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National Gallery Schools Education Programme ‘Take One’ Launches Across UK

Issued October 2012

The National Gallery has announced a scheme – the first of its kind in Europe – that will enable museums, galleries, archives and historic sites around the UK to make their collections accessible to young people through enquiry-based learning.

Using its own Take One Picture programme as a model, the Gallery has developed a comprehensive package of materials and information that can be used by cultural organisations seeking to provide education programmes to schools in their areas. Schools can locate organisations offering Take One projects in their area by visiting the National Gallery website.

The new programme takes the methodology of the Gallery’s successful Take One Picture programme (now in its 17th year) and extends its reach across the UK. Aiming to promote the use of historic collections within education, the scheme is set to act as a catalyst to initiatives across the UK. Schools will have the opportunity to engage with their local cultural heritage through cross-curricular projects based on locally accessible objects of interest. Pupils will benefit from access to new and exciting places and objects that lead to inspiring and motivating learning experiences.

Take One uses an object from a cultural organisation’s collection – such as a work of art, a piece of furniture or object of historical importance – to inspire cross-curricular work in primary, middle and secondary schools. The selected object, which in the case of the National Gallery’s programme is a painting, acts as a stimulus for artwork and for work across the curriculum, in areas ranging from history to ICT and science.

Cultural organisations can set up their own Take One programme working with a regional champion – a local cultural organisation already involved in the scheme. The champion will advise them on how to run a project, including object selection and the development of training and resources for teachers.

The launch is the culmination of work initiated in 2009 in partnership with the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), with the aim of enabling regional museums and archives to adapt the National Gallery’s Take One Picture programme to their local context. The launch follows a successful pilot scheme that ran for 18 months from 2010 within the South West, East Midlands and London.

Jillian Barker, the National Gallery’s Director of Education, Information and Access, commented on the new programme:

‘We have been amazed by the infinite capacity of Old Master paintings to inspire children through Take One Picture. We are delighted to see how powerfully the model works with other historic collections through Take One.’

For press information please contact Lizzie Phillips on / 0207 747 2532

Note to editors

Take One

Take One enables museums, galleries, archives and historic buildings to run enquiry-based learning projects for schools using a painting or an object from their collection as a starting point. The scheme is based on the National Gallery’s Take One Picture programme. Museums work in partnership with one of seven regional champion museums and one or more local schools to facilitate cross-curricular learning experiences.

Museums, galleries, archives and historic sites can download information about the location of their regional champion and how to deliver a Take One programme by visiting

Information is also available on the National Gallery’s website for teachers looking to locate a local Take One provider at

The regional champions are: Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Tower of London (Historic Royal Palaces), Leeds Art Gallery, Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Somerset Heritage and Library Services and Herefordshire Museums.

Take One Picture

Take One Picture is the National Gallery's countrywide scheme for primary schools that was launched in 1995. 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.

Each year, a display of work produced by schools based on the painting is shown at the National Gallery and a selection is published on the Take One Picture website. In order to be considered for the display, schools submit examples of how a whole class or school has used the picture in a cross-curricular way to the Gallery’s Education Department by a set date.

During 2012, the one-day Take One Picture Continuing Professional Development courses, run by National Gallery Education, focus on Still Life with Drinking-Horn by Willem Kalf.

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