Sessions for Early Year Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Bring National Gallery paintings to life with a session delivered by a Gallery educator (free for UK schools)

Bookings for the Spring Term are now open. Storytelling is available on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Storytelling (Early Years Foundation Stage)

These interactive storytelling sessions introduce Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) pupils to the world of a painting through visual analysis, discussion and object handling.

Please note we may need to change the focus painting without prior notice. This may happen on the rare occasion when a Gallery room has to be closed.  

Please select from the following paintings:

Paolo Uccello, Saint George and the Dragon, about 1470

This painting shows two episodes from the story of Saint George: his heroic defeat of a scary dragon that terrorised a city and the princess he rescued bringing the dragon to heel.

Themes explored include myth and legend and past and present.

Aelbert Cuyp, River Landscape with Horseman and Peasants, about 1658-60

This painting is one of the greatest 17th-century Dutch landscapes. It is the largest surviving landscape by Cuyp, and arguably the most beautiful. The entire scene is bathed in gentle sunlight, harmonising the natural, animal and human elements. Children can enjoy discovering cows, sheep, ducks, horses and a hiding dog.

Themes explored include: Places, objects, materials, living things, and contrasts (e.g. features of pupils’ own immediate environment and how different environments might vary).

Henri Rousseau, Surprised!, 1891

This is the first of the jungle scenes on which Rousseau's fame chiefly depends. It is full of drama, depicting a tiger about to leap into the unknown. The painting is alive with tension; lightning signifies the beginning of a huge thunderstorm and exotic plants sway with the wind. Children can enjoy building stories as they imagine what will happen after the tiger leaps.

Themes explored include: Plants and animals, colour and pattern, and weather.  

Take One Picture: Pintoricchio, Penelope with the Suitors, about 1509

This session explores the 'Take One Picture' focus painting for 2016/17. It can be tailored to either introduce the painting to pupils or consolidate knowledge for those who have already explored it.

Find our more information about our Take One Picture CPD days.

To book 

Please phone 020 7747 2424 (select option 1) or email

Group sizes: Minimum of 10 and Maximum of 25 students per group

Pupils with additional and special needs: Please specify upon booking if your pupils have additional needs.

Cancellation policy: 30 days prior to session.