School Visits

What you need to know

For any schools willing and able to come and watch their chosen films here at DCA, we’d love to welcome you!

Because we are still somewhat unsure about the level of restrictions that will be in place in late October, we are changing the booking process for this year – and giving you some added options to consider!

There is no schedule of film screenings already in place this year – instead we are asking those schools who would like to join us here in the DCA building to bid for when you would like to come in and see your chosen film.

Screenings will always be in the mornings as before, but this year you can nominate those weekdays which work best for you, and also request assistance with bus transport if you need this.

Because we expect fewer schools to be able to join us this year, we are also able to increase our offer in terms of enhancing your visit to DCA. In previous years we have always been restricted by time and space with regard to the number of workshops and gallery visits we have been able to accommodate – so we intend to take full advantage and increase the number of enhancement opportunities in 2021, each specifically tailored to your group’s areas of interest.

£6 for pupils using festival transport
£4 for pupils travelling independently
Free for supporting adults

What you need to do

Once you have made your plans, please contact us via the following link: and provide us with the following information:

  • The film you would like to see
  • Your preferred days of the week (if any – the more flexible you can be, the better!)
  • The number of pupils and the number of teachers/adults attending
  • Your expected impacts or outcomes for the visit
  • The year group/ages of your pupils attending
  • Your school name, address and contact telephone number
  • Your email address (as organiser of the trip) AND also the generic school office email address. These are for confirmation details, and bus booking reference number (if required)
  • Any special requirements (e.g. access issues, subtitle reading)
  • Whether you will need a bus
  • If you would like to discuss any additional activity tailored to your group (workshops, gallery visits, film introductions, lunch space etc)

Please submit your requests by Wed 1 September when the film schedule will be drawn up. Requests after that time will be more than welcome but need to fit in with what is already in place. Early birds get those worms!

If you have any questions about the films or the booking arrangements, please contact Festival Producer Mike Tait via

Age Recommendations 
We screen brand new international films, which means that most of them haven’t yet been given official BBFC classification. We take great care in considering what age groups might best enjoy each film and whether the content is suitable. Our free to download resource packs each contain information about any issues or content for you to consider before booking so that you can make an informed decision for your particular class. Please make sure you read this information before booking. If you have any remaining doubts or concerns, then please contact for an individual discussion of the film’s content.

We have noted where a film is in a foreign language and is subtitled in English. We encourage those able to read to enjoy the subtitles and find this to be possible for the majority of children aged 8+. For some films aimed at very young children, we will read the subtitles aloud in the cinema as standard – this will be noted on the relevant film page. We can also offer subtitle reading at DCA for other films via infrared headphones. This must be requested when booking and we will aim to accommodate wherever possible. For individual students who are likely to have difficulties, we would encourage schools to take advantage of free tickets for adult support, and plan seating arrangements accordingly.

Learning Resources
Curriculum for Excellence-relevant learning resources are available to support many of the films in the programme. These are free and available to download from They have been written by members of our teachers’ advisory group and we see them as an essential part of our festival offer. Please do take full advantage of them – they not only contain useful classroom activities related to the films but also guidance in terms of the film’s content and suitability for different age groups.

In-cinema behaviour
Feedback from recent festivals – from both teachers and pupils – contained more than a few references to behaviour in the auditorium during film screenings. Some of these were food related, about the noise of rustling and eating popcorn, sweets, crisps and so on. Whilst we understand many groups (particularly those who have travelled some distance) will be bringing their own drinks and snacks for during the film, we hope that this will not become a nuisance to other audience members. Comments were also made about pupils chatting and calling out during the films, disrupting and spoiling the experience for other people. We would hope that all festival attendees would understand the cinema experience is a shared one, and that they should behave with consideration for others at all times. It’s important that we all work together to ensure that all audience members get the best experience possible.