Astronomy

We are extremely proud to be the only school in the United Kingdom to have its very own Astronomy Centre and Victorian Observatory.

Our Resident Astronomer, Dr Nick Lister, runs a fascinating series of lectures, lessons and talks for Rossall pupils and visitors to the School.

Please visit:  http://astronomyforall.co.uk/ for upcoming events and news.

  • About Dr Nick Lister

    Dr Nick Lister is the Principal of Lawrence House Astronomy & Space Science Centre, which is situated in the grounds of Rossall School. He is one of the rising stars of UK astronomy and leads the team of staff teaching astronomy to school children and adults at the unique centre, which serves the north of England.

    In 1999 Dr Lister joined Rossall School in Lancashire as Astronomer in residence. His first task was to oversee restoration of the school’s ‘Cooke & Sons’ Victorian refracting telescope back to scientific working condition and it is now the only one of its type in operation anywhere in the world. In 2004 he was appointed as head of the Lawrence House Astronomy & Space Science Centre and oversaw its development, through to opening.

    Nick Lister is passionate about astronomy. As a councillor for the Association for Astronomy Education (AAE), an organisation devoted to supporting the teaching of astronomy, Nick is equally dedicated to passing this enthusiasm on to all ages and all levels.

    Originating from, Leeds, West Yorkshire, Dr Lister has lived for most of his life in Hambleton, Lancashire and was educated at St Aidan’s School, Preesall, and at Blackpool Sixth Form College.

  • What Visitors Have To Say

    “This was a Fantastic visit – the best I’ve ever been on!”
    Member of Primary school staff – Winmarleigh

    “The astronomy course my dad and I attended was fantastic! We thoroughly enjoyed it, we learnt loads and it was fun! Can’t wait for another!”
    Mark and George Weaver

    “I enjoy bringing the children to the astronomy centre as it provides them with a unique experience that they can not get from work in the classroom. The children find the resources stimulating and it motivates them to learn more about astronomy as all questions are welcomed and answered. It is a visit they remember for many years!”
    Nichola Bonsor KS2 teacher – St John’s Blackpool

    “Never, in all my connections with the school since 1949, have I seen such an impressive show. Everyone was astounded by Nick’s enthusiasm and knowledge of his subject. This was a PRO display PAR EXCELLENCE.”
    Jim Cowpe

    “The evening lectures were informative and basically brilliant – if a person wasn’t hooked when they went in … they were when they went out!”
    Patricia Watson

    “Thanks Nick for an entertaining and informative 10 weeks.”
    Level One Course Student

    “Thank you for a wonderful morning at the centre. I have enclosed a selection of letters the children wrote in appreciation. See you next year!”
    KS2 teacher – St John’s Poulton – Level One Course Student

    “I was very impressed by the way you treated the children: with humour and respect.”
    KS2 Teacher – Copp, Gt Eccleston

    “We all had such a splendid time in the planetarium and lecture theatre. Thank you once again for the evening – it was a joy to see Nick’s enthusiasm and depth of knowledge.”
    Blackburn Rotary Club

  • Contact Details

  • Astronomy Centre Hire

    Lawrence House Astronomy and Space Science Centre is available for hire as a conference/event facility to corporate businesses. There are three key areas within the Centre:

    Lecture Theatre

    Our tiered lecture theatre seats 60 delegates and includes computer access, projector and screen.

    Classroom

    The classroom is fully equipped with internet broadband connection points for delegate use. The classroom may be set out to your requirements and can hold up to 30 delegates.

    Planetarium

    Our housed Starlab Planetarium is available for use if you choose to incorporate an astronomy presentation within your event proceedings. Up to 38 adults may enter the Planetarium at any one time.

    Food and Refreshments

    Tea/coffee and biscuits can be provided throughout the day or during specific breaks in your event schedule at a cost of £1.20 per head per serving.

    Choose from either a buffet meal or various hot meal options for lunch and/or dinner. Menus can be arranged to suit your needs.

    Sample Menus

    Dependent on the number of delegates attending, buffet meals can be served within the Centre. Hot meals and buffets for a large number of delegates will be served in the Dining Hall.

    Accommodation

    As the Centre is situated on a boarding school campus, accommodation is available in School holidays (excluding the half-term breaks).

    Accommodation is within one of the School’s boarding houses which are housed in beautiful historic buildings around a central square. Rooms comprise of a bed, wardrobe, desk and drawers. Bathroom facilities are available on each floor along with a small kitchenette with microwave, small two ring hob, fridge, kettle and toaster where delegates may make drinks and snacks. A number of en-suite rooms are also available.

    Centre Hire + Presentation

    In addition to hiring the Lawrence House facilities, you may wish to incorporate a special astronomy presentation by Dr. Nick Lister.

    Astronomy based presentations can be linked in with your own business messages for the day or you may just wish to enjoy a non-business related presentation in our Starlab planetarium to break the day up.

    Some possible themes linking astronomy and business messages may be:

    – Think Big
    – Space Travel: The Importance of Teamwork
    – The Earth As a Small Cog in a Big Wheel (an analogy for a team environment)

    Prices

    CENTRE HIRE ONLY
    Cost £250.00*
    CENTRE HIRE + STANDARD PRESENTATION
    Cost £500.00*
    CENTRE HIRE + TAILORED PRESENTATION
    Cost Cost: £750.00*
    * This price does not include costs for food and refreshments. Quotations provided on request.

    Further Information and to Book

    If you are interested in hiring the Centre, or would like a chat before making a booking please contact Dr Nick Lister on 01253 772974 or by email at [email protected]

  • Courses for the Public

    Two Day Residential and Non-Residential Courses

    21st Century Astronomy – Residential

    – 2 days (1 night)

    – £150.00

    Our two day residential 21st Century Astronomy course has been designed for people with a real interest in astronomy and course dates have been picked to tie in the moon’s 1st quarter phase to guarantee optimum observation opportunities.

    The course is an interactive introduction to astronomy and its links to earth science. A full itinerary is outlined below:

    DAY 1: ASTRONOMY

    2pm Arrival, Room Allocation and Refreshments
    2.45pm “Introducing the real science for the 21st Century. There is a ubiquitous enthusiasm for astronomy – often ‘simmering just under the surface’ – that needs to be ‘tapped’. This wonderful science, so full of excitement and its plethora of ‘wow’ factors, is brought to life in our dedicated teaching environment…”
    3.15pm Night Sky Tutorial. “The scale of the Universe, and our place within it…”
    4.00pm Refreshment Break
    4.20pm Planetarium Show. “A season-by-season tour of the night sky. A visual delight…”
    5.30pm Evening Meal
    7.00pm Presentation: “Life the Universe and Everything…!
    8.00pm Lunar observations using the Victorian telescope

    DAY 2: EARTH SCIENCE

    8am Breakfast
    9am Depart for Blencathra, near Keswick in the Lake District.
    10.30am Practical Exploration of Planetary Geology.  “How the discipline of Planetary Geology has now become a serious science. We can compare known Martian Geology, for example, with ‘Spaceship Earth’s’ own Tectonics.
    Our most recent knowledge – gleaned from robotic spacecraft currently exploring our Solar System environment, and even the Hubble Space Telescope – has provided us with revelations in the field of Planetary Science and Geology: even expanding our theories of life in the Solar System; how life has developed alongside the history of our world – and even theories on how life might have started upon its long evolutionary path.
    5.30pm Arrive back to campus for Evening meal

    Accommodation will be provided in the boarding houses at Rossall School which shares the same campus as Lawrence House Astronomy and Space Science Centre. All meals will be provided in the School’s Dining Hall except for lunch on Day 2 when packed lunches and snacks will be provided.

    The residential 21st Century Astronomy course is both an ideal taster for those considering studying astronomy or for those interested in learning about this interesting subject in a fun, informal way.


    21st Century Astronomy – Non Residential

    –  2 days

    – Price on application

    Our two day non-residential 21st Century Astronomy course has been designed for people with a real interest in astronomy and course dates have been picked to tie in the moon’s 1st quarter phase to guarantee optimum observation opportunities.

    The Moon! It’s origin and structure. Introducing the geology of the moon, and the similarity of the rocks that we find here on earth.

    A two day course that includes an evening meal and telescopic observation session, and a field-trip to the Lake District.

    The course is an interactive introduction to astronomy and its links to earth science. The non-residential 21st Century Astronomy course is both an ideal taster for those considering studying astronomy or for those interested in learning about this interesting subject in a fun, informal way.

    Further Information and to Book

    To book a place on either of these courses please email [email protected] or call 01253 772974

  • Courses for School Pupils

    In addition to the courses outlined below, Nick will also visit your school or institution. He presents a wide range of lectures and is happy to tailor the course to your specific needs.

    Pupil Day Course Overview

    School group bookings are taken for children between the ages of 4 and 18 and course content can be tailored to your own curriculum requirements. Half day and full day courses are available.

    Our standard course structure is outlined below; however, the focus of the course content can be tailored to suit your needs to fit in with project work you may be undertaking in class. We want you to enjoy the day and get as much out of it as possible.

    Course Tools/Literature

    Pupils do not need to bring any equipment with them. Teachers/assistants may wish to bring a folder to hold any worksheets completed by the pupils during the day.

    Course Fees

    ½ day course is £280 for a class of up to a maximum of 38 pupils. Pupils to bring own packed lunch.

    There is no charge for accompanying teaching staff/assistants. However, we would like to remind you to consider the adult:children ratio.

    Timings

    We can be flexible about start and finish times according to your needs.


    Earth In Space For Key Stage 2 Pupils

    Course Overview

    The one day Earth in Space course has been specifically designed in line with the Key Stage 2 Curriculum. Making full use of our dedicated state of the art facilities, pupils can learn about astronomy and our universe through fun, interactive activities, games and tutorials.

    Learning Outcomes

    Throughout the day, pupils will learn about:

    – The earth and our place within the universe

    – The relationship between the earth, moon and sun

    – The planets and constellations

    – Visit our ‘on-site’ Victorian Observatory

    – Experience a journey through the night sky season by season in our Starlab Planetarium


    Earth In Space For Key Stage 3 & 4 Pupils

    Course Overview

    The half-day Earth in Space course has been specifically designed in line with the Key Stage 4 Curriculum. Making full use of our dedicated facilities, pupils can learn about astronomy through a thorough ‘revision and reinforcement’ short course structure.

    Learning Outcomes

    – Throughout the day, pupils will learn about:

    – The earth and our place within the universe

    – The relationship between the earth, moon and sun

    – The planets and constellations

    – The universe’s scale and structure

    – Visit our ‘on-site’ Victorian Observatory

    Experience a journey through the night sky season by season in our Starlab Planetarium – always a favourite


     

    Further Information and to Book

    To book a place on either of these courses or to discuss your requirements please email [email protected] or call 01253 772974.

  • Courses for School Teachers

    In addition to the courses outlined below, Nick will also visit your school or institution. He presents a wide range of  lectures and is happy to tailor the course to your specific needs.

    Nick also offers ongoing support and backup to all teachers that attend after the course has finished. You can get in touch with Nick anytime post-course.

    Astronomy and Earth in Space Course Overview

    Teachers of science at primary or secondary level can benefit from one of our Astronomy INSET courses. Schools can choose to send one or two teachers on to our specified course dates or send a whole department on a date to be arranged with you.

    The one day INSET Astronomy and Earth in Space course has been specifically designed for teachers of the Key Stage 2 and the Key Stage 4 Science Curriculum. Making full use of our dedicated state of the art facilities, you will learn about astronomy and our universe through structured tutorials interactive presentations and displays.

    Course Fees

    The cost of the 1 day course is £180 per person.

    Timings

    Courses normally start at 10.00am until 3.00pm.


    Key Stage 2

    Key Stage 2 teachers are subject to an ever-increasing demand upon their own established breadth of knowledge. The aim of this INSET course is three-fold:

    – To enhance and develop personal knowledge of astronomy and related subjects.

    – To supply teachers with helpful and additional guidance in the form of worksheet /classroom approach etc.

    – To develop a confident enthusiasm for the subject of astronomy – an enthusiasm that can be passed on to pupils in the classroom environment.

    This is an INSET day with a difference. The course is run in a relaxed and informal manner, without detracting from a professional intuitive presentation. This is your day, and we want you to get as much out of the course as possible.

    Course Structure and Learning Outcomes

    The INSET day course consists of the following:

    – A structured tutorial as an introduction to astronomy: The Earth and its place within the Universe

    – A visit to the Observatory and Victorian ‘Cooke’ refracting telescope

    – Lunch

    – Time under the stars – a tour of the night sky, season by season. A relaxing presentation in our Starlab planetarium: an aid to gaining a confident familiarity with the constellations of the night sky – always a favourite!

    – A formal lecture presentation – “Through the solar system – and beyond”

    – Question and answer session – a perfect opportunity to further tailor the course to your own needs.

    Delegates will learn about:

    – The common and exciting themes of space science – aiding in the presentation and realisation of ‘space-borne’ projects which are becoming increasingly familiar in primary and preparatory schools

    – Additional extra-curricular topics – the sort of information that makes astronomy exciting for teachers and pupils alike and much more accessible in the classroom


    Key Stage 4

    The course provides a rounded overview of GCSE level astronomy but is not restricted to the Curriculum. By combining curriculum and non-curriculum based topic information, the course aims to excite and interest students by making space science more accessible than ever before.

    Course Structure and Learning Outcomes

    Before lunch you will visit our ‘on-site’ Victorian Observatory and ‘Cook’ refracting telescope.

    After lunch you will spend some time under the starts and experience a journey through the night sky season by season in our housed Starlab Planetarium.

    Followed by a formal lecture entitled ‘Through The Solar System – And Beyond’ which leads into an invaluable question and answer session at the end of the day – a perfect opportunity to further tailor the course to your own needs.

    Delegates will learn about and understand:

    – The earth and our place within the universe

    – The solar system

    – The dynamics of orbit

    – Stellar evolution


    Further Information and to Book

    To book a place on either of these courses or to discuss your requirements please email [email protected] or call 01253 772974.

    Dates

    To be announced.


Facilities Hire

Facilities Hire

A number of our beautiful buildings and facilities are available for hire during holidays and term time.

Find out more

Curriculum and Subjects

Curriculum and Subjects

A school’s curriculum goes to the very heart of education.

Find out more

Beyond the Classroom

Beyond the Classroom

One of the greatest advantages of a school like Rossall is the holistic learning experience afforded by a rich and varied extra-curricular programme.

Find out more