Information for
School Groups

Information for School Groups

PLANNING YOUR EXCURSION

How to Book

Book your excursion to PP&VA in just two easy steps! 


STEP 1: COMPLETE AND SUBMIT THE BOOKING FORM TO US

All bookings for school groups require a completed booking form. This includes paid and free events.

ONLINE (PREFERRED)

You can complete our online Schools Booking Form for:

Events at The Joan

  1. By clicking the button below;Schools Booking Button
  2. On the Education page of our website, thejoan.com.au/education (Please note, the form is also included on each individual show web page); or
  3. Contact creativelearning@penrith.city if you would like us to email the online form to you for completion.

Events at Penrith Regional Gallery

  1. By clicking the button below;Schools Booking Button
  2. On the Learning page of our website, penrithregionalgallery.com.au/learning; or
  3. Contact gallery@penrith.city if you would like us to email the online form to you for completion.

Alternatively, you can fill out and submit the appropriate booking form at the back of this brochure and return it via one of the following options:

Events at The Joan

Events at The Gallery

 

Scan and Email

To our Box Office Manager at boxoffice@penrith.city (Please copy in creativelearning@penrith.city)

To our staff at gallery@penrith.city

 

Post It

To Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre,
ATTN: Box Office,
PO Box 2,
Penrith, NSW, 2751

To Penrith Regional Gallery, Home of The Lewers Bequest,
ATTN: Learning,
PO Box 2,
Penrith, NSW, 2751

Drop It Off In Person

To The Joan’s Box Office –
597 High Street, Penrith

To the Gallery’s Reception –
86 River Road, Emu Plains


STEP 2: BOOKING CONFIRMATION AND PAYMENT 

We will do our best to accommodate your first preference for event dates and times, but cannot guarantee availability. Bookings are processed in the order in which they are received.

Events at The Joan

After we receive your completed booking form, we will email your Admin/Accounts team with an invoice for 50% of the total value of your booking. We require the deposit to be paid 30 days from the date of the deposit invoice and final payment, with correct attendance numbers, at least two weeks prior to the performance date.

In the event the booking is made within 30 days of the performance date, payment must be made in full at least two weeks prior.

Changes to numbers must be submitted in writing to boxoffice@penrith.city and payment for additional tickets is due immediately.

Please check your invoice carefully upon receiving it as this is confirmation of your booking date and time.

If we do not receive payment by the due date on your invoice, your tickets may not be held. If you are having difficulty organising payment, please contact us immediately on 02 4723 7600.

Events at Penrith Regional Gallery

Bookings for all school visits require four weeks’ notice. Following the submission of your Schools Booking Form, our Learning Coordinator will contact you via phone to discuss the details of your booking.

An email confirmation will be sent outlining these details and information about your excursion, within seven working days from the Learning Coordinator contacting you. If you are booking a paid program, an invoice will be included in this email.

Changes can be made up until seven days prior to your booking. Any changes to numbers, dates or times must be communicated in writing to gallery@penrith.city

If we do not receive payment by the due date on your invoice, your booking may not be held. If you are having difficulty organising payment, please contact us immediately on 02 4735 1100.

If you wish to cancel your booking, seven working days’ notice is required, otherwise the cost of your excursion will be charged in full.


PRIOR TO YOUR EXCURSION 

To ensure you have a hassle-free excursion, we will send an email to the teacher or teachers listed on your booking form prior to your visit, detailing important information about your visit, which may include changes to running times and audience information. Where possible, we will also include Curriculum Links, Teachers and Online Media Resources.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us:

The Joan
E boxoffice@penrith.city (Please copy in creativelearning@penrith.city)
P (02) 4723 7600

Penrith Regional Gallery
E
gallery@penrith.city
P 02 4735 1100

We look forward to seeing you at our venues!

Risk Assessment and COVID Safety

Risk Assessment

The Joan
Click here to download a Word version of The Joan’s Risk Assessment
Click here to download a PDF version of The Joan’s Risk Assessment

Penrith Regional Gallery
Click here to download a Word version of The Gallery’s Risk Assessment
Click here to download a PDF version of The Gallery’s Risk Assessment

COVID Safety

The Joan
Click here to read the latest COVID Safety information at The Joan

Penrith Regional Gallery
Click here to read the latest COVID Safety information at The Gallery

 

 

Access for School Groups

Penrith Performing & Visual Arts (PP&VA) is comprised of the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Q Theatre, Penrith Conservatorium and Penrith Regional Gallery, Home of The Lewers Bequest and represents a diverse and dynamic blend of creative practice in the Western Sydney region.

At PP&VA, we are dedicated to creating inclusive, quality educational arts experiences for all students and teachers.

The events in our 2022 Arts Education Season will take place at The Joan and Penrith Regional Gallery.


THE JOAN

Theatres

This year, all productions at The Joan will take place in the Q Theatre.

The Q Theatre is an amphitheatre style auditorium with tiered seating and a thrust stage, which provides audiences with an intimate theatre experience. Seating 374 people, it is located on Level 1 of The Joan and is accessible via our lift or stairs. There is level access and accessible seating at the back of the theatre in row K.

Please advise if your group has any specific access requirements for seating on your booking form.

Foyer

Situated on the ground floor, our main foyer space, the Atrium Foyer, is within walking distance of the main entrances and exits of the venue, Box Office, accessible toilets and the lift. The foyer is the central meeting point for school groups following arrival, during a show interval/workshop break, or prior to leaving The Joan.

WHEELCHAIR AND LEVEL ACCESS

Wheelchair symbol

Street and Box Office Access

The Joan has two main entrances along High Street:

  • Opposite Westfield Penrith; and
  • Opposite Penrith City Council’s Civic Car Park.

Both entranceways have level access to the ground floor foyer, which includes Box Office, our lift and accessible toilets. Our Box Office is located inside the entrance opposite Westfield Penrith. Please be aware that our Box Office location will be moving in the middle of 2022.

Lifts

There is lift access to all levels of The Joan.

Accessible Toilets

Accessible toilets are located on:

  • Ground Floor – Opposite the entrance to the lift; and
  • Level Two – Opposite the Orchestral Room.

PENRITH REGIONAL GALLERY

Galleries and Workshop Spaces

All of our gallery and workshop spaces are level and accessible via ramps and walkways.

Penrith Regional Gallery has four gallery spaces including the:

  • Main Gallery – This large space hosts major touring and in-house curated exhibitions;
  • Ancher House – Showcases works from the Gallery’s extensive Collection;
  • Lounge Room Gallery – Connected to the Reception and Shop, this gallery is home to our annual program of community exhibitions, run in conjunction with special events such as NAIDOC Week and International Day for People with Disability;
  • Lewers House – A converted Federation-style building primarily used for the presentation of new works by leading contemporary artists.

Our workshops are held in the Sonia Farley Studios. Both of these studios can be configured to meet the needs and requirements of your school group.

Please advise if your group has any specific access requirements on your booking form.

Reception and Shop

Located close to the car park, our Reception and Shop are within walking distance of both of the main entrances and exits of the venue. This is the central point for teachers to check-in when your school group arrives.

WHEELCHAIR AND LEVEL ACCESS

Wheelchair symbol

Ramps and walkways provide access to all gallery and workshop spaces and viewing areas of the surrounding gardens. Please note, some areas of the heritage garden and car park have uneven and rough terrain.

Street Access

The Gallery has two main entrances:

  • A paved ramp leading from River Road to the courtyard of the café, Cafe at Lewers; and
  • The entrance from the car park.

Please be advised, the path along the front of the Gallery on River Road is not paved.

Accessible Toilets

An accessible toilet is located opposite the Main Gallery.

Specific Needs at Our Venues

AUSLAN INTERPRETED EVENTS

Auslan Interpreted symbol

Australian Sign Language (Auslan) interpreting is provided for select guided exhibition tours and Q&A events. This enables Deaf Auslan users to engage with the event using their first language.


RELAXED EVENTS

Relaxed Performance symbol

Relaxed performances, screenings or events are designed to reduce anxiety and create a supportive atmosphere for patrons with autism spectrum conditions, learning disability and other sensory and communication needs. There is a relaxed attitude to regular event etiquette, such as noise and movement among the audience.

Modifications will differ depending on the event, but can include:

  • The doors to the theatre, gallery or venue space being left open to allow audience members to enter and exit as needed; and
  • Noise and movement and light and sound effects being toned down or removed.

Where possible, a Visual Story and/or Sensory Guide is provided prior to a Relaxed Event to further assist teachers and students in preparing for their excursion.


VISUAL STORIES

Visual Story symbol

Using both words and pictures, a Visual Story introduces students to what they can expect during their excursion to the theatre or gallery. They briefly tell the story of your journey from the start to the end of the event in a factual way, offering positive options to help with fears and triggers such as loud noises.


SENSORY GUIDES

Sensory Guide symbol

A Sensory Guide provides teachers and students with a breakdown of sensory triggers throughout the event and when to expect them. These may include audience participation and interaction, changes in lighting and sound or specials effects such as haze.


OTHER REQUESTS

Upon request we may be able to provide accessible services other than those listed to help make your school groups visit more comfortable. Please let us know of any request you have on your booking form and we will do our best to arrange it.

For Events at The Joan
E boxoffice@penrith.city (Please copy in creativelearning@penrith.city)
P (02) 4723 7600

For Events at Penrith Regional Gallery
E
gallery@penrith.city
P 02 4735 1100

Getting Here, Parking and Bus Drop Off Zones

THE JOAN

The Joan is located at 597 High Street, Penrith and is accessible by car, train, bus and walking.

By Train

The Joan is a mostly flat walk from Penrith Station. Exit the station on the Westfield Penrith side. Cross the street and enter the shopping centre on your right. Continue through Westfield, turning left at the small food court and proceed straight ahead through the pedestrian crossing to the second section of Westfield. Exit Westfield at the automatic doors on your left at the large food court, ahead of Woolworths. The Joan is located across the grass on the right and has level access. Walking time will vary depending on the age and size of your group. We recommend allowing 15 minutes to get comfortably from the station to The Joan. For more details on getting to The Joan via train visit transportnsw.info

By Car or Bus

Follow the M4 from either the east or west and turn off at the Mulgoa Road exit. Head north following the signs to Penrith’s CBD. When you come to the major intersection at High Street and Mulgoa Road, turn right into High Street and then left at the roundabout.

Parking symbol Parking and Bus Drop Off Zones 

Parking is available outdoors at Penrith City Council’s Civic Place Car Park, opposite The Joan. Time limits apply and are indicated on the signs.

School buses can drop off and pick up your group in the designated area at Penrith City Council’s Civic Place Car Park. Please note, there is no parking available for buses in this area. We recommend you advise the bus company or your school’s bus driver of this in advance so they are prepared to find an alternate place to park after dropping you off, as well as organising a suitable time to pick you up.

Access to The Joan from the car park is level and wheelchair friendly.


PENRITH REGIONAL GALLERY

Penrith Regional Gallery is located at 86 River Road, Emu Plains and can be accessed by car, bus, train and walking.

By Train

Penrith Regional Gallery is a mostly flat walk from Emu Plains Station. Exit the station on the Great Western Highway side and walk towards Old Bathurst Road. Cross the road at the corner and continue along the Great Western Highway, then turn left at Warring Avenue. When you reach River Road, turn right and keep walking straight ahead. You will find Penrith Regional Gallery on your right. Walking time will vary depending on the age and size of your group. We recommend allowing 30 minutes for walking. For more details on getting to the Gallery via train visit transportnsw.info

By Car or Bus

Follow the M4 to Leonay Parade. Take the A44 exit at Russell Street, Emu Plains. At the roundabout take the first exit onto Leonay Parade. Turn left onto Buring Avenue, then left on River Road and continue to the Gallery.

Parking symbol Parking and Bus Drop Off Zones 

Limited outdoor parking is available onsite and can be accessed via the driveway located on River Road at the southern corner of the site. This includes two accessible parking spaces. Alternatively, street parking is available along River Road. Time limits may apply.

School buses can drop off and collect your group at the main entry to the Gallery (near the black and white Gallery sign) on River Road. Please note, there is no parking available for buses in the onsite carpark. We recommend that you advise the bus company or your school’s bus driver that they will need to find a place to park along River Road and organise a time for them to pick you up in advance.

Education Resources

Enhance your students’ arts experience and extend their learning in the classroom before and after our shows, exhibitions and events.

Carefully devised in collaboration by the production and education teams from the organising companies and Penrith Performing & Visual Arts, these resources help you connect your excursion to the syllabus, whilst providing a range of additional ideas and activities to enable your students to achieve a greater level of engagement with the content covered.

We also place high importance on providing experiences for students to further develop their practical skill levels and career pathways. Therefore, where possible, we offer opportunities for your students to work directly with practicing arts professionals.

The resources available for our offerings vary and are included on the individual event web pages. They can include a range of the following:


Backstage Pass Tours symbol

BACKSTAGE PASS
Backstage Pass tours give your school group exclusive behind-the-scenes access to areas within the theatre not normally available to the public, increasing your students’ understanding of how a professional theatre works. Tours at The Joan can be booked as an add-on to a show or a standalone activity and can be adapted to cater to your students. Backstage Pass tours are subject to capacity, availability and COVID Safety restrictions.


Curriculum Links symbolCURRICULUM LINKS
Curriculum links have been developed to connect your excursion with the NSW State Syllabus. These assist you in choosing a show, exhibition or event that links to your lesson plans and supports your students in meeting their learning outcomes. Presented in a table, the curriculum links are broken down according to the education stages and subject areas they correlate to, as well as the content areas and outcomes.


Online Media Resources symbolONLINE MEDIA RESOURCES
Media resources differ depending on the show, exhibition or event and may include videos, podcasts, image galleries and/or interactive web pages. They can provide students with further insight into the artists or cast and creative teams, as well as behind-the-scenes into the rehearsal process, curatorial decisions and development of the tour. You can access available media resources for each of our offerings from their individual event pages on The Joan and Penrith Regional Gallery’s websites.


Q&A Sessions symbolQ&A SESSIONS
Q&A or In Conversation sessions allow school groups to gain a deeper understanding into the production, exhibition or event. Held after the performance with the cast and/or creative team, or with the artist or artists in conjunction with an exhibition, they give your students the unique chance to ask all their burning questions. This helps your group to further comprehend the content they have experienced and to adapt the ideas discussed into their own arts practice.


Teacher's Resource Kit and Study Guides symbolTEACHERS RESOURCE KITS AND STUDY GUIDES
Teachers Resource Kits are designed to assist you in devising pre- and post-excursion lesson plans and activities that link directly to the curriculum. Study Guides are created to help students engage with the work through access to focus questions and extra information around the production or exhibition. Where available, these resources can be downloaded from the web page for each event on The Joan or Penrith Regional Gallery’s websites.


Workshops symbolWORKSHOPS
In-person or digital workshops led by arts professionals and/or teaching artists may be offered pre- or post-excursion as an extra or a standalone activity. Our workshops aim to build confidence and inspire by giving your students key opportunities to explore, practice and adapt new skills and techniques and apply them to their arts practice inside and outside of the classroom.

A Handy Guide to Theatre and the Gallery

Attending the theatre or the gallery is a magical and exciting experience for all ages. For some of your students, an excursion to The Joan or Penrith Regional Gallery may be their first time seeing live theatre or an art exhibition. To ensure you have a positive and memorable time, we have put together a ‘Handy Guide’ of tips to discuss with your students prior to attending a show.

A Handy Guide to Attending the Theatre
Click here to download a Word version of the Guide
Click here to download a PDF version of the Guide

A Handy Guide to Attending the Gallery
Click here to download a Word version of the Guide
Click here to download a PDF version of the Guide


INFORMATION FOR THE DAY OF YOUR EXCURSION

To ensure you have a hassle-free excursion, we will send an email to the teacher or teachers listed on your booking form prior to your visit, detailing important information about your visit, which may include changes to running times and audience information. Where possible, we will also include Curriculum Links, Teachers and Online Media Resources.

Events at The Joan

Arrival Times

Arrival Times

We strongly recommend that your group arrives at least 30 minutes prior to the start time of the event.

We advise that you check the event web page to see if there is a lock out period before attending the theatre.

Latecomers will be admitted in a suitable break during the event, if possible. If you are running late, please call Box Office.

  • More Info: Contact Box Office on 02 4723 7600
Check-In, Tickets and Seating

Check-In, Tickets and Seating

Seating for school performances is General Admission. Please have your group remain outside of our venue, while a teacher checks in at Box Office upon your arrival. Our Front of House staff will come and collect your group and escort you to your seats. If you have any specific access requirements for seating, please ensure you indicate this on your booking form.

If you are attending a general public performance, tickets will be sent to the organising teacher via email.

  • More Info: Contact Box Office on 02 4723 7600
School Bags

School Bags

The Joan encourages students to leave school bags at home or school as secure storage is not available.

In the event your students bring their bags, please check each student tucks their bag away safely underneath the seat they are allocated in the theatre.

  • More Info: Contact Box Office on 02 4723 7600
Duration

Duration

Performance duration may vary due to the nature of live theatre. Please check the show pages on our website for the most up-to-date run time.

We recommend you allow additional time at the end of the performance for transport back to school. An email including an updated duration will be sent out to teachers prior to the event.

  • More Info: Contact Box Office on 02 4723 7600

Events at The Gallery

Arrival Times

Arrival Times

If you are running late for a workshop or tour, please call the Gallery on 02 4735 1100.

  • More Info: Contact Reception on 02 4735 1100
Check-Ins and Tickets

Check-Ins and Tickets

Please have your group remain outside, while a teacher checks in at Reception, upon your arrival. Our friendly staff at Reception will be able to assist in directing you to the relevant Gallery or Workshop space on site.

Tickets will be provided for ticketed exhibitions, depending on COVID Safety restrictions.

  • More Info: Contact Reception on 02 4735 1100
School Bags

School Bags

We recommend that students leave their backpacks at home or school for safe-keeping, as there is limited secure storage available on site.

  • More Info: Contact Reception on 02 4735 1100