Learning Resources

Art is a tool that can help us make sense of the world around us. We've gathered together these resources to help parents and teachers to motivate children to look at art, talk about it and make their own creative responses. If you want your child to think for themselves and develop creativity skills (problem solving, imagination, curiosity and open mindedness), the world of art is an invaluable resource.

Fun and Motivation

Children need to be motivated in order to learn. Let them choose source material. The man made and natural environment are full of pictures, shapes, textures, forms, patterns that can inspire your child and therefore lead to learning.

Health and wellbeing

Self expression through making in 2d and 3d or performing helps us process and communicate ideas, thoughts and feelings, in order to make sense of the world around us. 

Creativity skills

Employers have identified that creativity skills are among the most important in the future workplace, whatever career path your child might follow. Creativity is transferable to maths, science and all areas of the curriculum. 

Everything in your home was shaped by an artist or designer. 

What is creativity? 

There is a lot of uncertainty about what we mean by 'creativity' and how to develop children's creativity skills. There are different definitions, which highlight the idea that creativity involves children thinking for themselves.

'The role of a creative leader is not to have all the ideas, it's to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel they're valued.'

Ken Robinson

Creativity Skills are defined by Education Scotland as including four main elements: curiosity, open mindedness, imagination and problem solving. National Galleries of Scotland programme for Schools aims to encourage these four elements.

'Creativity is the power to reject the past, change the status quo... Simply put, creativity is the power to act.'

Ai Wei Wei


Want to start a conversation about art? Here are some simple ideas to get you started. 

Your Art World

Your Art World is an online community by and for 3-18 year olds: a place to think, wonder, create and share your art online. Find resources and open-ended challenges to inspire critical thinking, play and individual voice.

Scotland and chattel slavery through art

This resource is inspired by the artwork Lessons of the Hour by Isaac Julien. His artwork is informed by research on chattel slavery, and in particular, the life of formerly enslaved, influential anti-slavery activist and philosopher Frederick Douglass.

Make and Resist

Art activities inspired by artists of colour. This learning resource considers how art can be a useful tool for understanding injustices, thinking about and making the changes we want to see in society.

Use your senses

Imagine we’ve jumped right inside the picture. What can you hear, smell, taste, touch and see?

Take a closer look

Choose any picture, sculpture or art installation and try these prompts to help learners analyse what they see.

See Think Wonder

Choose any picture and take time to notice it, think about it and let your imagination wander...

Learning through pictures

Whether you want to introduce a set topic, encourage literacy or just get to know your students better, art postcards can be used in many ways across the curriculum.

Outdoor Learning

Motivate learners to engage with their natural heritage with these 10 simple challenges that can be used in any outdoor space with any age group

Roy Lichenstein

Find out about Roy Lichtenstein, one of the most influential American artists to emerge in the post-war period.

Scottish identity

For upper primary and secondary age groups, select from a wide range of activities, questions and images that support Scottish Studies. Taking the iconic painting Monarch of Glen as a starting point this resource asks 'Who decides who we are?'

Art and artists

Dig deeper into the world of art and artists with these short films, biographies and articles.

Explore Art & Artists

What Is? Art movements & styles

This series of short films explores some of the key movements and styles of the twentieth century.

Art competition for schools

School children across Scotland have taken part in the National Galleries of Scotland Art Competition for Schools. View all the winning entries and get inspired.

Find out more

10 Things to do in an art gallery

Nobody else sees art the way you do.

10 ideas to help you start a conversation about art

Creative careers

Why study art and design? These short films give an insight into just some of the creative careers available within the gallery sector. Hear direct from professionals employed in marketing, curatorial, retail, gallery education and other roles.

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Fèin-aithne Albannach: Cò aige a tha an co-dhùnadh air cò th’ annainn?

Tha an goireas seo a’ leigeil le luchd-teagaisg ìomhaighean leithid Monarc a’ Ghlinne, bhon chruinneachadh aig Gailearaidhean Nàiseanta na h-Alba, a chleachdadh mar innealan leis am faod iad Sgilean Cruthachalachd agus ionnsachadh eadar-chuspaireil a bhrosnachadh. Chaidh a dhealbhadh gus feumalachdan Curraicealam airson Sàr-mhathais a choileanadh.

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Learning & Engagement contact details

If you're looking for more information on our learning programmes, please get in touch with our team who will be happy to advise and help plan your group visit.

+44 (0)131 624 6410