On this page you'll find, information about off and onsite workshops, activities, competitions and giveaways for schools from Nottingham's cultural, arts and heritage organisations, grouped in the following sections:
If you'd like to find out more about Nottingham's Cultural Rucksack, please visit the separate page on our website.
Find out about events and workshops for schools and also training and CPD for teachers from Nottingham’s arts, cultural and heritage organisations. Sign up to receive the bi-monthly Primary or Secondary Schools Newsletter below.
Last year, we created daily videos and a Time for Wellbeing Calendar for the month of November. You can still view these videos on the ChalleNGe YouTube channel and see resources on our website. If your school would like to be part of this year’s activities, please email us to let us know how you embed wellbeing activities within the classroom. Make and share your own 2 to 3 minute video, with children at your school, sharing an activity that supports one of the Five Ways to Wellbeing – Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give. We’ll incorporate your video into this years’ Time for Wellbeing campaign for the week beginning 15 Nov (coinciding with Anti-bullying week).
The Craft School challenge is a nationwide competition to get primary and secondary school students to submit a craft project on one of three themes: play, storytelling, and empowerment. The challenge has been set by Crafts Council trustee and multidisciplinary artist Yinka Ilori and will take place from September 2021 to March 2022. It will encourage and nurture craft thinking and making and provide a moment to celebrate the brilliant craft creativity of a younger generation.
Craft School: Yinka's Challenge is a free programme for education provisions and learners from KS1 to KS4. Find out more
An exciting new programme ‘set’ in a future version of Nottingham will explore young people's hopes for our city and culture. Look out for events, courses and paid work experiences. Opportunities include: A 5-week course on digital game design and world building (starts 30 Sept). A curating course delivered by our exhibiting artist and team (starts in October). Please encourage pupils in Year 11, 12 and 13 to join a network of creatives and experience ‘behind the scenes’ of Nottingham Contemporary with the 1525 Collective. For more information please email.
Year 6 and 7 pupils, October to November.
The Festival of Science and Curiosity is looking for year 6/7 pupils to help copy-edit the magazine content, created by academics, to make sure it's just right for the KS3 target audience. Pupils will also be able to write their own content which will be published in the magazine and distributed across the city and county in February 2022. This project will take place in the Autumn term, October-November 2021. Find out more or contact Ignite!
A programme aimed at supporting groups of schools to work together to develop their arts and cultural education and provide opportunities for collaborative working, professional development and supports new partnerships. It’s also a brilliant chance for a group of schools to focus collectively around a priority area, such as wellbeing. There is a £2500 bursary available intended to enable a Specialist Arts Lead to have a devoted time to develop arts and cultural provision across a network of at least 5 schools, plus access to Arts Policy development, Arts Award training and bespoke Artsmark Development Training. Deadlines for applications: 11th October 2021. Visit the Mighty Creatives website for more information.
Open to both schools and arts and cultural organisations, the purpose of these grants is to enable teachers to come together from different schools (at least 10) to develop their skills and confidence, share best practice, and develop a new network that will support cultural education across their schools. Grants of up to £1000 are available. Deadline for applications: 11th October 2021. Visit the Mighty Creatives website for more information.
The Young City of Literature Ambassadors for Nottingham is an award and skills development opportunity given to a young person aged 14-18 studying in a Nottingham secondary school. This role recognises and rewards talent and potential, providing a programme of inspiring activities, skills development and networking from October 2021 to December 2022. The nomination form for teachers is now live.
Early Years and KS1. 9-12 December 10.30am and 1.30pm. £8.50 per child, with one free ticket for every nine booked.
A fun, engaging and charming tale of a much loved classic, The Gingerbread Man. The creators, Stuff and Nonsense, are known to use early learning classics to support the learning of Early Years and Key Stage 1 curriculum. A contemporary twist on a familiar tale exploring themes of acceptance and understanding of difference, underlining resilience and determination in a hard-to-navigate world. Book here.
The skeleton of Titus discovered in the Badlands of Montana in the USA in 2018 is now at Wollaton Hall and the exhibition explores his life and environment. This is the first real Tyrannosaurus rex to be exhibited in England for over 100 years. You can book school sessions that run alongside the T.rex exhibition, looking at fossils, evolution and bones. There are various schools workshops linked to the exhibition:
KS1-2: When puzzling postcards start arriving through your letterbox asking for help, only you can crack the code and figure out who the mystery writer is. Following a successful postcard drama format, New Perspectives' latest series, Fair Play, is a six-part postcard adventure for children aged 5-11yrs to enjoy together. Plus there's a QR code on each postcard to download with an activity sheet to explore a variety of creative challenges.
Year 8+. Performed in school settings from spring term: A play about forging friendships when you’re a bit weird, the power of hope and the underestimated smartness of teens. Join Priya and Lou, who are armed with a backpack full of Pop-Tarts, a hunger to tackle climate change and the Shewolves manifesto, as they embark on a covert expedition into the wild. But when the wilderness closes in around them, how far will they go to protect their utopia?
EYFS, KS1, KS2. Bring literacy to life with Lakeside Art’s storytelling sessions. Children are encouraged to join in the story using their imagination, props, and costumes. Using traditional oral storytelling skills pupils can explore themes, characters of traditional tales and myths.
KS2 and Year 7. An interactive performance/workshop for that can be experienced online or live in school. Shhh...akespeare! excites intrigued minds to explore the characters, narrative and language of Britain's most celebrated writer and breaks down barriers to understanding and enjoying the Bard's brilliance.
The Nottingham Poetry Festival have four Bitesize 10-minute digital workshops for schools, created by local Nottinghamshire poets. The aim is to encourage children and young people to enjoy and create poetry.
Primary and Secondary. First Story encourages and supports young people from all backgrounds to write creatively for pleasure and agency through a variety of events and programmes, including the First Story Year-Long Programme in schools. Download the PDF. Staff can also access dedicated creative writing CPD.
Over the next nine months, Read On Nottingham will be working with schools and the wider community on this project, designed to support the wellbeing of children and young people and encourage them to read and write for pleasure. Activities include virtual author visits, creative writing competitions, book giveaways and more. To find out more and get involved please contact Michael Flynn – Connecting Stories Project Officer.
Year 7 and 8. Secondary schools are still able to access this fun and effective catch up reading programme. Help students improve their reading, get them engaged and motivated and find their reason to read today. Skills Academy costs £150. You can register an unlimited number of students on the programme throughout your 12-month subscription. When you sign up to the programme your school also receives a year's membership of the National Literacy Trust worth £100, which gives you access to all of their resources.
Give your students the opportunity to see what it’s like behind the scenes of Nottingham Playhouse, to understand the various roles in theatre and see the teams at work. Led by a member of the Participation Team, students will hear from professionals about what they do day-to-day and how their role contributes towards the productions.
Discounts on school bookings will be available for productions of ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘Red Riding Hood’ and the pantomime shows from this Autumn. In Spring 2022.
‘Red Riding Hood’ will also be touring primary schools..
Nottingham City Libraries have a wealth of resources for schools. The brand new website is packed with things to do for school classes: free ebooks and audio books, links to great free story/author sites, plus artist led sessions, theatre productions including related online resources and more. They also hope to be able to welcome back class visits to the library soon. Children and staff are able to borrow reading books and non-fiction titles to take back to school and share stories, encouraging learning and reading for pleasure.
KS2-KS5. The National Justice Museum is offering blended learning workshops to schools unable to visit their site. Working with you, their expert facilitators will deliver live, interactive learning into your classroom. Workshops are held via Zoom and Teams, and can even be delivered to students at home if your school has temporarily closed.
Years 7-9. Developed in partnership with the National Justice Museum and Ben Kinsella Trust, this workshop has been proven to make a difference in changing attitudes to knife crime among the young. To find out more please contact NJM.
Primary. The education loans service at Nottingham City Museums and Galleries, ‘Access Artefacts’, has a collection of over 11,000 museum objects, all suitable for handling and available to use in the classroom. The collection covers a wide range of themes including social history, archaeology, geology, industrial history, the natural sciences and many others.
Visit the Castle’s website to find out more about their great Learning Offer. You’ll find information about workshops led by an expert Explainer, leading your own group visit using the free resources, and also information about joining the Teacher’s Network.
Ages 3 to 11. A resource designed to support teaching art in primary school. It provides developmental guidelines and art lesson ideas across the 3 to 11 age range.
The approach is based on a simple idea: THAT ART IS A VISUAL LANGUAGE.
Suitable for all ages and abilities.
Bring Nottingham Contemporary’s exhibitions into your classroom through Virtual Reality. Free resources explore activism and women’s role in protest, the foundations of art – colour, line, shape, pattern and light, as well as fashion and performance. Access VR versions of our exhibitions here. Please email for more information.
Nottingham Contemporary, Mondays, suitable for all ages and abilities
Visit Nottingham Contemporary on Mondays for an exclusive exploration of the new exhibitions combined with an Artist Experience workshop. Find out more here or contact the Schools programmer for Secondary schools to book.
Watch the Young Creative Awards presented by Cassie Bradley on NottsTV. You’ll see interviews with four of this year's YCA winners, a live performance by Remy CB (Music winner in 2019) and a series of video packages, films, animations etc. It is an excellent showcase of this year's awards. It was originally aired on 29 August 2021.
The Rainbow Library is a pioneering initiative to make more books for young readers that include LGBTQ+ identities and experiences. In summer 2023, to coincide with Pride celebrations, they’ll publish eight LGBTQ+ inclusive titles for young readers of all ages, including picture books, fiction and nonfiction, poetry and comics. These books will be developed through consultations with LGBTQ+ young people in Nottingham. The aim is to get these books into every school and library in the UK and Ireland, supporting teachers and parents to provide rich, inclusive literature for their children.
The Pythian Club (TPC) offer a programme of activities for educational settings (mainstream and alternative provision) to support their young people to become the best versions of themselves. Activities on offer include, sport, music, train safety and nature (climate change and sustainability) workshops, mentoring support and outreach support. The activities are designed to support young people’s physical and mental wellbeing as well as teaching them life skills.
Use these sessions as the perfect start to your students’ day to create a positive mindset, inspired and ready for the day of learning ahead. Motivational Mornings has had positive feedback from both students and teachers about the impact it’s had on confidence and motivation levels. The sessions are delivered through Freedom Foundations Lockdown Learning Hub - a safe space for students to access.
The Creating Connections learning activities have been designed by NAE Associate Artists Shamila Chady and Elaine Winter for for use at home or school. Creating Connections is designed to help young people make positive connections with others their age where there is a feeling of disconnectedness due to cultural and other differences.
My Black Identity packs contain images and creative and educational media contents with hard copies, online and mobile device participation coupled with online based response and engagement platform. Fearless Youth Association are offering young people a chance to display their creativity in an online exhibit, celebrating what their blackness means to them. The aim of this exhibit is for them to share their thoughts and feelings around identity.
Freedom Foundation deliver their 12 week Freedom Factory sessions in school time or as an after-school club. Using street dance and hip-hop, singing and song writing their 90 minute sessions with up to 30 children build confidence, resilience and aspiration, educate about the impact of social media on mental health and help children cope with common mental health problems such as anxiety, stress, depression and self-harm.
Primary. A series of free, short 5 to 15 minute videos and creative tasks which can be done in the classroom or at home. The MoveMore team also offer further support called ‘Beyond MoveMore’ which offers face to face sessions, virtual dance sessions and also CPD training for teachers.
We're pleased to bring you the second edition of our free creative activities pack designed for Nottingham’s children and young people. It’s filled with over 40 engaging and fun activities created by 20 of Nottingham’s arts organisations.
Do you work with children aged 7–14 to provide extracurricular learning opportunities? Sign up to Children’s University (CU) for free and join us as we recognise and celebrate extracurricular! Nottingham Trent CU is coordinated at Nottingham Trent University. Our goal is for participants to feel the joy of learning beyond the classroom whilst having an enriching experience building their cultural capital. Interested?
Suitable for all Primary and Secondary Pupils
Pupils develop their own science investigations about the questions that matter to them, and work with scientists who specialise in that field to help work out the answers. This project is flexible for different ages, time-frames and the topics can be tailored to support curriculum teaching and extra-curricular activity in your school..
Votes for Schools is an award-winning platform giving your students a voice on the issues that affect them the most, as well as supporting you to consistently embed SMSC, British Values and Prevent across your school.
Did you know that Nottingham City Schools can travel for free to events or activities using Nottingham City Transport? Applications are made through the Aquinas Foundation.at least one week in advance by email to to the Aquinas Foundation email@example.com Tel: 0115 9244788
Primary. Area Bands are beginner orchestral groups open to young people in city schools that have a Whole Class Ensemble or In Harmony programme in collaboration with Nottingham Music Hub. These bands are ideal for pupils (usually Year 5) who have completed one year of instrumental learning. Rehearsals are currently online, and they would love to welcome new members.
Our Black Identity packs contain images and creative and educational media contents with hard copies, online and mobile device participation coupled with online based response and engagement platform. Fearless Youth Association are offering young people a chance to display their creativity in an online exhibit, celebrating what their blackness means to them.
Meet some of Wollaton’s magnificent trees, learn to identify them and take a closer look at their leaves, flowers, bark and seeds as well as the animal life that lives on and around them. Fun practical science activities including measuring trees, comparing leaf shapes and bark patterns and finding out what woodlice like. You’ll see species of trees whose ancestors lived at the same time as dinosaurs.
Noise Academy can deliver weekly DJ lessons at your school or setting delivered by professional tutors. Students will work towards recording their own DJ mixes whilst gaining AQA accreditations.
Creativity Exchange is an online community where school leaders, teachers and those working and interacting with schools can embed teaching for creativity and learn from each other. Find an inspiring range of content in the Ideas Hub to support you to think about how to develop teaching for creativity across the curriculum - including practical ideas, blogs, case studies and book reviews.
The Creative Schools Network was developed to support East Midlands schools to share ideas and expertise, profile excellent practice, and offer free training and workshops for those with responsibility for ensuring arts and culture thrive in educational settings. It's FREE to join.
A few of Nottingham’s galleries are working together to support an anti-racist and inclusive curriculum. They are keen to work with schools and partners in the community. If you are a teacher in a Nottingham city school and are interested in working with them.
Explore the extensive variety of resources available for art and design teachers.
Find out about NSEAD courses, conferences and training opportunities.
The Mighty Creative work with education providers and cultural organisations in the East Midlands to support and develop ways of tackling inequality of access to creative opportunities.
The Cultural Learning Alliance champions a right to arts and culture for every child. They act as a backbone organisation for the arts and cultural education sector, and provide the analysis, evidence, and arguments that Alliance members and their wider sectors can use.
Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.