Barber Schools: projects

Online pilot programme

January to March 2021

In January 2021, just as we entered another national lockdown, the Barber’s Learning and Engagement team launched an online Barber Schools pilot programme. This pilot allowed us to engage with teachers and students, giving them access to the collection during a time of physical closure and home learning.

Delivered through the BEP (Birmingham Education Partnership) Secondary Visual Art Teacher Network, this pilot was a way for us to explore what schools currently needed from galleries and museums. We set out to consider what the Barber could uniquely offer schools in terms of ideas, learning and experiences.

We supported remote learning by delivering free, 45-minute workshops to teachers and their pupils. Each session was inspired by our Artwork in Focus resource, which explores an artwork through language, object-based enquiry, and creative activities.

The Barber team would like to thank each secondary school that got involved in our pilot. This experience has been invaluable in helping us to shape the future of Barber Schools and we can’t wait until we are able to share our galleries with you again.


Many of our students expressed both thanks and how much they enjoyed and benefitted from the sessions which were well organised with a very considered structure. Their artwork has been inspired by the work done in the sessions which is great.

The online session was great. Professionally put together and delivered offering outside insight to the works on display. Thank you.

The online talk was so accessible and it reduced the usual issues of students missing core subjects when taking part in an event.

Such a wonderful session. We are so grateful! It was truly inspiring. I’m inspired! They are very grateful of all the work you have put into it, including the additional resources. The students responded so well, and they are full of ideas as to how to respond.

We finished our last workshop before half term yesterday and, including a stack of drawings, we’ve gained some valuable experiences and felt thrilled to be able to work with galleries again. Thank you again.

Gallery: students’ responses