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
Sir Joshua Reynolds
by Sir Joshua Reynolds
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, setting and props. Pupils apply their knowledge of how a composition can convey a message by creating their own drawing.
Years 3 to 4: Regency portraits
Years 5 to 6: Reynolds, Gainsborough and their contemporaries
Looking at historic and contemporary self-portraits, pupils discover how artists depict themselves through different techniques, styles and media. Pupils learn key portraiture skills in a series of short drawing tasks, and learn how to apply an artist’s critical and visual thinking to key features of a portrait. Pupils will learn with a range of portraiture sketching techniques which can then be further developed back in the classroom into their own self-portrait.
In the modern and contemporary Galleries, pupils discover the range of modern portraiture styles and techniques used by artists. The session will build pupils’ confidence in looking at and responding to modern portraits through discussion and drawing.
Queen Mary I
by Master John
NEW – Questioning the Tudors
Starting with portraits of key Tudor personalities, pupils consider the importance of portraits as evidence and how they inform our current thinking about the Tudor period. Pupils will learn how to think like a Historian by asking key questions and giving supporting evidence for their ideas. Pupils will then apply and extend their skills to a portrait in another historic period.
**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 was the Elizabethan idea of beauty? What evidence tells us this? Pupils learn about beauty, costumes, colour and Tudor methods of making a portrait through a hands-on session in the Gallery and Education Studio spaces.
Sessions are 2 hours long, running from 12.30 – 14.30 on the following Mondays:
17 November 2014 Fully Booked
1 December 2014 Fully Booked
26 January 2015 Fully Booked
9 February 2015 Fully Booked
The Mission of Mercy: Florence Nightingale receiving the Wounded at Scutari
by Jerry Barrett
English / Literacy
Investigate the lives and experiences of significant individuals from Victorian Britain. Pupils investigate and compare portraits of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, as well as other personalities, for example Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole, and writers, considering how their personality and life experiences were portrayed.
by Sir Philip Burne-Jones, 2nd Bt
English / Literacy
Lives of Authors from the Past
Pupils learn about the lives of famous writers through their portraits and consider how the time they lived in influenced their stories. Pupils examine the portraits and consider what the portraits tell us about the authors’ lives and their work.
Focus authors can be Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson, Beatrix Potter.
This session supports classroom work and pre- or post-visit reading of books by focus authors.
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.
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)
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 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Image banner: Photograph Marysa Dowling ©National Portrait Gallery, London
A project encouraging young artists with opportunities to gain insights from past BP Portrait Award artists.