What is a gallery?
A discussion on what a gallery or a museum is, what they do, what you can
see there, who goes to museums and why may be a useful starting point. The
information below may help
- Museums and galleries are places that look after all kinds of things
for the people who visit them.
- Sometimes the collections are of everyday things from the past –
toys, clocks, chairs. Sometimes they are collections of decorative items
– ornaments, decorative tiles, plates with pictures on them to hang
- Ensure pupils understand what ceramics are; ceramic is the
word used to describe artefacts formed using heat – pottery, bricks
etc. A simpler description you can use is things like pottery and china.
Our collection at the Allen Gallery has ornaments, tea cups and saucers,
tea pots, tiles and plates.
- Often their collections are old, but not always; we often collect
things from “now” to make sure we have an example of it in our
collection for the future
- Some galleries and museums have lots of different types of objects that
help tell the story of a town or place; some have one type of object that
helps tell the story of one thing - animals, football, army tanks, hats,
- Many objects and collections are displayed in a way that means visitors
can’t touch them. This helps to keep them safe; safe from an accident
but also safe from our skin! Everyone’s skin has natural oil on it to
keep it healthy; we can’t see, smell or feel it but it’s there.
Sometimes this oil can damage older materials, so we need to protect them.
In museums, when we need to move these types of collections we wear special
gloves so our skin doesn’t touch and damage anything
- Galleries and museums are for everyone! They’re places you can
visit to see things, have fun and find out about something
- Some galleries and museums are free, others charge an admission
It would be useful if pupils are familiar with some words and their
meanings, like patternand motif.
Invite pupils to bring in their favourite item of clothing and lay them all
out to look at. Discuss how they are decorated – are they one colour?
Striped? Spots? A repeated pattern? Is there a motif?
You might like to introduce the idea of “pattern” as something
which doesn’t have to be seen. Listen to a piece of music which has a
repeated phrase or create a piece of music as a class using different
Give each pupil a sheet of A4 or A3 paper which has been divided into a
series of equally sized squares, so it’s a grid. Now give them lots of
copies of the same shape – clubs, spades, hearts, diamonds, circles,
triangles etc and invite them to create a pattern.
Go back to the idea of musical patterns and divide the class up into
different groups of instruments, with each instrument having a different symbol
e.g. triangles could be a triangle, tambourines could be circle, claves could
be a square etc.
Create a piece of music with lots of repeated phrases and write the music
down by sticking the symbols on the wall in the right order; you can do this on
a large grid format. This will act as a sheet of music to read as well as be a
- A 2-hour session for one class of KS2
- We request a minimum ratio of 1:10 adults:pupils
- For individual session prices, please contact the Museum.
information to support risk assessment
How to book
a visit to a community museum gives you step-by-step guidelines
– simply note the name of the session you would like, the
museum’s telephone number and see the guidelines.
- Toilet for visitors.
- We don’t have a lunchroom, however our garden may be
available during fine weather.
- Small Gift Shop with a range of postcards at pocket money