The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Art History Masterclass with Director of the Wallace Collection, Christoph Vogtherr
Art History Masterclass with Director of the Wallace Collection, Christoph Vogtherr
Battling with Shakespeare
Battling with Shakespeare
Riveting Armour
Riveting Armour
Ways of Seeing
Ways of Seeing
Islamic Patterns
Islamic Patterns

Booking a Visit
It is essential to book ahead. To discuss availability please call 020 7563 9551 OR fill out the Schools Booking Form


Group Sizes and Ratios

Key stage 3-4 groups must provide a ratio of 1 adult to 20 pupils

Key stage 5 groups can attend without an adult, however, if attending two-location study days pupils must be accompanied by their teacher. Please check on booking.


Lunch Arrangements
Booked groups may eat lunch in the Education Studio, subject to availability. THIS MUST BE BOOKED IN ADVANCE. Groups are also welcome to eat lunch on the grass in front of the museum or in Paddington Street Gardens, which has a covered lunching area and lavatories.


All sessions are free but cancellation fees will be charged if you fail to inform us of your non-attendance over 2 weeks (14 days) prior to your session date.

Key stage 1-4 classes will be charged £100 for each one hour to half-day session and £200 for each whole-day session they fail to attend

Key stage 5 groups will be charged £10 for each student from their pre-booked numbers who fails to attend.

Please note that if your numbers drop to a point at which the session becomes non-viable this will constitute a cancellation and you will be charged accordingly.


Museum Rules
Teachers and adult helpers are fully responsible for the behaviour of their pupils in the museum and must stay with them at all times. 
Before your visit, please tell your pupils they must not touch any work of art, including the furniture.  This is important because works are on open display. 

We can provide a Hazard Identification List to help you with your risk assessment. Click here to download.

Secondary School Programme

The Wallace Collection offers a wide range of specifically designed education sessions for secondary school groups. All sessions are free of charge and delivered by enthusiastic historians, writers, artists and educators. School sessions are available Monday - Thursday. By special arrangement we can facilitate workshops on specific themes for Activity Weeks or your Cultural Entitlement programme.


We are now fully booked for the Spring Term 2014


‘The workshop provided a chance for the students to ‘connect the dots’ and an opportunity for them to engage in the content of the causes (of the French Revolution) in a completely different way.’ Teacher, Key Stage 3


These sessions include:
• Learning from direct evidence
• Use of primary sources
• Discussion

Sessions can be tailored to the student’s requirements if these are given when booking

Black History Month: Meet the Young Archer - New!

21, 22, 23, 24 October 2013
Key Stage 3 and 4, 1 1/2 hours (am or pm)
In the company of the Young Archer, a young black man from the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century, students will learn about the painting in which he appears. They will find out about the expansion of the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century, its role in the slave trade, and the differing perceptions of black people held at the time.

Liberty, Fraternity, Equality! Study the causes of the French Revolution

Available throughout the year for all Key Stages
2½ hours, Maximum 30 students
Pupils will enter a house filled with the treasures of pre-revolutionary France and will discover at first hand the luxurious lifestyles of those that could afford it, including the French Royal family. This session has direct links to the KS3 National Curriculum where pupils are expected to learn that the privileges of the ruling classes were not enough to explain the revolution and that there were many causes. It also compliments the A-level study topic ‘The Origins and Course of the French Revolution’.

Propaganda and Portraits

Available throughout the year for all Key Stages
1 ½ hours
Maximum 30 students
Pupils will work with an historian to explore the use of propaganda in portraits and learn how to decode images. They will compare portraits in our collection to images of 20th-century and modern political leaders to discover what has and has not changed.

Rich and Poor in Tudor Times: Meet Sir Robert Dudley and Moll Cutpurse!

2, 3, 4, 5 December 2013. Key Stage 3. Also supports Drama.

Meet Robert Dudley, favourite of Queen Elizabeth I and Moll Cutpurse, a cross-dressing female criminal from the Tudor underworld. Find out about their lives and what it was like to be rich or poor in Tudor times, then discuss the validity of costumed interpreters as an historical source.

English and Modern Foreign Languages

Inspiration for Creative Writing

Available throughout the year for all Key Stages
KS3 and KS4: 2 hour or 4 hour session KS5: 4 hour session. Maximum 25 students
For whole class groups or mixed Year Groups of Gifted and Talented pupils
Maximum 25 students

Your students will work with a children's author to explore the collection as a basis for creative writing. Using paintings and rare and precious objects as a stimulus for the imagination, the students will leave with material for the writing of description, dialogue, poetry, reportage or a short story to be completed back at school. The following themes are available (click on the topics below for the accompanying teacher notes):
Myths and Legends
Dramatic Monologues
The Grand Tour: travel writing
For A-Level English Language or English Literature/Language this would be an ideal opportunity to fulfill syllabus requirements for creative writing.

Battling with Shakespeare: The fantasy and Reality of Elizabethan fighting

Either a two hour (available throughout the year) or an all-day workshop which include an off-site stage sword fighting workshop
KS4 and 5, Maximum 20 students
Our superb Armouries are the setting for this inspirational workshop on early stage fighting. Students will examine paintings of ‘Renaissance man’ in all his arrogance and finery. Look at originals and handle replicas of the fabulous weapons he used in duels, in battle and in procession, with specific reference to fighting in the Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre and in Shakespeare’s plays in particular.

All Day Workshops

Cost: £200 - must be booked at least 8 weeks in advance.
Spend the afternoon taking part in an exciting 2 hour practical workshop, that will concentrate on today's stage fighting practice, working with a Fight Director and fencing coach who is an expert in Elizabethan swordplay.

French and German

Les Belles Choses!

Available throughout the year
Key Stage 4, 2 hours. Maximum 25 students 
This interactive, fun and engaging workshop, delivered mainly in French by a native speaker, will help students develop vocabulary and confidence in speaking French. The workshop will:

  • Provide inspiration for the oral presentation or written assessment
  • Cover the GCSE topics of travel, tourism, clothes and 'yourself'

A vocabulary List can be found here

Tours of the Wallace Collection in French or German - NEW

Key Stage 5, 1 hour. Maximum 25 students

An interactive tour delivered by native speakers and adpated to suit the level of your students. The tour includes:

  • vocabulary extension
  • Speaking and listering

Tours are especially suited to gifted linguists and those considering studying a language at university

Art and Design and Design Technology

All Key Stages

‘What a Relief!’ Sculpture Workshop

8, 9, 10 and 11 July 2013, 18, 19, 20, 21 November 2013, 30 June, 1, 2 July 2014
11.00am-4pm, Maximum 20 students
Students will learn sculptural techniques including moulding and casting using alginate and plaster to make their own relief sculpture. For inspiration students will study fine examples of relief sculpture examining the form, function and techniques used in creating coins, medals and other relief sculptures.

Islamic Patterns: Geometric, Biomorphic and Calligraphic Design

7, 8, 10 October 2013, 24, 25, 26, 27 March, 15, 16 July 2014
10.30am-2.30pm, Maximum 20 students
Working with an artist trained in the Islamic tradition and gaining inspiration from our Oriental Armoury, students will create tessellating patterns using a compass and watercolours. They will explore the link between maths and art and look closely at the decoration on objects to find Kufic (stylised Arabic) script, Persian and Turkish biomorphic design and geometrical arrangements. They will discover that repeating geometric patterns are an essential component of Islamic art which is inextricably linked to the Muslim faith.
This workshop is particularly recommended for young talented mathematicians and gifted artists.

Riveting Armour!

24, 25 February, 3, 19 20 March, 23 June, 16, 21 July 2014
10.30am-2.30pm, Maximum 20 students
Art, fashion, design and history are part of this stimulating workshop. Inspired by some of the finest armour in the world, students will:

  • handle and try on original and replica European armour
  • Gain an understanding of how form follows function
  • Develop drawings fro a 3D design
  • Use colourful neoprene to make 21st-century armour, fit for the catwalk

The Art of Drawing and Using a Sketchbook

Available throughout the year
2 or 4 hours, Maximum 26
Students need to bring their own sketch/workbooks. Artist quality materials provided.
Learn new drawing techniques and hone observational skills to produce work that will maximise the effect of sketch or workbooks. Skills covered include annotation of sketches, quick fire drawing, making best use of the page, and how to make changes without using a rubber!
Students will focus on one of the themes below. Please state which when booking.

• Perspective
• Composition
• Tone, light, shade and shadow
• Mark making, line and texture

Every Picture Tells a Story: Narrative Painting and Life Events

Available throughout the year
2 hours, Maximum 26 students
Investigate the use of narrative in art of the past and the present day. Explore the tradition of narrative painting through works by Jan Steen, de Hooch and Vernet. Learn how visual qualities can be manipulated to evoke strong reactions and to represent ideas, beliefs and values. Through group discussion, students will compare paintings from the past with works by contemporary artists such as Banksy, and then develop their ideas for their own piece of narrative art.

Hidden Meanings: Signs and Symbols in Art

(Supports the ‘Shared View’ component of the KS3 National Curriculum)
Available throughout the year
2 hours, Maximum 26 students
Students will identify how artists conveyed meaning through symbolism and introduce them to the idea of using it to represent their own ideas. This practical art workshop includes analysis, observation and discussion of paintings to discover when an object is symbolic and when purely decorative. Comparisons will be made with the use of symbols in the modern world. Pupils will then make their own still-life collage inspired by what they have seen.

Key Stages 3 and 4

Portraits in Spaces: Two-Day Architectural and Portrait Photography Project

21 January 2014 at the Wallace Collection and 28 January 2013 in your school
4 February 2014 at the Wallace Collection and 11 February 2014 in your school
25 February 2014 at the Wallace Collection and 4 March 2014 in your school
11 March 2014 at the Wallace Collection and 18 March 2014 in your school

Wallace Collection sessions 10.30am-3pm. The times of school sessions are dependent on school timetable.
For 20-24 students either class groups or mixed Year Groups of gifted and talented students.
Working with a professional photographer over two days, at the Wallace Collection and then at school, students will explore architectural and portrait photography. They will work on their own photographic series linking themselves or their fellow photographers to both places. They will gain an understanding of what it is like to be a photographer working to a brief. Cameras are provided and the results are exhibited on a bespoke website. Photos from last year’s project can be seen at:

Key Stages 4 and 5

Image and Identity: Past Masters/ New Masters:

At the Wallace Collection and the National Portrait Gallery
8 October, 6 November, 11 December 2013, 23 January, 3 March 2014
4 hours, 10.30am - 4pm
Maximum 26 students
Suitable for GCSE, AS and A2 level Art and Design and Art History students

These workshops demonstrate relationships between ‘old’ and contemporary by examining Old Master portraits in the Wallace Collection and contemporary works at the National Portrait Gallery. Students will:

  • Discussions representation, gender, status, beauty, and identity
  • Make links across two collections.
  • Make drawings as part of their research.

Key Stage 5

Art and Art History

If space permits students may attend individually or in small groups and join workshops with students from other schools. Students must arrive on time and attend the entire session/day or a fee will be charged.

Naked Bodies I: The Art of Representing the Nude Figure

10, 11, 12, 18, 19 September 2013, 28, 29 January 2014

11am-4pm. Maximum of 18 students

Students will spend the day studying the human form and how it has been portrayed by artists, such as Titian and Boucher, in the Renaissance and the Rococo periods. In the afternoon  students will put their observations into practice by drawing from a female nude model.

The Male Nude - NEW!

11, 12, 13, 14, 25, 26, 27, 28 November, 3, 4, 5, 9, 16, 17, 18 December 2013, 8, 9, 13, 14, 16 January 2014 
Maximum 18 students
To complement the exhibition The Male Nude: Eigtheenth-century drawings from teh Paris Academy students will have the unique opportunity to study 17th and 18th century life drawings. The afternoon will be spent drawing from a nude male life model, formerly regarded as the very foundation of painting and sculpture; it had to be mastered by any aspiring artist of the highest class!

Visual Analysis and Interpretation: Introducing Approaches to Art History

At the Wallace Collection and Tate Modern
17 and 18 October and 14 and 15 November 2012, 16 and 17 January 2013
Maximum 20 students. Suitable for AS and A2 Art & Design and Art History students, or equivalent.
Spend the morning at The Wallace Collection and the afternoon at Tate Modern. The aim of the day is to investigate a selection of artworks made at very different times and in varying contexts, and make connections between themes, processes or materials, in often surprising ways. The day will include Old Masters, such as Poussin and Rubens, at the Wallace Collection and a choice of artists such as Picasso, Bacon, Penone, Boccioni, and Dali, picked from the vast range available at Tate Modern. We will focus on a range of strategies most appropriate to your group, such as small-group work, independent research and discovery, note taking, drawing and group discussion.

Ways of Seeing: An Introduction to Approaches to Studying Art

Available all year
2 hour workshop at the Wallace Collection or 4 hour workshop with the morning at the Wallace Collection, afternoon at Tate Britain

For 4 hour session book at least 5 weeks in advance

This workshop is an ideal introduction to Art History early in Year 12, or it will help students consolidate their learning later in the year or during Year 13.

Using one or two national museum(s) as direct reference material, students will:

  • explore the materials and processes used in the production of art
  • Identify the formal and stylistic elements of paintings and sculpture from different historical periods
  • Use key art terminology and build a descriptive vocabulary while considering the varying contexts in which art works are made and seen
  • Analyse and interpret formal visual features and stylistic elements 

Art History Master Class

One day only!
24 September 2013, 10.00am-4pm
Any number of students may be booked
This study day is for Year 12 and 13 Art History students and others considering taking Art History at university. Students will find out what studying Art History at university involves, gain practical skills in analysing works of art and object handling, discover what museum conservation involves and see where taking an Art History degree can lead. The day will comprise of gallery discussion, group work and talks from university lecturers, art historians and museum professionals.

What is it like to work in a Museum? Careers Open Day

One day only!
Any number of students may be booked
3 July 2014, 10.15am- 4pm
Come and meet museum professionals, including the Director of the Wallace Collection, at this 6th form open day for any student interested in museums. They will find out about varied aspects of and qualifications required for working in museums. There will be workshops about curating, education, conservation, fundraising, promotion and security. Further details will be sent on booking, including workshops to sign up to. The numbers on each of these workshops will be limited and allocated on a first come first served basis.