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In the following short films, teacher and resource consultant Penny Huntsman guides you through The Superpower of Looking alongside in-class demonstrations. The first film outlines the adaptable stages each Superpower lesson follows, and the second film demonstrates the Superpower Kit in action, a series of questions that introduce the formal elements we consider when we 'read' an image. The third film covers the Superpower films, cross-curricular activities and using the resource with pupils with SEND / ASN. Below the films, you'll find curriculum links and further guidance.





The Superpower of Looking method

The Q&A method at the core of The Superpower of Looking lessons and Superpower Kit prompts deeper thinking (active learning) and encourages agency in learners by facilitating them to:

  • learn and understand new concepts (the Superpower Kit)
  • apply this learning to new images
  • analyse images through activities and consolidate their learning and application skills through comparing and contrasting
  • evaluate images through peer discussion, substantiating points with evidence; scrutinise and make critical judgements
  • create and innovate across disciplines


Art & Design curriculum links

Art & Design curriculum links across all four national curricula can be found near the beginning of every Superpower of Looking lesson plan.


Cross-curricular links

There are many ways in which the Superpower of Looking resource connects with other areas of the national curricula. You can find adaptable cross-curricular activity ideas near the end of each Lesson Planning page connecting with the following subjects:

Dance: History 3

Drama: Still Life 2

English: History 2; Everyday 2Landscape 1

Geography: Landscape 1

History (including Black History): History 4; Portrait 1Portrait 4Everyday 3; Landscape 3

Languages: Portrait 4

Mathematics: Portrait 3; Landscape 4

Music: Landscape 3

PSHE / Health and wellbeing: Portrait 2Everyday 4; Still Life 4; full details in next section below

Religious and moral education: History 1

Science: Everyday 1; Landscape 2; Still Life 1

Social studies: Everyday 3

Technologies (Food): Still Life 3

It also supports the non-statutory programme for Citizenship (KS2) by supporting pupils to:

  • talk and write about their opinions, explaining their views on issues that affect themselves and society
  • recognise their worth as individuals by identifying positive things about themselves and their achievements, seeing their mistakes, making amends and setting personal goals
  • research, discuss and debate topical issues, problems and events
  • reflect on spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues, using imagination to understand other people's experiences


PSHE / CfE Health and Wellbeing

Additionally, in a broader context, The Superpower of Looking provides opportunities to connect with many elements of PSHE teaching, and with Health and Wellbeing E&Os in Scotland.

The following are a selection of examples of how the images in The Superpower of Looking can be used to explore core themes and learning opportunities outlined in the 2020 Programme of Study for PSHE Education at KS2 level:


Health and Wellbeing

H5. about what good physical health means; how to recognise early signs of physical illness

H6. about what constitutes a healthy diet; how to plan healthy meals; benefits to health and wellbeing of eating nutritionally rich foods; risks associated with not eating a healthy diet including obesity and tooth decay.

H15. that mental health, just like physical health, is part of daily life; the importance of taking care of mental health

H23. about change and loss, including death, and how these can affect feelings; ways of expressing and managing grief and bereavement

H25. about personal identity; what contributes to who we are (e.g. ethnicity, family, gender, faith, culture, hobbies, likes/dislikes)

H26. that for some people gender identity does not correspond with their biological sex

  • Portrait 1 comparison – non-binary artist Zanele Muholi

H27. to recognise their individuality and personal qualities



R1. to recognise that there are different types of relationships (e.g. friendships, family relationships, romantic relationships, online relationships)

  • Portrait 3My Parents and Brother and Sister
  • Everyday 1 – figures in An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump

R3. about marriage and civil partnership as a legal declaration of commitment made by two adults who love and care for each other, which is intended to be lifelong

R8. to recognise other shared characteristics of healthy family life, including commitment, care, spending time together; being there for each other in times of difficulty

  • Portrait 3My Parents and Brother and Sister
  • Everyday 1 – figures in An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump

R13. the importance of seeking support if feeling lonely or excluded

  • History 2The Lady of Shalott and The Princes in the Tower
  • Portrait 2Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear and Self-Portrait with Best Dress
  • Portrait 3 comparison – Brother and Sister 

R34. how to discuss and debate topical issues, respect other people's point of view and constructively challenge those they disagree with

  • In-class discussion throughout all lessons
  • Everyday 3Chairing the Member


Living in the Wider World

L5. ways of carrying out shared responsibilities for protecting the environment in school and at home; how everyday choices can affect the environment (e.g. reducing, reusing, recycling; food choices)

L9. about stereotypes; how they can negatively influence behaviours and attitudes towards others; strategies for challenging stereotypes

  • History 2The Lady of Shalott
  • History 3 comparison – the gender of the painter of Scotland for Ever!
  • Portrait 4The Tailor and Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando
  • Everyday 2The Scullery Maid

 L11. recognise ways in which the internet and social media can be used both positively and negatively

  • Portrait 2 cross-curricular activity focused on Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear

L16. about how text and images in the media and on social media can be manipulated or invented; strategies to evaluate the reliability of sources and identify misinformation

L24. to identify the ways that money can impact on people's feelings and emotions

L26. that there is a broad range of different jobs/careers that people can have; that people often have more than one career/type of job during their life

L27. about stereotypes in the workplace and that a person's career aspirations should not be limited by them