Venue and Safety Information

Guidelines for School Visits

We welcome visiting groups such as schools and community groups in planning a visit to Newcastle Art Gallery under the following guidelines.

  • Entry and exit will be through the front door of the building. Upon arrival groups will be greeted outside the main entrance by Gallery staff and Guides
  • School bags are discouraged
  • Bookings will be accepted for groups of 40 students or less
  • Bookings will be managed so that no two groups arrive at the same time
  • Groups will be divided into smaller groups (10 people maximum in each group)
  • Guides will program the tour to avoid congestion while moving through the Gallery and ensure groups are able to observe social distancing from general visitors
  • We ask that while in the building all visitors practise good hygiene and social distancing. Early Years and Primary students are not expected to observe social distancing within their group
  • Guided visits may be available in a limited capacity, however Guides cannot be guaranteed. We ask that you are always prepared to self guide
  • Smart Space will be accessible for tour programs and during the school holidays (limited capacity)
  • Our Eye Spy Tours and Community Access Workshops are currently suspended
  • During tour programs no shared equipment will be used. This includes tactile resources and art materials
  • The Gallery has implemented more regular cleaning in high traffic and high touch point areas
  • Staff have been told to stay home if unwell. If a member of your group is unwell, please do not attend the Gallery.

This advice is subject to change based on advice from NSW Government. Please check this page for latest information before visiting Newcastle Art Gallery. If you have any specific questions or needs, please call the Gallery on 4974 5100 to discuss with a member of the Audience Team. For more information about Gallery wide Covid-19 measures please see here.

Newcastle Art Gallery is a safe, public and accessible venue and we wish to ensure the enjoyment of all visitors. Teachers, supervisors and group coordinators attending the Gallery with a group are required to manage their group for the entirety of their visit. Group coordinators are responsible for ensuring that other staff or supervising adults are fully briefed on Gallery protocol prior to arrival.

Group coordinators and supervising adults should:

  • Model and enforce respectful behaviour towards other visitors, including refraining from yelling or calling out in the Gallery
  • Model and enforce the safekeeping of works of art on display, this includes refraining from touching works of art on display unless informed otherwise
  • Be aware of specific behavioural or medical conditions of group members, and where applicable, discuss with Gallery staff
  • Ensure their group sensibly engages with the stairs, the lift and all public furniture
  • Ensure that group members walk at all times whilst visiting the Gallery.

We strongly recommend that visiting groups arrange an appropriate number of supervising adults and remain with the group at all times. The minimum required adult to student ratio is as follows:

Kindergarten & Prep: 1 adult for every 5 children
Primary school: 1 adult for every 10 children
Secondary school: 1 adult for every 10 young people

First Aid
From Monday to Friday, Newcastle Art Gallery has a member of staff who is trained in basic first aid and is our First Aid Officer. There are two stocked first aid kits located in the Gallery and a defibrillator located at the Gallery's front desk. We ask that you inform Gallery staff should a first aid/medical situation arise during your visit. In the unlikely event of a major illness or injury, raise the alert with Gallery staff for assistance, and call 000 for New South Wales Ambulance Service. A supervisor from the group is required to remain with the sick/injured group member and complete an incident report.

Fire safety and emergency evacuation
Fully trained Emergency Wardens have the responsibility to direct visitors and staff in emergency situations at the Gallery. There is an Emergency Warden on Duty during Gallery open hours at all times, including after-hours events.

  • Visitors and staff are to follow the instructions of the Emergency Wardens in the event of an emergency.
  • The group leader/supervisor is responsible for directing their group members in accordance with the instructions given by the Emergency Warden.
  • Emergency alert tones and evacuation alarm systems are in place at Newcastle Art Gallery.
  • There are clearly marked emergency exit signs throughout the Gallery.
  • Do not use the lift during a fire emergency.

Working with art materials
Students and visitors who are engaging with art materials and basic tools, such as pencils or scissors are briefed on the task and correct and responsible use of all materials, tools and the environment in which they are to be used. Information is presented to visitors via written panels on the wall (for example, an art activity presented in Smart Space) written information on a handout, booklet or brochure (for example, a Children’s Art Trail) or in person by staff or volunteers.

  • All art materials for children’s programming (including Smart Space) are non-toxic
  • All tools are well maintained and age appropriate.

General information

  • The Gallery is wheelchair accessible: accessible toilets are located on the ground floor
  • Suitable clothing and footwear should be worn during your visit, and options are limited on the Gallery grounds for external wet weather/protected areas for school groups to eat their lunches
  • No food or drink can be consumed in the Gallery spaces
  • The Gallery has limited storage facilities for bags
  • Visiting groups must notify staff if bags will need to be brought into the Gallery and a baggage trolley can be arranged for your visit
  • Temperature and humidity levels within the Gallery are maintained at a controlled setting
  • Public telephones are located on King street near City Hall
  • Newcastle Art Gallery has public liability insurance.

We look forward to welcoming you and we hope that you enjoy your visit.