We’re always happy to see school groups – talk to us beforehand and we can tailor your visit to suit your needs.

Shape the Future
18 November – 5 February

Shape the Future presents new work by 20 of Irelands most exciting and creative designer makers who have been awarded Future Makers prizes in the past 7 years. Working across Fashion, Jewellery, Accessories, Textiles, Furniture, Product, Glass, Ceramics and Leather; each of the designer makers are creating new work in response to the exhibition theme, which asked how craft and design shape our cultural identity and how culture can influence craft and design. The exhibition explores links between making today and what it might mean to be a maker in the future. This lively and diverse exhibition will be particularly interesting to students who are considering careers in art, craft or design.

PRIMARY | Exhibition Guided Visit

Our educators introduce your class to ceramic arts, developing their understanding of the elements and principles of art and design. Pupils are encouraged to share their own personal responses, joining in a discussion on the ideas, processes and the ceramic artist’s creative approaches to their craft. Guided Visit takes 35-40 minutes and can be complemented with Young Makers Discovery Activity. BOOK NOW

PRIMARY | Exhibition Guided Visit + Young Makers Discovery Activity

Following their guided exhibition visit, primary pupils can explore with our Young Makers Discovery Activity, becoming visual detectives investigating the exhibition, their search bringing them on a trail of illustrations, patterns, shapes and textures. This explorer resource is a fun self-guided activity that encourages students to look closer, examining visual design around them. Guided Visit with Young Makers Discovery Activity takes approx 60 minutes. BOOK NOW

SECONDARY | Junk Kouture Workshops - Exploring Creative Design Ideas for Junk Kouture with Joan Brennan

Thurs 17, 24 Nov and 1 Dec, 1.30-3.30pm

Irish fashion designer and lecturer Joan Brennan’s will facilitate three intensive workshops on idea development and garment construction for Transition Year students applying to the Junk Kouture competition. Students are invited to bring along their early stage designs, mood boards and some of their chosen materials to work with Joan in a two-hour intensive session developing their ideas into wearable forms. Students can also visit our exhibition Shape the Future, drawing inspiration from the exciting new work presented by 20 innovative Irish designers across fashion, accessories, jewellery and textiles. Download full details Each session is limited to a single school group, with a cost per student €10. Places limited, booking essential.  BOOK NOW

SECONDARY | Exhibition Guided Visit

Our educators introduce your class to ceramic arts, nurturing their sensitivity and developing their understanding of the elements and principles of art and design. Led by our experienced and energetic education facilitators, this tour is pitched to suit your class group. It is particularly suitable for students of Art, Craft & Design, but equally would be interesting for Transition Year students. Tour takes approx 40 minutes and can be followed by a session sketching from the exhibition (further 20-30 minutes). BOOK NOW

SECONDARY | Leaving Certificate Gallery Question

For Senior Cycle Art, Craft & Design classes, we facilitate investigative and exploratory exhibition visits with a specific focus on the Leaving Certificate Gallery Question (LCGQ). During your visit our education team will help you cover the key points involved when approaching this question, getting students thinking about some of the interesting works, the key exhibition themes, curation, exhibition design, use of lighting and contextual programme. Before your visit download a free education kit for Senior Cycle students here: Leaving Certificate Art Appreciation at the National Craft Gallery. Tour and exploration activity together take 90 minutes. BOOK NOW

THIRD LEVEL | In-depth Exhibition Visits

Students groups from Art, Craft and Design courses are invited to book a gallery visit with a full introduction to Shape the Future exhibition, with spotlight on a number of the designers involved and an overview of our Future Makers programme.   BOOK NOW

Resources for schools

To access a wide range of free online craft education resources and supports for schools, visit Learn Craft Design, set up by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland's Education Department to offer inspiring and accessible ideas for teachers and students.

The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland have developed Craft Lesson Plans which are designed to support the learning that has begun in the National Craft Gallery during your visit. Download easy to follow lesson plans to support the VA curriculium on Weaving, Wire Sculpture and Printing. Download Primary level lesson plans

As part of Irish Design 2015 a suite of design worksheets were developed for Primary School children along with teachers notes to expand the learning within a group enviroment. This resource focuses on eight everyday objects to introduce children to product design thinking and process. Download the Young Designers Tool Kit.

Gallery Tours

A visit to the National Craft Gallery will provide your class with an enjoyable and inspirational way of learning more about art, craft and design. All ages are welcome to book our free school tours, from Primary to Third-Level; we tailor each gallery visit to suit your classes' age and ability. We are delighted welcome groups from Primary, Secondary, Third Level and Adult Ed. Our educators will introduce your students to design and craft through a tailored exhibition talking-tour. Book a tour for your class here.

The Butler Gallery is five minutes walk from the National Craft Gallery, allowing you to pack a lot of cultural activity into your visit!