• Fully physically accessible
  • Toilets
  • Lunch facilities
  • Loans boxes
  • Coach drop off
  • Gift shop
  • Goody bags
  • Outreach sessions

Gallery Oldham

Gallery Oldham is Oldham’s art gallery and museum.

We have one permanent collection which tells Oldham’s Stories through art, local history and natural history objects, and two further gallery spaces displaying a regularly changing programme of exhibitions.

Learning Sessions

Oldhamers at Work

(2hrs) KS2

Pupils explore our exhibitions to discover what jobs people did in Victorian Oldham. Sounds, artefacts and images from a variety of workplaces help bring history to life. With support from an artist, pupils then use replica work day artefacts to create an abstract industrial landscape through ‘mark making’ and printing or learn drawing and craft skills to create a pop-up millscape to take home.

Oldhamers by the Seaside

(2hrs) KS 1/2

Pupils explore Oldham artist Helen Bradley’s painting, ‘A Summer Afternoon on the Sands at Blackpool’, to learn where and how Oldham people spent their Wakes Week off from work in the mills. Museum artefacts, smells and sensory materials bring the painting to life before pupils create a seaside inspired artwork to take home.

Art Inspired Poetry

(2hrs) KS2 

Pupils explore an original oil painting ‘The White Mountain’, by Victorian artist William Stott of Oldham. Using pre-chosen literary devices, our facilitator guides pupils to create a verse of poetry in pairs, inspired by the painting. Pupils can perform their poem in front of the painting before choosing another artwork or object to write about in one of our exhibition spaces.

Pattern & Print

(2hrs) KS 1/2

Pupils seek out the hidden shapes and patterns within our building and exhibitions in this artist-led printmaking workshop. After developing their observational and sketching skills in the galleries, pupils experiment with printmaking techniques to make their own masterpiece based on the patterns they have found.


(2hrs) KS2

Pupils discover how a volcano works, examine the museum’s volcanic rock collection and carry out a volcano experiment.  They will also discover how Oldhamers helped set up Japan’s first cotton mill on a volcanic island during Victorian times. After their research they can either visit Oldham Music Centre to compose their own music about a volcanic eruption or stay at the gallery and paint a volcano inspired by Japanese artists.

Observing & Classifying Animals

(2hrs) KS1

Using our natural history handling collection, a curator will help pupils closely observe, identify and classify animals. Pupils record their findings through drawing and labelling, then discover relevant specimens on a gallery trail. Pupils also learn about the importance of conservation and make a bird-feeder to take home.


Classification, Adaptation & Food Chains

(2hrs) KS2

Using our natural history handling collection, a curator will help pupils make careful observations and classify animals using observable features and a key. Pupils then visit the galleries to identify and record the similarities and differences of birds’ beaks and feet. They will also discover how features are adapted to suits lifestyles and habitats and watch a video about the importance of biodiversity.

Additional Activities

Digital Workshops

Live Digital Session plus Loans Box

We offer three 1 hour facilitator led live digital sessions straight to your classroom. Each session is accompanied by a loans box on a 10-day loan to explore before, during and after the workshop (£100 for max 35 pupils).

Oldhamers at Work (1 hr plus 15 mins set up – KS2)

Pupils learn about cotton mills, and other industries and jobs in Victorian Oldham before making a pop-up millscape.

Oldhamers by the Seaside (1 hr plus 15 min set up – KS 1/2)

Pupils discover how Oldhamers spent their Wakes Week holidya in Victorian Times before making a pop-up seaside artwork.

Art Inspired Poetry (1 hr plus 15 min set up – KS2)

Pupils learn about Victorian artist William Stott of Oldham and use his painting ‘The White Mountain’ to create a poem.

Schools Loans Boxes and Extra Information

  • Loans Boxes

We also offer National Curriculum focused, Covid secure schools loans boxes to explore independently and enhance in-school teaching over a 10 day loan (£50).

All boxes contain real or replica artefacts, images and information linked to Gallery Oldham’s collection and where relevant Oldham itself. As part of your booking you will also receive via email a link to a topic video on our YouTube page there you can follow a step by step creative activity with your class.

Loan boxes topics include:

Prehistoric Oldham

The Anglo-Saxons and Vikings

Roman Oldham

The Egyptians

Rocks & Fossils


Life Cycles and Food Chains


  • Extra Information

Contact the Education Development Officer for information about:

Loan boxes

Outreach sessions

Teacher CPD

Free site visits to teachers planning a visit


  • Self Guided Oldham Trails

A town centre trail and an Alexandra Park trail map are available for when you venture out with your class.