We've heard some great stories about how schools from across the UK and beyond are using the Your Paintings website as a valuable resource for teaching and learning
Frederick Whitehead’s The Leam near Willes Road Bridge, Warwickshire is being studied by pupils at Flore C.E Primary School in Northampton. The serene and gentle landscape picturing the river Leam in Leamington, which was local to Whitehead, inspired every year group to undertake a project.
The Leam near the Willes Road Bridge, Warwickshire
(Frederick William Newton Whitehead, Collection: Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum)
I visited Flore’s annual Summer Art Exhibition in 2011, and was extremely impressed by the way lessons were planned to help children understand the natural connections between National Curriculum subject areas.
Fieldwork outside of the classroom was linked to the theme of ‘Rivers’ from Key Stage 2 Geography; whilst ideas for flowerbed displays and modern park shelters came from research into landscape gardening and botanical architecture. This activity also helped children use Design Technology and numeracy skills.
Investigations into classifying and learning about the life-cycle of green plants included recording specimens with observational drawing, incorporating both Science and Art .
Secondary schools too have been using the Your Paintings website in the classroom. The Tagger, with its simple instructions to get the public supplying keywords for paintings, has been a particular hit with students and teachers at Uffculme School in Devon. Here, the Tagger was a starting point for an artist study project. Hundreds of students have been involved, some telling teachers how even their parents are tagging as a result. A teacher from Uffculme said, “The level of engagement has been really exciting, and pupils who would normally be out playing football are staying in to tag!”.
And at the NYC iSchool in New York, meanwhile, Art History students have used the Tagger to develop their skills of description. They were asked to consider which people, places and events they tagged, and also describe the overall composition, colour, texture and style of the paintings they viewed. History teacher Mrs Katy Barber adds, "This class earns students credit in global history, as many of the paintings document historical events. Later in the term, students are asked to collect an online exhibit of their preferred works of historical significance, and they are encouraged to include paintings that they encountered with the Tagger."
Has your school been using the Your Paintings website or Tagger? If so, please do tell us what you have been doing by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karen Hosack Janes is the Public Catalogue Foundation's Schools Education Advisor.