Schools & Colleges

We use art and creativity to help equip children and young people with the tools to live a positive life.

Foster creativity by providing opportunities for imaginations to wonder, explore and discover.

Support wellbeing by taking advantage of the gallery as a calm and reflective space and giving opportunities to put the creative processes at the centre of pupils learning.

Champion voice by empowering young people to take citizenship of Manchester and use the gallery and art to make change. 

Promote communication through art with the development of visual literacy and critical thinking. 

Before your visit

Here is some general information that should help with planning, but you can contact us with any questions at [email protected]

Our opening times are currently 10am–5pm, Tuesday-Sunday.

We also have a non-covid risk assessment document for schools, which you can download below.

Download Risk Assessment document here

Self-guided visits

You can lead your class or group around the gallery. Please book in advance and sign in at the information point on arrival. 

You can get in touch with us to help with planning your visit and you may find it helpful to visit on your own before you bring your group. To find out what will be on display during your visit, check out our exhibition pages.

We have art packs available that contain an array of materials to enhance your journey around the gallery. These are free to use, and you can choose between two themes: Colour or Draw. You can also use our online resources to help plan your visit, these can be found under Resources.

Travel by tram

We’re right next to St Peter’s Square exchange, so when you are arranging your visit do ask about our special partnership with Metrolink. Children can travel to the gallery for £1 return and accompanying adults for £2 return. 

Lunch facilities

We have a small lunchroom that can be used for eating packed lunches – you just need to book it in advance.

Schools workshop


We have a series of workshops that Manchester schools can book for free during the autumn and spring terms 2022/23

Click the Workshops tab above for more information.

Workshops are 1.5 hours long and are available for free for Manchester schools during Autumn and Spring terms 2022/23. There is a charge of £100 per class per workshop for all other schools.

If you would like to book, please get in touch


Artist Tours 

These 1.5 hour tours are led by our team of associate artists, who share insights into their creative process as they lead your pupils around the gallery. 

All sessions encourage positive behaviors around learning – such as collaboration, play, risk taking, and resilience – which support creativity and wellbeing.

Meet the artists who lead the tours:

Felicity Goodman 

Come and fall down a rabbit hole with me into your imaginations. Using artwork to explore place, we’ll map a new world where stories can be spun and cross terrains as we conjure place names. Let me show you how to whittle different landscapes into words and bring them together to create an island of your own.

Sam Owen Hull 

Sam’s work uses colour, texture and line, looking for a space in between loose painterly marks and the precision of hand embroidery. Thinking about opposites, you’ll follow a thread that explores the contrasts in my work and we’ll playfully and thoughtfully experiment and discuss.

Venessa Scott 

Nature is wild and also precise. It is bold, expressive and colourful. Nature is a wonderful source of inspiration. Join me as I mix media, build structures, apply texture, and explore expressive marks before bringing them all together to produce a series of collaborative tactile artworks.

Ancient Greece – KS2

Come to our Parthenon-inspired building to unlock stories from Ancient Greece and discover its legacy. We have four workshops on offer – select one for a half-day visit or two for a full day.

Build a Parthenon

Working with an artist in response to our Parthenon-inspired building, pupils will collaborate to create key patterns, columns and pelmets to produce a class Parthenon to take back to school.

Freeze framed

Pupils will explore and take inspiration from the gallery’s Greek artefacts, to create a unique and inventive sketchbook to take away with them.

The Battle of Troy

Our Greek-inspired building, artefacts and artworks portraying gods and goddesses are used to transport you to the battle of Troy. Interactive storytelling unravels the key events of this epic tale, and uncovers the enduring legacy of Ancient Greece.

Birth of Pandora

Using storytelling techniques, we’ll lead you through our historical collection to explore justice and hope. As we bring this well-loved myth to life, you’ll find out if your pupils are curious enough to open the box.

KS3 & 4

Art as Activism  

Working with Venessa Scott students understand how to use art to raise awareness and speak out about injustice. They will explore her process in creating an animation about the American lecturer, activist and abolitionist campaigner Sarah Parker Remond and learn how to communicate messages with visual impact using typography and collage. 


Object Dialogue Box 

Find new ways to see our collection and think critically about art with our Object Dialogue Box. In this workshop artist Sam Owen Hull will encourage creative connections between unusual objects and selected artworks from our collection. These conversations will lead us into drawing and making small hybrid sculptural objects in individual boxes to be taken away. 


Character Narrative 

Join Felicity Goodman as she gives insight into how she writes narrative verse. Drawing inspiration from the galleries displays and student’s imaginations, they will create the different layers that go into character development and write narrative spoken word to tell a character’s story. 

Sam Owen Hull artwork

Booking Information

1.5 hours each

£100 per workshop per class.

If you would like to book, please get in touch with Lorraine Callaghan on 07929823395

[email protected]

Sarah Parker Remond

Sarah Parker Remond

Our associate artists Felicity Goodman and Venessa Scott have combined their skills to create a short animation about the inspiring Sarah Parker Remond. Remond was an American lecturer, activist and abolitionist campaigner, who came to speak to the cotton manufactures and workers of Manchester to highlight the use of slaves in the cotton plantations of America. She delivered one of her most inspiring speeches in the gallery’s athenaeum building in 1859. Her words have subsequently inspired generations of activists. 

CAUTION: The video features the use of a racist term in the context that it was used in the 1850s, which some viewers may find distressing.   

Watch now
Under Windsor Bridge

Image to Text

This interactive whiteboard resource uses Adolphe Valette’s Under Windsor Bridge to develop visual literacy by modeling a series of activities that help students make personal and creative connections with an artwork and produce written responses. It supports GCSE English and explores setting, character and narrative.

Find out more about our presentation tool and teachers’ notes.

Image to Text

Leonardo Da Vinci: Observing the body 

This resource explores aspects of the science and art curriculum at Lower KS2. It introduces activities and resources that demonstrate how drawing can inspire pupils to investigate parts of the human body and the scientific processes that occur within. 

Leonardo: Observing the Body

Creative Challenge

Our associate artists Sam Owen Hull and Venessa Scott have some challenges to inspire your pupils to get creative at home or school. Taking ideas and activities from their tours at the gallery, the artists recommend using household items to help explore materials, be playful and create art.

Inside / Outside 

Download Sam Owen Hulls creative challenge

Creative collage 

Watch Venessa Scotts creative challenge

Elizabeth Redgrave, Surrey Wildflowers

Horsefall Collection

For to love beauty is to see it almost everywhere…’ T.C. Horsfall, The Study of Beauty, 1883.

Horsfall, philanthropist and founder of Manchester Art Museum, believed that art in the classroom made a difference, so he set up one of the first picture-loan schemes for schools. In 1894, the museum circulated two hundred collections to local schools.

This microsite introduces artworks from the collection and demonstrates how they can be used to develop connections and explore themes with your KS2 pupils. 

The Horsefall Collection
Anthony Van Dyck, Portrait

Art of looking 

A 10 minute audio guide using mindfulness techniques to enable you to slow down, look at and engage with Van Dycks last self-portrait.

Produced by Manchester Art Gallery with Cathy Fortune, Charlestown Community Primary School, Creative Living Centre, and Start in Manchester.

The Art of Looking
Unlock the Love banner

Future Creatives

A Manchester Art Gallery and Manchester College collaboration – supporting young artists and designers, through a live brief, to explore and present fresh perspectives in their city. Inspiration events provide the students access to curators, artists, designers and Manchester’s vibrant creative landscape.

This programme has developed with a belief in the power of creativity and self-expression and understanding of the importance of giving young people the opportunity to take control, to form connections and make meaning. It forms an important part of student’s coursework submissions and applications for work or university.

Read more about this years project here

Previous projects:

Future Creatives 2020

Future Creatives 2019

Future Creatives 2018

Future Creatives 2017

Future Creatives 2016

Art of Resilience

Art of Resilience

Manchester Art Gallery and Manchester Population Health have teamed up to share expertise and develop a new model of activity that uses creativity and compassion to support the long-term wellbeing of Manchester’s children. Art of Resilience is a programme of workshops delivered over 6-weeks for small groups of pupils where creatives share their practice and process to help build resilience and wellbeing.

Principles of the Programme

Through working with artists and their creative process we want children to:

  • understand what resilience is, and how creativity can help them develop it
  • expand their visual literacy and find their own means of expression
  • gain a sense of control and feel empowered to follow their own ideas without the pressure of time and expectation and find a state of flow
  • learn the value of process and not having fixed outcomes by having opportunities to make connections and explore ideas
  • work through creative processes and in so doing understand that failure is a part of the process of learning and develop perseverance that comes from trying things 
  • build trust and confidence within a small group, with time for supportive conversation and reflection
  • feel like the gallery is a place for them and that they can be artists
Interested in joining this programme?


The Gallery is an active member of MADE, which is a collaboration between culture and education organisations from across Manchester, including art galleries, museums, theaters, schools, colleges and many more. We run participation projects and create learning resources to join the dots between education and culture.

We want Manchester to become a beacon for creative education, where the arts add magic to life experiences and learning, for everyone. We want the city’s young people to be engaged, confident and excited about creativity.

Visit https://www.mademcr.org/ to find out more about the work and get inspiration for learning opportunities.

For more information, get in touch

Cultural Digital Designer in Residence Project

CDDIR is led by the Comino Foundation, bringing industry relevant support to schools and teachers who are interested in fusing innovative digital design practice to the needs of the creative curriculum in schools.

The Gallery has been involved with this programme for the last three years. We work alongside experts in digital design from Manchester Metropolitan University’s Masters Design Programme to help school groups access the Gallery’s collections and present their insights in inventive ways. 

Previous projects:

Abraham Moss Community School 2020

St Ambrose Barlow RC High School 2019

Falinge Park High School 2018