Take One Picture
About the scheme
Every year, we take one picture from the collection to inspire cross-curricular work in primary classrooms.
Activities based around the focus paintings happen throughout the year:
Our Take One Picture CPD courses offer teachers the opportunity to learn about the focus painting from Gallery experts, to explore it in depth with their peers, and to develop techniques and ideas for using paintings as a resource for curriculum-based learning.
Back in the classroom, teachers introduce the painting to their students and complete a project based on the picture, focusing on a pupil-led approach.
While we do encourage it, teachers do not have to attend a CPD day to submit a project to the annual exhibition. Teachers’ notes about the focus painting are also available online.
Annual exhibition at the National Gallery
Held every summer at the Gallery, the annual Take One Picture exhibition showcases children’s responses to the focus painting. To be considered for an exhibition, schools submit examples of how a class, year group, or whole school used the painting to inspire creative learning across the curriculum. Projects are selected for exhibitions using the following criteria:
- Investigative approach: Pupil-led research
- Process: Pupils have the opportunity to learn a new process inspired by the focus painting
- Cross-curricular learning: The project must link subjects across the curriculum
- Community: Involving the wider community
- Focus painting links: All the work submitted must link back to the focus painting.
Local celebrations and exhibitions
As well as submitting work to the annual exhibition at the Gallery, many schools hold their own local celebrations and exhibitions throughout the year. From galleries set up in school halls, to assemblies and special parents’ evenings, the children’s work can be celebrated in a number of different ways.
Each year, CPD days run from October through to April. Schools have until the following October to submit work to the exhibition.
2017–18 focus painting: Joseph Wright ‘of Derby’, An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump, 1768
2018–19 focus painting: George Bellows, Men of the Docks, 1912
- The related CPD days finished in April 2019. If you missed the CPD days but would still like to work on this painting, you can use our Teachers' notes as a teaching resource
- October 2019: Exhibition submission portal opens – further details to be announced during summer 2019
- Summer 2020: Exhibition takes place
2019–20 focus painting: To be announced
- Details of the next focus painting will be announced in summer 2019
- The related CPD days will start in October 2019 and run through to April 2020.