Excitement was in the air early on Tuesday morning as the staff and the children anticipated the unveiling of our ‘Take One Picture’ painting for this year.
Every year, primary schools across the country are invited to put one painting from the National Gallery collection at the heart of their curriculum; this year the chosen painting is ‘The Battle of San Romano’ by the early Renaissance artist Paolo Uccello. Two armies on horseback clash in the Italian countryside, in a distant time when soldiers wear ornate armour, and cities, not just countries, go to war. But how much of this is fact, and how much is fiction? This enormous painting is one of a series of three showing a battle that did actually take place between the armies of Florence and Siena in June 1432. The other two panels are in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and the Louvre in Paris – originally they would have hung together in a grand room of a large house in Florence.
Take One Picture encourages the children to make meaningful connections with the arts and is a way of promoting learning outside the classroom as a means of enhancing learning within the classroom. The project aims to promote the visual arts within education, acting as a springboard for cross-curricular work. Mrs Mock and Mrs Hitchin attended a training day at the National Gallery last week and came back buzzing with ideas which they shared with the rest of the staff during our staff meeting on Wednesday evening. Year 6 will be visiting the National Gallery to view the painting the week after next; a visit which will ignite many discussions and ideas I am sure!
The painting will be a starting point for work, not solely in art, but across the whole curriculum. The children are always engaged and have wonderfully creative ideas before and during Take One Picture week and I know that the staff enjoyed hearing their responses and ideas when we revealed the painting on Tuesday. One of the most exciting parts of the project is the way in which the students lead the learning, something that we actively encourage, and for some children, the subject matter and composition of the painting will draw out unknown talents and interests which might not otherwise come to light. The Take One Picture project is the perfect vehicle for raising our pupils’ self esteem and it will provide a superb platform for celebrating the children's creative responses to Uccello’s painting. The results will be displayed at our annual Take One Picture Exhibition in March, which is always impressive.
Our talented Creative Arts team has been busy working on a ‘Statement of Commitment to the Arts’ as we work towards a gold Artsmark Award. Artsmark is the only creative quality standard for schools and education settings, accredited by Arts Council England. One of our priorities as a school is to develop lasting relationships with the local community and we aim to use the Artsmark process to establish and nurture relationships with older people in our community through art, drama, dance and music. I look forward to sharing more with you as our project unfolds!
I wish you a restful weekend.