Schools Newsletter February 2016

MK Gallery is Expanding

MK Gallery is currently undertaking a significant capital expansion project and is due to reopen in autumn 2017.


In parallel, our City Club programme offers the starting point for activity with nurseries, schools, colleges and teachers.









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Photo: Derek Wales

City Club Presentation at MK Gallery, December 2015

What is City Club?

City Club is an ambitious artist-led proposal to animate the public spaces surrounding MK Gallery and the northern end of Midsummer Boulevard through the creation of a Garden, Piazza and Playground. These components, and their related subthemes offer rich content for schools to explore with their pupils.


Watch a City Club presentation by artists Gareth Jones and Nils Norman. 

Watch an introduction to

Flashback here

Project Space

Flashback: 2002

Until 31 March 2017


Whilst we renovate our main building we present a series of archival exhibitions both online and in MK Gallery’s Project Space.


The current show shares the exhibitions from 2002 including Will Alsop & Bruce McLean, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Boyd Webb, Jiri Georg Dokoupil and Air Guitar. Small school groups are welcome to visit the space, explore the collection and use the reference material provided.


Find out more

Brooklands Farm Primary School

Start the Art: In School

Start the Art is MK Gallery’s Early Years Programme for under 5s. Based on child-led experiences Start the Art activities encourage the exploration of materials and methods, supporting early cognitive and skills development. We welcome EYFS classes and are experienced at providing the right environment for your pupils to explore the early joys of arts based learning.


Brooklands Farm School is currently hosting Start the Art: Out & About, a fifteen week programme offering their growing school community parent and toddler engagement.


Schools interested in hosting 5, 10 or 15 week programmes of activity to support parents and children approaching school age should contact Jonny Hill for more information.

A workshop led by The Culture Cart, February 2016

Childhood Learning

Our diverse pool of Associate Artists are always ready to explore new ways of working with schools, so please get in touch if you would like to discuss an idea with us.

Monkston Primary School's ‘Gifted and Talented’ art group joined Associate Artist Tom Mitchell of The Culture Cart this February for a day of printmaking, enjoying the use of his mobile print press.


Schools interested in similar workshops should contact Bethany Mitchell for more information.

A past micro residency


We are currently consulting on provisions for secondary schools in preparation for the development of a dedicated programme for Key Stages 3 & 4.

A recent five week micro-residency saw Associate Artist Dave Ronalds support Lord Grey students to develop their drawing skills. Schools interested in working directly with artists and themes associated with City Club should contact Victoria Mayes for further information.

James Aldridge

Special Projects

Special projects allow us to work closely with schools to explore and test innovative methods of working together.

MK Gallery’s pilot Green Town Group has now begun and will be delivered by specialist outdoor arts practitioner James AldridgeGreen Town Group sees MK Gallery’s Learning Team partner with St Thomas Aquinas School, Holne Chase School, Pepper Hill School and Brooklands Farm School to explore a future model of outdoor learning for the gallery. The programme will take place across Parks Trust sites and is kindly funded by the Ernest Cook Trust. 

Please contact us if you wish to develop a partnership with MK Gallery and think your school may benefit from a City Club inspired co-learning project.

Photo: Derek Wales

MK Young Filmmaker Award

In 2015 MK Gallery successfully delivered Young Artist of the Year which saw 100+ entries and included over 1000 children and young people. The final exhibition included 45 exhibits from 18 participating schools.


In 2016 we're launching MK Young Filmmaker of the Year and invite pupils aged 4-19 to creatively respond to city-wide community spaces (i.e. play, green and public spaces) through the medium of film. The year ahead will provide many opportunities for your school to be involved. If you would like to submit an early Expression of Interest please email vmayes@mkgallery.org.

The MK Young Filmmaker of the Year Award is delivered in partnership with MK Community Foundation to celebrate their 30th anniversary.

A past micro-residency


An MK Gallery micro-residency enables extended contact with one of our Associate Artists and offers skills based sessions for students during, or after, school.

Micro-residencies can be tailored to all curriculum areas and Key Stages, please get in touch with a member of the Learning Team for more information.


Arts Award at MK Gallery

Arts Award Supporter

Arts Award is a national programme to support children and young people to develop their arts and leadership skills delivered across five levels for 5-25 year olds.

In 2015 MK Gallery supported over 40 young people to achieve their award. If you would like to develop an Arts Award project with us please contact the Learning Team.


Find out more

Photo: Derek Wales

Artsmark Supporter

Artsmark award celebrates schools that champion the arts and strive for excellence in their provision. The award was relaunched in 2015 after being redesigned by schools for schools.


If your school is an Artsmark school, or thinking about applying, and would like to build a partnership with MK Gallery, please contact the Learning Team.

Photo: Derek Wales

Conversation Starter

We welcome conversations with teachers and educational professionals as we continue to develop the scope of our Schools Programme.


Invite one of our Learning Team to visit your school to discuss your ideas and future opportunities to work with us. For direct enquiries please contact:


Jonny Hill, Early Years Coordinator



KS 1&2

Bethany Mitchell, Childhood Learning Coordinator



KS 3&4

Victoria Mayes, Head of Learning


Arts Network Meetings

Subject Networks

Quarterly Arts Network Meetings provide a space for Art Coordinators and Heads of Art to connect, share best practice, develop partnerships and hear about future opportunities for your school. Loughton Manor First School hosted February's meeting, sharing their whole school exhibition developed in response to the National Gallery’s Take One Picture.

Art Network Meetings are coordinated by Matthew Davis, Head of Art at Denbigh Secondary School. For further information contact davism@denbigh.net  

Start the Art

Family Learning

Encourage your students to extend their arts engagement via MK Gallery’s Family Programme. Our sessions allow children and young people to enjoy a variety of weekly artist-led activity which complements their creativity within the classroom.

In addition Green Town Group artist James Aldridge will be delivering a series of school holiday sessions over the course of 2016.


Find out more


MK Creative Learning Network

Milton Keynes Creative Learning Network (MKCLN) was established in January 2012 by the education specialists working within local arts, heritage and cultural organisations. The MKCLN supports schools, colleges and other key educational settings and therefore children, young people and families to gain access to local arts and cultural provisions.


The next MKCLN Meeting is Tuesday 26 April, 12.30 – 1.30pm, at The Stables, Milton Keynes. Booking essential, contact Graeme Surtees

Keep up to date with what’s on offer across Milton Keynes at the MKCLN Facebook page  or to receive the MKCLN monthly newsletter email your details to vmayes@mkgallery.org 


MK Gallery is supported by:


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