• 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


(2hrs) KS2

In this enquiry-based workshop pupils investigate, draw and handle museum artefacts, watch original film footage and explore local archival material.  By the end of the session pupils will understand what made Oldham the biggest cotton spinning town in the world.

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.


(2hrs) KS2

In this outdoor walking workshop pupils consider why the original design of Oldham Town Hall was based on an ancient Greek temple and how the building has evolved from being a Mayor’s parlour in 1841 to a 21st-century cinema. Teachers can choose either drawing or photography as a focus for the workshop. Waterproof coats can be provided.

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.


(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.


(2hrs) KS 1/2

Pupils seek out the hidden 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.

NEW - 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.


NEW - 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

FREE - Self-Guided Visits

KS 1/2/3 

Check out our website for current exhibitions and free school resources to print and bring with you on the day. Self-guided visits are free and include use of clipboards, pencils, and a cloakroom stand. Please contact us to book your slot for a self-guided visit for your class.

Extra Information

Contact the Education Development Officer for information about:

  • Loan boxes
  • Outreach sessions
  • Teacher CPD
  • Free site visits to teachers planning a visit