Schools & Colleges

We use art to help children and young people of Manchester develop skills to live a positive life by fostering creativity, developing well-being and championing voice.

Our schools and colleges programme is free for Manchester schools.  

Nurture creativity by giving young minds space to wonder, explore, and discover

Support wellbeing by putting creativity at the heart of learning and offering a calm and reflective space for all

Champion young people to own their citizenship and use art to influence change

Inspire visual literacy and critical thinking by communicating through art 

Before your visit

Your visit will be safe and appropriate for all, and we want you to feel comfortable and confident leaving school with your students. 

 Here’s some information to help you plan your visit to Manchester Art Gallery. If you’ve got a question you can’t find the answer to, contact us at

[email protected]

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


Download Risk Assessment document here

Self-guided visits

Your group, your visit, your way. 

 Did you know you could plan a free, self-guided visit to Manchester Art Gallery? 

 We’ll help you organise your outing and provide resources and advice to ensure everyone in your class or group gets the most from it. 

 Choose from two different art packs (the themes are ‘colour’ or ‘draw’) for up to 33 people, or explore online resources to enhance your experience. 

 Before your visit, check out what’s on display to tailor your trip to your group’s interests, needs, and objectives. 

 Book in advance and sign in at the information point when you arrive to make sure your visit runs smoothly. 

Download Colour or Draw resource sheet here

Travel by tram

 Have you heard of ourKids for a Quid scheme with Metrolink? Your pupils travel for £1 return and accompanying adults for £2 return – we’re across from the St Peter’s Square Metrolink stop, so it’s a handy, affordable, and planet-friendly way to visit us. 


Lunch facilities

You’re welcome to use our lunchroom for packed lunches – simply book it in advance via email or phone. 

Schools workshop


Make your visit work for your pupils and curriculum by booking one of our free workshops – they’re designed to deepen your pupils’ learning and help them develop cross-curricular skills. 

 Visit the Workshops tab to find out more. 

Manchester schools can book a free 1.5 hour workshop. If you would like to book, please get in touch

Meet the Artist 

Our associate artists will share their creative thinking and making with your class as they guide you around the gallery. These sessions explore specific themes and support collaboration, play, risk taking and resilience as your pupils create their own work.

Meet the artists

Nicola Dale

Bodies: Movement and Stillness 

We can use our bodies to understand what we see in the art gallery. Artworks are full of movement and stillness and so are we. Using our eyes, arms, legs and imaginations we will learn about artworks by finding out how to move or pose like them. 

KS 1 – 4 & SEND

Sam Owen Hull 

Finding Balance

Straight or wiggly, light or dark, man-made or natural – join artist Sam Owen Hull as she looks for opposites in the gallery.  Find a balance for your contrasts as we journey through artworks old and new, making connections as we go. You’ll create an experimental artwork that reflects Sam’s creative process,


Object Dialogue Box 

See art from a different perspective and encourage your pupils to think critically using our Object Dialogue Box. 

 Artist Sam Owen inspires pupils to make connections between objects and artworks, stimulating conversation and debate before sculpting their own small hybrid objects to take away. 


Kate Freeborough

Perfectly Imperfect

There is no such thing as perfect. By celebrating the imperfections around us and focusing on the process of making we can learn to allow our creativity to flow naturally. 


Venessa Scott 


Nature is wild and precise. It is bold, expressive, colourful, and inspirational. Join Venessa to mix media, build structures, apply texture, and explore expressive marks before bringing them together to produce a series of collaborative tactile artworks. 


Ancient Greece 

Bring this powerful civilisation to life through storytelling and art in our Parthenon-inspired gallery building. You have the choice of four workshops – choose one for a half-day visit or two for a full day. 

The Battle of Troy

Interactive storytelling, artefacts, and art come together to give your pupils a front row seat to the 10-year Battle of Troy. Together, we learn how this epic tale impacted Ancient Greek life. 


Pandoras Box

Your pupils will explore the themes of justice and hope as we explore the myth of Pandora’s box. Using  our historical collection and active storytelling techniques. we bring the myth to life.


Build a Parthenon

Your pupils get the chance to work with an artist to build their own Parthenon to take back to school. A fantastic exercise in collaboration and creativity. 


Freeze framed

Using our Greek inspired building and artefacts your pupils will be supported to create a personal sketchbook. Our artist, will share techniques for looking, recording and creating to encourage your pupils to unleash their creative flair and combine history with art to produce something special.


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 here
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.

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. 

Da Vinci: 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 audio
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:

Creative Futures 2023

Future Creatives 2022

Future Creatives 2021

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 with artist Sam Owen Hull 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 six-week programme of workshops for small groups of pupils, where creatives share their practice and process to help build resilience and wellbeing.  

 The Art of Resilience aims to build resilience through creative practice and values the creative process over creative output. We believe creativity is inherent and universal and Art is a protective factor in supporting good mental health. Resilience is a skill to be developed and creativity can train the brain for real-life problem solving. 

Find out more


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 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

If you would like to make a booking, please read the information below and complete the form

For Manchester Art Gallery, please use the Groups’ entrance on Princess Street where your gallery teacher will meet you. Please read Manchester Art Galleries risk assessment for guidance which can be viewed and downloaded from our website.
If a cancellation is made with less than 10 working days’ notice, there will be a £100 per workshop fee incurred.
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