York Art Gallery Workshops for School Children

York Art Gallery Workshops

York Art Gallery offers a fantastic collection of British and European art as well as the Centre of Ceramic Art. Visitors can experience everything from Renaissance masterpieces to specially commissioned contemporary works, with a dedicated Studio space for learning activities.


Primary School Workshop Programme

Workshops have been created in consultation with teachers and are based on the National Curriculum.

Many of our workshops include a practical art, craft or role play activity which can contribute towards the requirements of:

Part A: participation in a range of arts activities.

Your visit can also contribute towards:

Part B: knowledge (or exploration) of the work of artists (and arts organisations.)

Please let us know when you book if you would like more detailed information.

We offer interactive and informative workshops for Early Years Foundation Stage (FS), Key Stage One and Key Stage Two pupils.

Each workshop is for a maximum of 30 pupils, unless otherwise stated. Each workshop has its own risk assessment which can be downloaded in PDF form.

We can also support your delivery of the Arts Award – click here to find out more.



From March 18, York Castle Museum, the Yorkshire Museum and York Art Gallery will be temporarily closed until further notice, in line with the latest advice from the Government and Public Health England. Please click here for more information.


To book a visit, please click here to complete a booking form and email it to [email protected].

You can contact our Group Bookings department on 01904 687633 for further information (Monday – Friday).



Prices depend on the length of the workshop, there is no minimum number of pupils required. Workshops are for a maximum of 30 pupils.

1 hour workshop – £60
1 hour 30 minutes workshop – £70
2 hour workshop – £80 (prices vary during Special Weeks, see below)

Actor Led workshops – prices vary.

We require a minimum of two full working days’ notice of cancellations for sessions not to be charged in full.

If you are running late on the day we ask that you call 01904 687633 to let us know your expected arrival time and if
your group are 30 minutes late for your booked workshop/s you will be charged £30.00 (per 30 minutes) to cover our costs.



Mastery of Techniques: Masterstrokes (KS1 & KS2) 1 hour 30 minutes

Paint like an artist! Pupils will explore the different techniques used by artists in the artworks on display in the Gallery. Employing some of the ‘tricks’ used by artists, pupils will create their own paintings in the style of the artists whose work they have seen.

  • Landscapes – compare the work of LS Lowry and Nathaniel Drake

Perfect Partner – The Draw Tour 

Masterstrokes risk assessment form


Art Through the Ages: Iron Age Animal Art (KS2) 1 hour

Pupils will examine genuine museum artefacts to see how Iron Age people copied the images of horses they saw on Greek coins to create their own, stylised versions. Out in the gallery, pupils will look for animals in the displays and then draw one of them in a simple style echoing the art of the Iron Age. Pupils will adapt and emboss their stylised designs onto metallic card, mimicking decorative metalwork.

Perfect Partner – Prehistoric Progress workshop at the Yorkshire Museum

 Iron Age Animal Art risk assessment form


Sensory Art: Sensing the Gardens (KS1 & KS2) 1 hour 30 minutes

Take a tour of York Museum Gardens using all your senses and discover the sounds, smells and textures all around. Pupils will record their tour on a sensory map and then paint a watercolour of their favourite flower or part of the garden. Please come prepared for wet weather.

Photographs of the gardens during different seasons will allow pupils to consider how the gardens change. KS2 groups will also use historic photographs to consider how the gardens have changed over time.

This workshop can be adapted for SEN groups.

Sensing the Gardens risk assessment form


Gallery Tours

The Draw Tour (KS1 & KS2) 45 minutes Groups of 30 – £45

Pupils will use charcoal, chalks and brushes to take a line for a walk around the gallery. The tour also includes hunting for shapes in the paintings and drawing a ‘shape picture’.

The Draw Tour Risk Assesment

Click here for information on booking your visit.