The relationship between the National Gallery and the University of Gloucestershire PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education) Art and Design course has been built over the past five years. In 2003-4 a project was undertaken which involved all of the ITE students and their school-based mentors.
The theme of the project was 'The Four Elements', based around four National Gallery paintings by Joachim Beuckelaer of the same name. Made between 1569 and 1570, each painting takes one of the elements as its focus, symbolizing earth, fire, air and water by references to the natural world.
The PGCE students attended a study day at the Gallery with their mentors, where they discussed the paintings and devised their own schemes of work. Back on their school placements the students used these ideas with year 10 GCSE art and design students.
Many syllabus criteria were fulfilled by exploring and analyzing the paintings, together with the GCSE students interpreting the theme in their own ways.