Since 1995 the National Gallery has challenged primary schools across the UK to use paintings in the classroom as a focus for cross-curricular teaching and learning. Hundreds of schools have taken up this challenge. Many of them submit work to the annual exhibition.
The painting for 2008, Ruben's 'View of Het Steen in the Early Morning', depicts Rubens’s country home at Elewijt, an area of natural beauty between Brussels and Antwerp where he spent the last years of his life.
Highlights of this exhibition included:
- Puppet theatres, made by children of different ages working together
- A collage animation by 5 and 6-year-olds, which explores the effects of pollution on the environment
- A model of the imagined interior of Rubens’s house, which was put together by every pupil from one school
- Examples of how field trips to farms and rural activity centres can promote art making, science work, and writing
Three-dimensional models of cows produced by year 4 pupils from St Nicholas CE Primary School. © St Nicholas CE Primary School