Years 3 to 6
Our engaging Gallery based sessions are designed to raise pupils’ curiosity and build their confidence in looking at and responding to portraiture. Discussion-based activities are designed to develop pupils’ critical thinking and enquiry skills. Drawing activities support learning in the sessions.
90 minutes – unless otherwise stated
One class, maximum 30 pupils
All materials are provided
FREE (unless otherwise stated) Cancellation and non-attendance charges apply. See terms and conditions
(John) Peter Warren Cochrane
by (Gordon) Howard Eliot Hodgkin
NEW - Self- Portraits
How have artists chosen to represent themselves from the past to the present day? What are the challenges of self-representation? Pupils learn to think like an artist considering different techniques, styles and media. A series of short drawing tasks help pupils apply an artist’s creative and critical thinking collecting ideas which can be further developed back in the classroom.
NEW – Modern and Contemporary - Colour, Expression, Form
How is colour expression and form used in modern and contemporary portraiture? Looking at developments in use of media pupils learn to ‘think like an artist’ considering their critical and creative choices in conveying the life of the sitter. Raise your pupils’ curiosity confidence in looking at and responding to portraits through questioning, discussion and a series of short drawing tasks that can be further developed back in the classroom.
Getting the Message
Pupils learn how to ‘read’ a portrait. Pupils analyse the artist’s creative choices in portraying the personality and life of the sitter in a historic portrait through pose, gesture, setting and props. Pupils apply their knowledge of how composition and symbols can convey a message in a series of drawing exercises.
Years 3 to 4: Regency portraits
Years 5 to 6: Reynolds and his contemporaries
King Henry VIII
by Unknown Anglo-Netherlandish artist
Questioning the Tudors
What purpose did portraits serve in Tudor times? How were they made and who for? What information do they tell us about the past? Starting with portraits of key Tudor personalities, pupils consider the importance of portraits as evidence. Pupils develop their historical enquiry, questioning and reasoning skills learning how to ‘think like a Historian’ building confidence in asking key questions and giving supporting evidence for their ideas.
**This session is only suitable for classes who already have some initial knowledge of the Tudor period. It does not include a drawing activity**
NEW - The Real Tudors – Workshop
How were Tudor portraits made? What evidence tells us this? How does the Gallery conserve them? Pupils learn about Tudor methods of making a portrait and how the Gallery cares for the oldest part of the collection in this hands-on session in the Gallery and Education Studio spaces.Sessions are 2.5 hours, available 10.00 – 12.30 on the following Wednesdays:
Wed 14 October 2015
Wed 4 November 2015
Wed 10 February 2016
Wed 16 March 2016
Wed 20 April 2016
Wed 4 May 2016
by Georgina Agnes Brackenbury
NEW - Pioneering Women (Y5 + Y6)
Why are there so few women in the National Portrait Gallery Collection? What challenges have women faced and overcome? What have the women on display achieved that is inspirational? Looking at a series of portraits of pioneering women pupils consider their achievements and discuss the importance that portraiture has to play in maintaining the legacy of their achievements both in the past and the present day.
Session available on Thursdays only.
NEW - Power and portraits
What can portraits tell us about the changing role of power in Britain? How has portraiture formed our image of power? Does portraiture play the same role today as it did in the past? Looking at key portraits of powerful people pupils explore the changing nature of power over time and the role portraiture plays in the construction of power .
Session available on Tuesdays only.
Private View of the Old Masters Exhibition, Royal Academy, 1888
by Henry Jamyn Brooks
NEW - How did Victorians see themselves?
Come and explore the Victorian galleries and consider how the Victorians viewed their world. What are the similarities and differences between modern day visitors? Whose achievements did Victorians celebrate and why? What impact did these people have on our world today? Pupils investigate the lives and experiences of significant individuals from Victorian Britain considering how their personality and life experiences are portrayed.
Salman Rushdie ('The Moor')
by Bhupen Khakhar
NEW - How do we see ourselves?
How do we see ourselves? How do we see others? How do we see the world around us? Pupils consider aspects of their own identity looking at ways in which image and identity form each other. Pupils collect ideas exploring how their community can be portrayed with in portraiture with signs, symbols, colour and form. Session available on the following Thursdays only.
Thurs 1 October 10.30 – 12.00
Thurs 15 October 10.30 – 12.00
Thurs 12 November 10.30 – 12.00
Thurs 26 November 10.30 – 12.00
Thurs 4 February 2016 10.30 – 12.00 / 13.00 – 14.30
Thurs 10 March 2016 10.30 – 12.00 / 13.00 – 14.30
Thurs 9 June 2016 13.00 – 14.30
Thurs 16 June 2016 13.00 – 14.30
Thurs 23 June 2016 13.00 – 14.30
Thurs 30 June 2016 13.00 – 14.30
NEW - BIG DRAW Exploring Drawing
Celebrate the BIG DRAW bring your pupils on Artist led drawing sessions that take place in the Gallery spaces. Pupils explore a range of drawing and mark making techniques. Learning traditional and experimental approaches to expression, emotion, gaze, pose, gesture. This drawing workshop builds pupils’ confidence in observational drawing and responding creatively to portraits. 1.5 hours. Session available on the following Tuesdays only.
Tue 13 October 10.30 – 12.00
Tue 20 October 10.30 – 12.00
NEW – Making Faces
How can you make a 2D image into a 3D portrait? Pupils explore a range of experimental making techniques in this artist-led 3D making sessions. Learning experimental and abstract approaches to creating expression, emotion, gaze, pose, gesture in 3D. Session takes place in front of portraits in the Gallery spaces. 1.5 hours Session available on the following Fridays only.
Fri 6 Nov 10.30 – 12.00
Fri 27 Nov 10.30 – 12.00
Fri 22 Jan 10.30 – 12.00
Fri 5 Feb 10.30 – 12.00
Creative Storymaking: Portraits come alive
Through the use of tableaux, drama and dialogue, pupils use portraits of interesting people with adventurous and surprising lives as a springboard for their own imaginative open-ended approaches to oral storymaking.
by Frank Auerbach
NEW- BIG DRAW ‘Can I be a portrait artist?’
Wednesday 7 October
10.30 – 12.30
Capacity 120 pupils
£40 per class (max 30 pupils)
Kick start The Big Draw in your school by taking part in our ‘Can I be a portrait artist?’ morning. Working with a portrait artist and a children’s illustrator pupils experiment with key portraiture skills in the lecture theatre. Pupils have the chance to meet a children’s illustrator and discover how they found their own unique drawing style and discover tips for how they might start to develop their own. Lecture theatre based drawing session (approx 60 mins) leads on to structured self-guided session of the Gallery spaces.
Sing a Portrait
National Portrait Gallery and English Touring Opera team up to use portraits as a springboard to inspire a new musical composition. Exploring one portrait in detail , pupils follow their imagination and interest to create and perform a unique composition in front of the portrait that inspired their music.
10.30 to 14.30 with a break for lunch (not provided)
Sessions available on the following dates only
Mon 21 September 2015
Tues 22 September 2015
Weds 23 September2015
Tues 24 May 2016
Wed 25 May 2016
Thurs 26 May 2016
One class, maximum 30 pupils
Fee payable to English Touring Opera
For more details on Sing a Portrait, including costs, and all bookings please telephone English Touring Opera on 020 7833 2555 / email@example.com
Image banner: Photograph Marysa Dowling ©National Portrait Gallery, London
A unique opportunity for students to meet artists associated with the National Portrait Gallery.
Sign up to our Schools’ newsletter to keep up to date with teacher events & opportunities for your class.
A project encouraging young artists with opportunities to gain insights from past BP Portrait Award artists.