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16 September 2020

Scrolling instead of strolling: School trip goes ahead from the comfort of John Lyon classroom

The first School trip of the academic year has seen GCSE Art pupils tour the National Portrait Gallery, all without leaving the School site.

The group of 13 Year 10 pupils spent a full morning within the walls of the central London Gallery looking at works selected for the BP Portrait Award 2020.

The virtual tour let pupils scroll their way through the various exhibition rooms, looking at all 2,000 artworks hanging on the walls, with the ability to click on each image to see it in more detail and learn more. As would be the case on a regular gallery tour, pupils sketched a number of the works they saw.

As well as looking at the competition’s winning entries, there was a focus on a particular work by artist Charles Williams, titled I saw Will Self riding a Brompton down John Islip Street. The original work was a ‘lightening sketch’, made as the artist saw the titled event take place, and this became a useful lesson for the pupils in how to sketch well at speed.

Speaking after the virtual excursion, Head of Art Miss Courtney Burley said: “While we would all have liked to see the portrait exhibition within the walls of the gallery there has been great value in looking in detail at these stunning portraits online, with the ability to move around the rooms and zoom in on some of the finer details. It also gave us the opportunity to combine a gallery visit with a lesson on artistic technique, which will help our Year 10 pupils as they begin their GCSE course.

“Some of the world’s best galleries are right on our doorstep in London and we look forward to returning to them when we can.”

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