‘Take One Picture’ is the National Gallery’s countrywide scheme for primary schools. Each year the Gallery focuses upon one painting from the wide collection to inspire cross-curricular work in school classrooms.
For staff from North Crawley and Stoke Goldington Church of England Schools the first stage in the ‘Take One Picture’ journey was a remarkable one-day teachers’ course at the National Gallery where they explored a variety of ways in which paintings can be used across the curriculum. At the end of the day teachers were presented with a print of the featured painting, Still Life with Drinking-Horn, about 1653 by Willem Kalf (1619–1693) and left London with inspirational ideas to use with the children back in school.
“Kalf’s still-life painting shows a collection of objects that celebrate life’s pleasures and luxuries. It also displays the artist’s pleasure and skill in the manipulation of colour, light and painted surfaces” – National Gallery.
The challenge for the teachers was to use the image imaginatively in the classroom, both as a stimulus for artwork, and for work in more unexpected curriculum areas. Yet it was the children themselves who planned the project as their ideas flowed into work on pirates, inspirational writing about shipwrecks, with messages in bottles, ‘posh’ bejewelled drinking glasses, decorated stained glass and amazing 3D lobsters.
A grand exhibition of the fantastic work produced by the children of North Crawley CE School was revealed to parents at the newly opened “North Crawley Gallery”. One parent commented, “Fantastic. We are really impressed. It’s amazing how many ideas came out of this picture.” Another parent remarked “I loved the bright red and orange lobsters…..the large picture collage worked amazingly well – it looked like a real masterpiece.” And one final remark summed up the thoughts of many “It is just like a real gallery – only better!”