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Big Art for Little Artists, key stage 1

Key facts

  • Suitable for: Key Stage 1
  • Subjects: Art and design, English
  • Session type: Gallery led
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Class size (maximum): 30
  • Venue: Walker Art Gallery
  • Free


A visit to Big Art for Little Artists, the Walker Art Gallery’s dedicated children’s gallery, is in two parts. Time in our Big Art Gallery followed by a teacher led trail to explore the Walker Art Gallery’s permanent collections.

Further details

parent and child at a creative workshop

A member of the gallery’s education team will warmly welcome the group to Big Art. Pupils are encouraged to discuss what they expect to see during their visit, the varied collections the gallery houses, the role of a gallery and the role of an artist. During this initial discussion the children are encouraged to ask questions and extend their vocabulary, knowledge and understanding of art.

Pupils then freely explore Big Art and the activities on offer. Big Art is split into three activity areas. In the ‘Dress Up’ area children try on replica costumes from our collections, or put on a puppet show. This allows for opportunities to develop dramatic and role play skills. In the ‘Doing Zone’ they are encouraged to think about what artists do, and try observational techniques as they draw objects from the collections, create a collage, or use the light box to experiment with colour mixing. In the ‘Story Zone’ they can look at a range of artworks, and develop their knowledge by reading books and stories alone, or with the support of an adult.

To end their time in Big Art for Little Artists pupils are given opportunity to reflect on their learning by sharing their artworks with the class and a story is read by the staff member leading the session. This is then followed by a self led exploration of the gallery using a Big Art trail. The trail element of the session gives opportunity to further engage with The Walker Art Gallery through a constructive exploration its varied, internationally important collections. Copies of the trail will be provided for each pupil on the day of your visit.

Curriculum links

Art and Design

  • record from first-hand observation, experience and imagination, and explore ideas
  • investigate the possibilities of a range of materials and processes
  • try out tools and techniques and apply these to materials and processes, including drawing
  • represent observations, ideas and feelings, and design and make images and artefacts
  • review what they and others have done and say what they think and feel about it
  • Visual and tactile elements, including colour, pattern and texture, line and tone, shape, form and space
  • materials and processes used in making art, craft and design
  • differences and similarities in the work of artists, craftspeople and designers in different times and cultures
  • investigating different kinds of art, craft and design [for example during visits to galleries].

English Speaking and Listening

  • remember specific points that interest them
  • ask questions to clarify their understanding
  • use language and actions to explore and convey situations, characters and emotions
  • create and sustain roles individually and when working with others.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

Pupils will:

  • Gain knowledge and understanding of the roles of artists.
  • Further their awareness of different types of artwork.
  • Gain an understanding of what an art gallery is.


Pupils will:

  • Improve their speaking and listening skills in a group discussion context.
  • Develop vocabulary and speaking and listening skills through. questioning and discussion
  • Develop their artistic technique.
  • Improve their understanding of an art gallery.


Pupils will be introduced to:

  • That artworks are produced by an artist.
  • That the collections held in the gallery are varied.
  • The role of a national gallery like the Walker Art Gallery.


Pupils will:

  • Be inspired to look at paintings and visit art galleries.
  • To enjoy visual art and accept that it is subjective – different people will like different pieces.
  • See the Walker Art Gallery as an enjoyable and creative place to visit.