Secondary History

The National Portrait Gallery collects portraits of figures of national significance, from Tudor times to the present day, providing an ideal context for studying British history and for developing the skill of interpreting portraits as historical evidence.

Many of our cross-curricular sessions involve substantial emphasis on history so please also refer to Cross Curricular Sessions when selecting your topic. We also provide CPD sessions to support teachers and introduce our Collections and temporary exhibitions as resources for the classroom.

This year we have exhibition introductory sessions on the First World War and on Elizabethan times.

As well as our extensive on-site Gallery and temporary exhibition programmes, we also offer combined A Level and AS Level Study Days with the Tower of London.

Gallery Sessions
An interactive Gallery session with discussion in front of the portraits, followed by either drawing or an historical activity, available for smaller groups.

  • 90 minutes (discussion and activity)
  • 1 hour (discussion only)
  • Maximum 30 students

Slide Talks
A lively slide presentation in the Ondaatje Wing Theatre is available for larger groups. Groups can also book a self-directed visit to the relevant galleries following their slide talk.

  • 1 hour
  • Maximum 138 students

Key Stage 3

NPG 142 - © National Portrait Gallery, LondonDiscussion of portraits followed by practical activity looking at historical significance as a key concept.

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NPG 5175 - © National Portrait Gallery, LondonDiscussion of portraits looking at historical significance as a key concept.  Includes sessions for the Schools History Project.

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AS and A Level

NPG 1246 - © National Portrait Gallery, LondonGallery discussions focused on any appropriate area of the Gallery (including the Contemporary Galleries for Politics students).

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Free CPD for Secondary History Teachers

Free CPD for Secondary HistoryTeachersEmpowering teachers to deliver and interpret portraiture.

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Exhibition and Introductory Talks

NPG 5175 - © National Portrait Gallery, LondonHelp your students get more from their self-directed visits to exciting temporary exhibitions. Discusses major historical themes and key works.

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Study Days

Our new Study Days provide Secondary History and Art students with in-depth ways to critically explore themes and topics over a full day.

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