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 until June 2014 with limited availability thereafter.

Booking IS NOW OPEN for the 2014-15 academic year

Priority booking for schools from the following boroughs: Barnet, Brent, Camden, City of London, City of Westminster, Ealing, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham and Harrow opens a week earlier on Monday 9 June.


‘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 primary sources and weighing up the evidence
  • Discussion and questioning to develop perspective and judgement
  • Thinking critically and sifting arguments

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

Black History Month: Meet the Young Archer

20, 21, 22, 23, October 2014, Key Stages 3 and 4, 1½ hours (am or pm). Maximum 30 students

In the company of the Young Archer, a young black man from the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century, pupils will learn about the painting by Flinck in which he appears and then weigh up the evidence to decide who he could have been. 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, Key Stages 3 and 4, 2½ hours. Maximum 30 students. Key stage 5, 10.30am – 2.30pm, either a 2½ hour, or 10.30am – 2.30pm where primary sources will be studied in greater depth. Maximum 25 students.

Students will enter a house filled with the treasures of pre-revolutionary France to discover, at first hand, the luxurious lifestyles of those that could afford it, including the French Royal family. Students will learn that the privileges of the ruling classes were not enough to explain the revolution and that there were many causes of the Revolution. They will look at objects and contemporary documents and, using enquiry skills, test the evidence and make their own historical claims. The session compliments the A-level study topic ‘The Origins and Course of the French Revolution’. Web resources

Continuity and Change: Propaganda and Portraits through the Ages

Available throughout the year for all Key Stages, 1½ hours. Maximum 30 students

Students will work with an historian to explore the use of propaganda in portraits, learn how to decode images and make connections over time. They will compare portraits in our collection with images of 20th-century and modern political leaders to discover what has and has not changed. 

‘The Woman’s Champion or The Strange Wonder Being’* and An English Renaissance Man 

1, 2, 3, 4 December 2014, Key Stage 3, 1½ hours (am or pm). Also supports Drama

To compliment their understanding of ‘The development of Church, state and society in Britain 1509–1745’ students will meet Sir Robert Dudley, favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, and Moll Cutpurse, a cross-dressing female criminal. Find out about their lives, the differences in society and the culture of Tudor times. Students will then discuss the validity of costumed interpreters as an historical source.  

* Biography of Moll Cutpurse printed in 1662 on behalf of the publisher George Horton

Cross-curricular History, English and Drama 

Mirroring life? Theatre and reality in Shakespeare’s England

Available throughout the year. Either a 2 hour, or an all-day workshop, to include an off-site stage sword fighting workshop. Key Stage 4 and 5, Maximum 20 students

Our superb Armouries are the setting for this inspirational workshop exploring 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 reference to fighting in the Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre and Shakespeare’s plays in particular. There will be discussion about work, leisure, superstition, theatre, art and literature in Tudor England.

All-Day Workshops

Cost: £200 

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.

NB: Further details will be provided on booking and workshops must be booked at least 8 weeks in advance.

English, Drama and Modern Foreign Languages

Inspiration for Creative Writing

Available throughout the year for all Key Stages. Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, 2 hour or 4 hour session. Key Stage 5, 4 hour session. Maximum 25 students. For whole class groups or mixed year groups of gifted and talented 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:

For A-Level English Language or English Literature/Language students, this would be an ideal opportunity to fulfill syllabus requirements for creative writing. Web resources are available.

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’

Web resources are available.

Tours of the Wallace Collection in French or German

Key Stage 5, 1 hour. Maximum 25 students

An interactive tour delivered by native speakers and adapted to suit the level of your students. 

The tour includes: 

  • Vocabulary extension
  • Speaking and listening

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

Art and Design and Design Technology

  • Sessions free of charge
  • All have a practical element
  • Delivered by practising artists and educators
  • All materials provided
  • Available throughout the school year unless otherwise stated

Students must arrive on time and attend the whole session. Key Stage 5 students may attend unaccompanied by a teacher. Workshops are suitable for either class groups or mixed year groups of gifted and talented students. By special arrangement we can facilitate workshops on specific themes, GCSE and A Level set topics, Activity Weeks, Creativity Festivals or Cultural Entitlement Programmes.

All Key Stages

‘What a Relief!’ Sculpture Workshop

18, 19, 20 November 2014, 29, 30 June, 8, 9 July 2015, 11am – 4pm. Maximum 20 students

By studying fine examples of sculpture, examining the form, function and techniques used in creating medals and other relief sculptures, students will find inspiration for their own sculptural work. Students will:

  • Learn sculptural techniques, including moulding and casting using alginate and plaster 
  • Make a relief sculpture. 

This workshop involves messy materials.

Islamic Patterns: Geometric, Biomorphic and Calligraphic Design

6, 8, 9 October 2014, 23, 24, 25, 26 March, 13, 14 July 2015 10.30am – 2.30pm, Maximum 20 students 

Working with an artist trained in the Islamic tradition and inspired by 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 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 talented mathematicians and gifted artists.

Riveting Armour! 

2, 3, 16, 17, 18, 19 March, 15, 16 June 2015, 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 for 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. Students need to bring their own sketch/workbooks. Artist quality materials provided. Web resources are available.

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.

Every Picture Tells a Story: Narrative Painting and Life Events

Available throughout the year, 2 hours. Maximum 26 students

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 visual ideas for their own piece of narrative art.

Hidden Meanings: Signs and Symbols in Art

Available throughout the year, 2 hours. Maximum 26 students

Students will identify how artists convey meaning through symbolism. This session will introduce them to using symbolism to represent their own ideas through: 

  • Analysis, observation and discussion
  • Explaining the difference between symbolic and decorative motifs
  • Making comparisons with the use of symbols in the modern world 
  • Creating a collage 

Supports the ‘Shared View’ component of the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum

Key Stages 3 and 4

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

13 January at the Wallace Collection and 20 January in your school
27 January at the Wallace Collection and 3 February in your school
10 February at the Wallace Collection and 24 February in your school
3 March at the Wallace Collection and 10 March in your school

Wallace Collection sessions run 10.30am – 3pm. School sessions are dependent on school timetable. For a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 24 students either class groups or mixed Year Groups of gifted and talented students.

Working with a professional photographer over two days, at the 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 the Wallace Collection website. 

Photos from last year’s project can be seen in this brochure and also at:

Key Stages 4 and 5

Image and Identity: Past Masters/New Masters

10.30am – 4pm: Morning at the Wallace Collection, afternoon at the National Portrait Gallery. Available throughout the year. Book at least 5 weeks in advance. Maximum of 26 students Art and Design and Art History students. 

This workshop explores relationships between ‘old’ and contemporary art by examining Old Master portraits in the Wallace Collection and contemporary works at the National Portrait Gallery. Students will:

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

Art and Art History

Key Stage 5

Naked Bodies I: The Art of Representing the Nude Figure
Naked Bodies II: Man in Motion

16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25 September, 11, 12, 13, 24, 25, 26, 27 November, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18 December 2014, 12, 14, 15, 21, 22 January 2015

Please state which session you require when booking 11am – 4pm. Maximum 18 students. Web resources are available.

In ‘Naked Bodies I’ 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 life model.

‘Naked Bodies II’ is for students who have already completed ‘Naked Bodies I’ and will extend skills already learnt by discovering how artists have depicted the human form in movement and action. The morning will be spent in the galleries, the afternoon drawing from a male nude.

Change, Continuity and Tradition in Art from the 16th Century to the Present Day

Morning at the Wallace Collection, afternoon at Tate Modern. Available throughout the year. Book at least 5 weeks in advance. 10.30am – 4pm. Maximum of 20 Art and Design and Art History students. 

Students will investigate a selection of artworks made at very different times and contexts, to:

  • Make connections between themes, processes or materials, in often surprising ways. 
  • Look at Old Masters, such as Poussin and Rubens, and make comparisons from a choice of artists such as Picasso, Bacon, Boccioni and Dalí, picked from Tate Modern’s vast collection. 
  • Explore art using a range of approaches such as small-group work, independent research, note taking, drawing and group discussion.

Visual Analysis and Interpretation: Introducing Approaches to Art History

Available throughout the year. 2 hour workshop at the Wallace Collection or 4 hour workshop with morning at the Wallace Collection, afternoon at Tate Britain. For 4 hour session book at least 5 weeks in advance. Maximum 20 AS/A level Art History students. Web resources are available.

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!

23 September 2014, 10am – 4pm. Any number of students may be booked.

This study day is for Year 12 and 13 Art History students and other students 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. 2 July 2015, 10.15am – 4pm

Come and meet museum professionals, including the Director of the Wallace Collection, at this Key Stage 5 open day for any student interested in a career 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.