Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

School Travel Organiser picks out five places where students can develop their creativity and enjoyment of Art.

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

The Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (pictured: lead image) houses over 40 galleries displaying art, applied art, social history, archaeology and ethnography spanning seven centuries of European and world history and culture, including the Greek, Romans and Ancient Egypt.

Students visiting the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery can complement studies in these topics with art sessions led by a learning officer.

The hour-long Ancient Greek Art session is suited to Key Stage 2 pupils and invites them to investigate Ancient Greek pottery before experimenting with design, pattern and technique to create their own designs and drawings.

In the Ancient Egyptian Art session, students will learn about the buildings, carvings, sculptures and paintings of the Ancient Egyptian period and create their own work of art, whilst in the Ancient Roman Art session pupils will use clay, one of the most commonly used materials in the Roman Empire, to create a Roman clay replica artefact.

Further sessions suited to the Art curriculum include Top Landscapes, Top Portraits and Pre-Raphaelites.

Tate Modern

Tate Modern in London is a gallery for international modern and contemporary art.

The gallery offers Artist in Residence workshops, which, for this academic year, run every Wednesday from 5th October – 28th December, 4th January – 29th March, and 4th May – 29th June. 

This year’s workshops will be led by artists Louise Ashcroft, Jonny Briggs, Jemma Egan, Milda Lembertaite, Sophie Michael and Amelia Prazak, and will invite students to learn about art by being in conversation and sharing their ideas with each other, their teachers and the artist leading the session.  

Schools are also able to visit the exhibitions on show at Tate Modern, with schools group rates available if booked and paid at least two weeks in advance of a visit.

Of course there’s Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives too, which all offer educational visits.

National Gallery

The National Gallery in London houses the national collection of paintings of the western European tradition from the 13th to the 19th centuries.

The Talking Paintings session is suitable for Key Stages 1 and 2 and is designed to boost student’s confidence and enjoyment in looking at and responding to paintings. Topics can cover Still Life, Landscape, or Portraiture; Religion in Art; and Myths and Legends, amongst others.

For Secondary aged pupils, interactive gallery sessions can cover subjects including History through Art, which looks at how portraits can highlight wealth, power and status, and Materials, Techniques and Processes, which explores the different materials and processes that are used whilst creating paintings and how artists can create perspective, pattern, colour and light in their artwork.

The V&A Museum

The V&A in London is all things art and design and houses a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects from furniture, fashion, textiles and photography to sculpture, painting, ceramics and architecture, spanning over 5,000 years.

Artist and designer-led practical workshops, exhibition visits, gallery-based discovery sessions and hands-on studio activities are available for schools at the musuem.

For Key Stages 1 and 2 there are discovery sessions such as Investigating Pattern, Discovering Materials and Discovering Shape, whilst workshops covering themes such as ceramics, digital design, and fashion and textiles that are led by professional artists and designers encourage Secondary students to develop creative thinking and making skills.

Walker Art Gallery

Photo credit: Rod Edwards.

The Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool is home to renaissance masterpieces, Tudor portraits, a collection of Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite art and many pieces of artwork that have been on display in the city for nearly 200 years.

It offers a wide range of free activities and sessions for schools, which encourage students to explore the artwork in the gallery as well as have a go at producing their own art.

For example the Draw to Explore at the Walker Art Gallery session, which can be adapted for Key Stages 1 to 4, sees students take an interactive tour of the gallery to introduce them to a range of artwork before joining in a discussion that looks at the roles of artists and the purpose of art. Drawing tasks also form part of this hour-long session so pupils can develop their creativity and observational skills.