Sessions for primary schools

Bring National Gallery paintings to life with a session tailor-made to the needs of your pupils.

Interactive Gallery sessions for 4–11 year olds

These sessions are designed to build children's confidence and enjoyment in looking at and responding to paintings, and are tailor-made to the needs of your pupils.

Gallery educators encourage pupils to think, imagine and make connections within and between paintings while making links with their previous learning and experiences. Sessions last one hour and are free for UK schools. For overseas groups, there is a charge of £50 a group.

Group size can range from 10 to 100 students. Choose from a theme below or request your own:

Suggested themes

  • Key Stage 1
    Portraits, colour, light, pattern, materials, plants and animals, stories, the senses
  • Key Stage 2
    Greek myths, forces, weather, buildings, journeys, reading paintings

The Magic Carpet (3–5 year olds)

Come aboard the magic carpet and let your imagination fly. These interactive 30-minute sessions introduce Early Years Foundation Stage pupils to the world of a painting.

Group size: 10 to 40 pupils

To book, please phone 020 7747 2424

Special Eyes (SEN schools and units)

We welcome the opportunity to provide a tailor-made Talking Paintings session for SEN schools and groups. These are led by experienced Gallery educators and take place in front of the paintings, although some groups may benefit from an introductory or follow-up session in a workshop space.

The sessions are multi-sensory, incorporating drama and props to enhance the pupils’ experience.

Group size: maximum 10 pupils

Sense It! (PMLD students and their staff)

An inspirational outing for pupils with PMLD (profound and multiple learning disabilities) and their staff.
Experience the sounds and spaces, smells, colours and light at the National Gallery. During your visit, take time to explore a single painting through the senses, and investigate how it was made in a practical workshop.
'Sense It!' is the outcome of consultation and a pilot project with specialist PMLD practitioners. Following a visit to your school from the session leader, we will provide a tailor-made Gallery session to match your pupils’ needs. You will have the exclusive use of the Pigott Education Centre and suitably equipped private spaces.

Group size: maximum 8 pupils

Available sessions

Wednesday 15 October 2014 (Fully booked)
Wednesday 11 February 2015
Wednesday 13 May 2015

To book an SEN session, please phone 020 7747 5890

'Sense it!' is generously supported by Elizabeth and Daniel Peltz

Explore It! (MLD and SLD students and their staff)

Explore It! is a new specially tailored programme for pupils with Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD) and Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD), which has been developed in consultation with teachers and specialist practitioners.

Sessions consist of a pre-visit to the school followed by a tailor-made gallery-based session designed to match pupils’ needs. During their visit to the National Gallery, pupils will explore a single painting through their senses, and investigate how it was made in a practical workshop. The gallery sessions are multi-sensory, incorporating drama and custom-designed resources and props to enhance the pupils’ experience. 

Dates for Explore It! sessions will be published on the website in Autumn 2014. Explore It! is free to book and workshop materials for gallery sessions are provided.

'Explore it!' is generously supported by the Lord Leonard and Lady Estelle Wolfson Foundation

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