Region: South East

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Day Trip Destinations

Address: Watts Gallery, Down Lane, Compton, Guildford, Surrey GU3 1DQ

Contact: 01483 901805



An educational visit to Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village is a full day of hands-on learning. Be inspired by the paintings and sculptures on permanent display in Watts Gallery, which opened in 1904 and was purpose built to display work by the famous Victorian artist, George Frederic Watts. Explore the newly opened Watts Studios to gain insight into the space where George and Mary Watts created their masterpieces. Discover Arts & Crafts design at the Grade I listed Watts Chapel, designed by Mary Watts and created by the local community. Explore on your own or take a guided tour, or explore the Artists’ Village in the morning before taking part in practical activities with professional artists in the afternoon.

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Why you are you a great place for educational visits?
We provide inspiring cross-curricular learning through art, architecture and design themes, which supports the national curriculum and post-14 exam syllabuses. Our founders, George and Mary Watts, passionately believed that art was for everyone, and they helped young and emerging artists through teaching art and design to people with little access to it. The Artists’ Village continues this practice today with our learning programme for all ages. It is our belief that creative learning contributes to students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

What does a typical educational visit include?
We provide schools with the opportunity to tailor visits to their unique needs. We can offer self-guided visits, where school groups can discover the Artists’ Village independently using our teachers’ notes to help uncover the history of our collection.

Interactive tours are available for Key Stages 1-5 where students can develop their knowledge and understanding of Art, History, English and Design. We offer the following tours: Costumed Tour (KS 1-2), Art Detective Tour (KS 1-5), Design Detective Tour (KS 3-5) and Heritage Tour (KS 1-3).

Workshops with a focus on History, English and Citizenship are also available including: A Local Study (KS 2-5), where students will have the opportunity to investigate the diaries of Mary Watts and oral histories of people who worked and lived nearby, Campaign (KS 2-5), at which students will learn about the social, political and environmental issues that inspired G F Watts’s art, and Costumes (KS 1-2), where students will discover portraits of well-known Victorians before trying on replica clothes to re-enact the stories in the paintings.

Schools will also have the option to participate in practical workshops, an inspiring opportunity to engage students’ interest and develop creative thinking, communication and analytical skills. We offer workshops in: Drawing (KS 2-5), Design (KS 2-5), Printmaking (KS 1-3), Painting (KS 2-5), Pottery (KS 1-5) and Sculpture (KS 1-5).

What group sizes do you cater for?
We can accommodate groups of up to 30, which will be divided into smaller groups for tours and workshops. Maximum group sizes for creative workshops are 30 children (15 for pottery).

Do you provide projects, teacher’s packs, work sheets or any useful information?
We provide teachers’ notes which will help you uncover the history of the Artists’ Village. We can also offer bespoke training days for your department or whole school.

Are you happy for children to take photos, video or audio?
Children are welcome to take photos, video and audio in Watts Studios, Watts Chapel and the outdoor spaces. Photography is not permitted in the temporary exhibition spaces at Watts Gallery.

What is your process for booking pre arranged risk assessments?
We provide general risk assessments for the site along with specific risk assessments for the locations the group will be visiting. Group leaders are invited to the Artists’ Village before visits to familiarise themselves with the site.

Does your venue have an education officer?
Learning Officer Clare Brunner is our primary contact for school visits.

What is the cost of the visit?
The cost of each visit is dependent on group size. Tours are £40 and workshops are £90 for a group of up to 30 students and £90 for pottery workshops for 15 students. We recommend bringing one adult per 8 children. Please contact the Learning Officer for details.

Is specific clothing required for the trip?
Students will be provided with aprons when taking part in craft activities.

Do you have first aid on site or will the group need to bring a qualified first aider?
Our Learning Team is fully trained in first aid.

Please list facilities available.
The newly opened and fully accessible Clore Learning Studio boasts a purpose-built studio that accommodates 30 students as well as an outdoor learning space. The studio is equipped with easels, printing presses, mannequins, sewing machines, projectors, height adjustable tables and digital tablets.

The Foyle Pottery Studio can accommodate up to 15 students for pottery classes. It is equipped with a kiln, pottery wheels and numerous carving and moulding tools and has an outdoor terrace.

Mini-bus parking bays can be booked. There is a coach drop-off point with nearby parking at Loseley Park.

Schools can enjoy a picnic or packed lunch outside in fine weather or in The Old Kiln or Clore Learning Studio in poor weather. We also have a Tea Shop on site.

What are your disabled facilities?
Fully accessible lavatories are located at Watts Studios and Watts Gallery. Watts Gallery, Watts Studios, the Clore Learning Studio, the Foyle Pottery Studio, the Tea Shop and the Visitor Centre are fully accessible. There is lift access in Watts Gallery and Watts Studios.

We regret that Limnerslease and Watts Contemporary Gallery are not currently wheelchair accessible. Watts Chapel is located at the top of a steep hill, accessed by a cobbled path, which can be a barrier for wheelchair users.

All tours and workshops can be adapted, and we welcome students with special educational needs. The Learning Team is experienced at working with young people with learning and physical disabilities. We offer multi-sensory tours for students with visual impairments and PMLD.

What are your opening days and hours?
Watts Gallery and Watts Studios are open to the public Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 5pm. Watts Chapel is open daily from 9 am to 5pm, and the Visitor Centre, shop and Tea Shop are open daily from 10.30am to 5pm. We are able to accommodate school visits on Mondays.

Do you have any testimonials from previous schools we can include?
‘The learning I observed was based on excellent first-hand experiences and offered the children real opportunities to engage with the art which surrounded them. The range of activities allowed the children to stay on task and fresh throughout the day.’ — Folly Hill, November 2015

‘The children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and learned so much. I always love visiting Watts Gallery, and it was rewarding to share such a lovely place with my young students.’ — Barfield School, August 2014

‘We had a fabulous time and the girls enjoyed all of the activities we were involved in.’ — Upton House, August 2015

Is there anything else that you feel is important and want to include in your information?
To book please contact us on 01483 901 805 or email Contact us to arrange a free pre-visit with a member of the learning team or to discuss how we can meet your school’s needs.

Please note that all visits including self-guided visits must be booked at least three weeks in advance. Cancellation charges apply when less than ten days’ notice are given.

Age of Children / Pupils: Pre-school 5 – 7 years 8 – 10 years 11 – 13 years 14 – 16 years College University

Type of Visit: Arts & Galleries Cathedrals. Abbeys. Churches Crafts Historic Buildings Historical Heritage Museums Storytelling Tourism Organisations

Curriculum Topics Covered: Art and Design History Textiles

Months Open: All Year Round January February March April May June July August September October November December