a; HWB 2–19a

Secondary 1–Secondary 5

Tam o’ Shanter – rewriting Tam for Today

Experience the story of Tam o’ Shanter through film and then bring the story into the 21st century through dramatic interpretation and analysis of the characters. This workshop develops dramatic analytical and creative writing skills.

Curriculum for Excellence: SOC 2–02B; ENG 2–31a; EXA 3–12a

Pupils with additional support needs and mixed age groups

All our workshops can be adapted to fit the needs of any class and ability. They can also be adapted for school groups with a mixed age range.

Possible themes

  • Poetry
  • Robert Burns
  • Scots language

Resources for schools

An illustrated guidebook is for sale.


The following prices are per pupil:

Option 1: 1 x 90-minute session per class; £6 per pupil

  • Full access to RBBM site
  • Guided site tour
  • Lunch facilities

Option 2: 1 x 90-minute session per class; £5 per pupil

  • Full access to RBBM site
  • Lunch facilities

Option 3: self-led visit; £3 per pupil

  • Full access to RBBM site (self-led)
  • Lunch facilities

Extras: A guided site tour, including Alloway Auld Kirk, Brig o’ Doon, Burns Monument and Poet’s Path; £1 per pupil

Accompanying adults (maximum of 6) are admitted free.

Class teachers are encouraged to make a free preparatory visit to the site.