For teachers

Helping students discover their hidden talents

The gallery space allowed students the opportunity to be creative, collaborative and reflective in an environment where they were more willing to share and try out ideas.

Sarah Mullholland, Head of English, Tarporley High School

"Both teachers and students have reported that the variety and quality of responses produced in the gallery are greater than when similar techniques had been used at school."

Emma Carroll
Manchester Art Gallery

"It has given me strategies that I can share with my team. It's allowed me to promote the English Department, especially with curriculum development. I feel like I'm leading something that I wouldn't otherwise have had the opportunity to do."

Sarah Mulholland, Head of English
Tarporley High School

"The progress made by the students I worked with on this project surpassed my wildest expectations. When young people are given an opportunity to exercise their naturally creative minds in a way that truly compliments the curriculum in schools then it opens up a world of possibilities for improving levels of literacy."

Stevie Ronnie, Writer
MaxLiteracy Award, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

"In the class there were lots of kids with no English... even those with no English gained a lot."

Helen Harwood, Teacher and Senior Management Team
Grove Primary School

"You can apply this to any artwork always making Literacy the key"

Louise Gatti, Subject Lead Art and Design
Northumberland Church of England Academy School

Supporting Teaching and Learning

Taking students out of the classroom and into a museum or gallery not only introduces them to art in a stimulating environment but has the potential to:

  • Improve levels of engagement, confidence and behaviour by placing students in new environments where there are fresh expectations
  • Reduce stress, restore self-esteem
  • Challenge and extend gifted learners
  • Create cross-curricular opportunities between Art and Design, English and other departments
  • Inspire your own teaching practice and help your career development


Thirteen-year-old Jessica has no vision other than light perception due to a rare genetic condition but was an active participant in the BALTIC’s literacy project about the Canadian artist Rodney Graham. Planning sessions placed Jessica at the centre from the outset and with the help of a ‘PenFriend’ audio labeller she was fully engaged in all the workshops.

View the case study

Plan your project


Contact the education department of your local art gallery or museum

Museum and gallery education staff are keen to build new relationships with schools which can be sustained long term, benefitting both organisations.


Find a person with creative writing skills

This could be someone in your school who can use this as a CPD opportunity or become an Advanced Skills Teacher.

Contact NAWE for writers working near you.


Work with your local museum or gallery to apply for funding

Contact the Education department of your local museum or gallery about how you would like to use their collection for literacy and they can apply with you for a MaxLiteracy grant.

Using our Resources and Case Studies you can devise your own project.

MaxLiteracy writers explain how they put their projects together

Watch video

Antony Dunn used a sculpture as a starting point for students writing a drama.

15 minutes

Watch video
Watch video

Stevie Ronnie uses book making as a starting point in many projects.

4 minutes

Watch video
Watch video

Poetry and music performance with Helen Mort

5 minutes

Watch video

Try for yourself

Develop your own creative literacy project inspired by art from your local gallery or museum.

Our resources give you useful tips for planning your project and making it happen.

View the resources

Looking for funding?

Check back here for an announcement on when the next funding round will open

Find out more