• Stratford Road, Lighthorne Heath, Leamington Spa,Warwickshire, CV33 9TW
Take One Picture

'Take One Picture' is the National Gallery's countrywide scheme for primary schools. Each year the Gallery focuses on one painting from the collection to inspire cross-curricular work in primary classrooms. During a one-day Continuing Professional Development course at the Gallery teachers are given a print of a painting. The challenge is then for schools to use the image imaginatively in the classroom, both as a stimulus for artwork, and for work in more unexpected curriculum areas. National Gallery Education then displays a selection of the work in the annual 'Take One Picture' exhibition at the National Gallery, and on their website.

Involvement in 'Take One Picture' is a process. In many ways this process is as valuable as the finished work that the students produce. 'Take One Picture' follows a series of stages...

Continuing Professional Development Day at The National Gallery

The first step in the 'Take One Picture' journey is a one-day teachers' course at the National Gallery. During the training, the staff explore the variety of ways in which we can use paintings across the curriculum, and are given an interactive tour of the Gallery. At the end of the course we bring a print of the featured painting, ideas, and inspiration, back to our school.


Thinking about what we would like to do with the 'Take One Picture' painting is the first step in the creative process. Thinking is how we develop ideas. We think creatively and talk to other people in our federation’s schools about how we can use the painting to support children's learning across the curriculum. Brainstorming around existing Schemes of work or curriculum plans helps us to develop ideas.


Once we have thought through our ideas about what to do with the picture, the next step is to plan carefully how best to achieve them. Questions we think about include:

  • When in the timetable can we use the painting?
  • Can we adapt existing schemes of work?
  • What resources do we need to use, including additional adult support?
  • Will the children need to develop new skills or will you reinforce existing skills and knowledge?
  • Do we want to work with people outside the school?

When planning our ideas, it is also helpful to consider ways in which our school will achieve the following Take One Picture objectives:

  • Promote the visual arts within education
  • Raise pupils’ self-esteem and standards
  • Promote learning outside the classroom as a means of enhancing learning within the classroom
  • Provide a stimulus for building the wider school community
  • Enable pupils to build meaningful connections and inspire a lifelong love of learning

After the thinking and planning comes the doing - when children create their own work. The process of creating takes place during discrete art lessons as well as across other subjects. Sometimes, we have a dedicated  week or fortnight when the whole school works of the project, in partnership with our artist~in~residence, Ros Ingram.

‘Take One Picture' activities at our school have ranged widely, and have included learning across a wide range of subjects (not just the arts!).

The process of making work collaboratively or individually can be very engaging for children. Staff, pupils, parents and staff always comment on how motivating and stimulating they find the project.


After the process of creating, the next stage is to share the work with a wider audience. Sharing gives children and staff a chance to reflect on and to evaluate their work. We love to share our work on our weekly newsletters and right here, on our school website!  We also submit our work every year to the National Gallery and have been fortunate enough to share our work with a wider audience through the 'Take One Picture' exhibition at the National Gallery. Our Executive Head Teacher, Juliette Westwood, has also previously been invited to share our school’s ‘Take One Picture’ project learning at one of the Continuing Professional Development Days at the National Gallery for teaching staff nationwide.


After the thinking, planning, creating and sharing, what then? Involvement in 'Take One Picture' has had a wide impact. For teachers, it provides training and professional development opportunities, encouraging new ways of working. 'Take One Picture' encourages students of all abilities because of the flexible and open framework. Being involved in class, whole school and national projects improves confidence in their own work and enhances a sense of ownership for their national collection of paintings.