Sessions for secondary schools
Talking Paintings (Key Stage 3, 4 and 5)
Talking Paintings sessions last one hour and are free for UK schools and colleges. For overseas groups, there is a charge of £50 a group.
The National Gallery’s collection provides a visual narrative of the history of western painting, with challenging themes that resonate today. Each painting is a rich and accessible context that supports and extends students of all abilities.
Talking Paintings sessions are tailor-made to your requirements. Choose from a theme below or request your own:
Illusions, Worship, Empire, Stories, Structures, Colour, Costume, Barriers, Identity, War, Memory, Perspective, Sanctuary, Reading Paintings, Symbolism, Revolution
Group size: 10 to 100 pupils
Special eyes (SEN schools and units)
We welcome the opportunity to provide a tailor-made Talking Paintings session for SEN schools and units. 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. Sessions last up to one and a half hours.
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
Wednesday 12 February 2014 - Fully booked
Wednesday 2 April 2014 - Fully booked
Wednesday 14 May 2014 - Fully booked
To book, please phone 020 7747 5890
'Sense it!' is generously supported by Elizabeth and Daniel Peltz
Sketchbook skills (Key Stage 4 and 5)
Sharpen up your pupils’ observation and sketchbook skills by incorporating a variety of drawing activities into your Gallery workshop, led by an experienced Gallery artist-educator. Sessions take place on weekday afternoons and last one-and-a-half hours. Drawing implements are provided, but please ensure that pupils bring their own sketchbooks.
Chemistry in Art: Colour by Design (Key Stage 5)
These one-and-a-half hour sessions for AS and A-level students investigate pigments and colours, introduce issues relating to the scientific aspects of the National Gallery’s paintings, and make links to the Salters Advanced Chemistry syllabus. Students explore the chemical processes of producing paint and gain an understanding of the Gallery’s methods of conservation and restoration of the Old Masters.
To book any of these session email email@example.com. or phone 020 7747 2424/5890
Study day for students: History of Art and Art & Design
The National Gallery has teamed up with the Tower of London to offer students unique study days, designed specifically to support the following History of Art and Art & Design courses:
- History of Art: AS/A2 level and Pre-U
- Art & Design: AS/A2 level
You may prefer to design and lead your own Gallery session. To book a self-guided visit, call 020 7747 2449 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.