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MK Gallery to extend successful parent and toddler sessions


MK Gallery is delighted to announce that its popular parent and toddler programme, Start the Art: Out and About, will continue at Brooklands Farm Primary School from July 2016. In an exciting new initiative, the school will become MK Gallery’s first ‘Partner School’, with a commitment to developing stronger long-term links.

The continuation of Start the Art: Out and About has been made possible through funding by the school. In addition, MK Gallery’s Learning Team is working with school staff to implement the design and delivery of a new sensory studio and gallery for early years foundation stage pupils. This dynamic partnership will also see the team working alongside Head Teacher Maxine Lowe to support the professional development of early years teachers across Milton Keynes. 

The Gallery’s hugely successful community outreach programme, Start the Art: Out and About, initially ran between November 2015 and March 2016 in the new housing area of Brooklands, Milton Keynes. A grant from Milton Keynes Community Foundation enabled the delivery of a fifteen week programme, benefitting over 350 children and parents through high quality creative workshops, in an initiative that was devised in consultation with the Brooklands community mobiliser and Brooklands Farm Primary School.


Feedback on the learning based activities has been hugely positive; with happy parents stating, ‘We love coming to Start the Art! I love how it’s not just painting and sticking, they use art to develop all the senses’, ‘lovely atmosphere, children very involved, our favourite weekly group’ and ‘well devised with lovely relaxed atmosphere! Very good value’.

In our short film celebrating Start the Art: Out and About, Ria Broome, art teacher at Brooklands Farm Primary School comments that the programme has ‘given us a great basis for building a community around our school. We’ve been able to roll out a programme that is very carefully delivered to children who are in reception who haven’t had specific art teaching before now’. Broome goes on to state that the sessions cover ‘a huge range across the early years profile’ from ‘communication skills’ to ‘handling and creative opportunities’. 

This project builds on MK Gallery’s highly popular weekly Tuesday and Wednesday morning Start the Art activities for under 5s, hosted by friendly artists. The parent and toddler sessions help children to explore the joys of art through multi-sensory activities, including painting, drawing and mark-making. 

Places at Start the Art sessions can be reserved here. A small fee of £1 per person, payable on the door, ensures that the gallery - which is an educational charitable trust - can continue to provide all the staff, equipment and materials it needs to deliver these informal learning sessions. 

In September 2016 MK Gallery will launch a call out for a further five schools to join its ‘Partner Programme’. To receive information as it is shared please email Victoria Mayes, Head of Learning at


Book for forthcoming Start the Art: Out and About sessions here