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Primary Schools

We welcome Primary School groups to the Gallery to creatively and critically engage with our Collection and temporary exhibitions through artist-led practical workshops, discursive enquiry sessions, storytelling and tours, each linking to subjects on the national curriculum.

Click on the links below to jump to the relevant section.

Collection Connections
    Studio Workshops (Reception-KS2)
    Gallery Enquiry (KS2)
    Guided Gallery Tours (Reception-KS2)
    Gallery Storytelling (Early Years - KS2)
Exhibition Explorers
    Edward Bawden: Studio Workshop (Reception - KS2)
    Edward Bawden: Enquiry (KS2)
Access and How to book

Collection Connections

The Gallery owns one of the finest collections of Old Master paintings in the world. School visits to our Collection give pupils the chance to see works ranging from Tudor times to the 19th century, by artists including Rembrandt, Gainsborough and Poussin.

Through our Collection students can explore the themes of Love, Identity, Nature and Conflict, and each of the following workshops will be based around your choice of one of these four themes.

Studio Workshops: Reception - KS2

10-11.45am or 12.45-2.30pm

These artist-led workshops open with looking at a small, themed selection of paintings in the Gallery to initiate enquiry-based dialogue and conversation. Using the paintings, the artist will set the theme for the workshop in context, encouraging mindful looking and questioning from the group. Back in the studio students will be supported to experiment with a variety of materials, processes and skills while continuing to consider the workshop theme.
Choose theme: Love / Identity / Nature / Conflict
Curriculum links: Art and Design / Literacy / English
Available: Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 10 September 2018 (available to book now)
£3.50 per student

Gallery Enquiry: KS2

10.30am-12pm or 1-2.30pm

Gallery-based discussion sessions inspired by the Collection. Supported by expert artist educators, the session will develop students’ looking and thinking skills using open-ended questioning and dialogue. Students will come away with new vocabulary and increased confidence in articulating their ideas and opinions.
Choose theme: Love / Identity / Nature / Conflict
Curriculum links: Art and Design / Literacy / English
Available: Tuesdays-Fridays,  from 10 September 2018 (available to book now)
£3 per student

Guided Gallery Tours: Reception - KS2

10.30am-12pm or 1-2.30pm

Themed tours of our Collection with a member of our Schools Programme.
Choose focus: Portraits / Landscapes / Still-life / Narrative / General highlights tour covering a selection of our paintings
Curriculum links: Art and Design / Literacy / English
Available: Tuesdays-Fridays,  from 10 September 2018 (available to book now)
Free, donations welcome

Gallery Storytelling: Early Years - KS2

10.30-11.30am or 1-2pm

Ignite young imaginations with our gallery-based interactive storytelling sessions inspired by our Collection, with sensory resources.
Choose theme: Love / Identity / Nature / Conflict
Curriculum links: Art and Design / Literacy
Available: Tuesdays-Fridays
£2.50 per student

Exhibition Explorers

Edward Bawden Sessions

In these sessions students will learn about the work of Edward Bawden (1903-89), a master printmaker, illustrator, watercolourist and designer, who explored themes such as fantasy, leisure and storytelling with bold compositions and a sense of humour. 

Studio Workshop: Reception – KS2

10.30am-12pm or 1-2.30pm

Combining the themes of illustration and storytelling, children will draw from one of Bawden’s inspirations - medieval manuscripts and bestiaries - to create a collaborative class work. Pupils will create their own hybrid animal, considering the personality and moral characteristics of their fantastical creature and how this can be reflected in their illustration. The group’s illustrations will be bound together to make a class book, which can be used as inspiration for stories written back at school. Art skills involved will include printing or ink drawing.
Curriculum links: Art and Design / English
Available: Wednesdays and Thursdays, until 9 September 2018

Exhibition Enquiry: KS2

10.30am-12pm or 1-2.30pm

This discursive session will thematically examine Bawden’s art, life and influences. Focus themes include leisure, time and technology; nostalgia, fantasy and humour; nature, literature and national identity. The session will illustrate how an artist shows variety and experimentation in their work, inviting the children to consider different ways of reading an artwork. The session will illustrate Bawden’s expressive use of colour and the architectural aspects of his London scenes and map works. The session includes a variety of art activities, such as sketching and drawing.
Curriculum links: Art and Design / English
Available: Tuesdays to Fridays, until 9 September 2018

Image: Edward Bawden, [Aesop’s Fables] Gnat and Lion (detail), 1970, Colour linocut on paper, Trustees of the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery (The Higgins Bedford), © Estate of Edward Bawden 


All of the above sessions can be adapted for SEND groups, please contact us for more information about how we can meet your group’s needs.

How to book

Our days and timings can be flexible to suit you, please enquire upon booking. 

Please complete the enquiry form below and we will follow up with booking information. If you have any questions you can get in touch with us at or 0208 299 8731.

If your school is not able to meet the cost of a visit we can offer a bursary to assist with all or some of the costs. Please contact us on the email or telephone number above to find out more.

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