Take One

Take One logo

Inspired by the National Gallery’s Take One Picture programme, Take One aims to encourage primary teachers to use a single historic building, painting, object or document as a springboard for creative cross-curricular work in the classroom. From 2009 to 2013, Bishopsgate Institute championed Take One in London in partnership with Historic Royal Palaces Education Service.

As part of our partnership commitment, we co-facilitated a popular CPD training day for teachers and educators at the Tower of London every October. We also devised and delivered archive learning workshops for Key Stage 2 pupils. These workshops enabled the pupils to view the selected Take One document at close quarters. Structured source-based activities and slideshow presentations provided insight into its historic significance and wider context. Back at school, pupils produced a range of creative responses to the document; they also extended their learning across subject areas other than history, including art, literacy, maths and science.  

Each year a different document is chosen for Take One. This painting, by a Year 4 pupil at Ben Jonson Primary in Tower Hamlets, was inspired by the cover design of the archive item selected for Take One in 2010-11: 'How London Lives,' sheet music published in 1898.

As well as allowing us to reach out to new primary schools across London, taking part in Take One refreshed our core learning programme by encouraging a more sustained and profound engagement with a single historic document from our library and archive collections. The summer exhibition of pupils' artwork was a particular project highlight. In 2012 and 2013, this one-day exhibition took place in the breathtaking surroundings of Banqueting House and included 2-d and 3-d artwork and film inspired directly by the programme learning. The willingness of teachers to 'go the extra mile' for the project was always appreciated. In one school, the enthusiasm and dedication of the Design & Technology specialist teacher encouraged practically every single year group to get involved in the project! Staff and trustees from both partner organisations were impressed by the high quality of the work submitted for the summer exhibition throughout the four years of collaboration on Take One. For teachers, taking part presented inspirational opportunities for cross-curricular work – at the same time sparking creative learning and discussion in the classroom right across the ability range.