You are here: Home

Take One: Engaging Teachers and Children with Collections

xe6a9639  axbridge cpd 4

“This is just the kind of thing we need to keep the curriculum fresh, interesting and creative.”

- Primary School teacher

Working with local schools can be a fruitful relationship but many museums struggle to engage teachers. Often all that is needed to spark the interest of teachers is a good idea, and the Take One model might be just the idea museums need.

Based on the National Gallery’s hugely successful Take One Picture project, it aims to help local teachers explore the cross-curricular uses of collections, by choosing a single object, document, site or picture as a focus. Where possible students explore an object with local significance to increase their identity with, and understanding of, their local area.

How does Take One work?

  • A museum works in partnership with one or more local schools to facilitate engaging cross-curricular learning experiences.
  • Each Take One project might involve one class, year group or the whole school. This might be a day of events, a week, a half term or a full term.
  • At the end of the project, pupils’ achievements are celebrated through an exhibition or event.
  • Throughout the process museum staff, teachers and pupils develop shared learning through collaborative working – which is at the heart of Take One

Planning your project

There are a few simple things you can do to start you thinking about your own Take One project.

  1. Explore the National Gallery Take One website
  2. Download the full Take One workbook
  3. Read through the resources shown below
  4. Watch the Take One promotional video created by The National Gallery
  5. Attend a Champion or National Gallery training day

Running a Take One project

Take One projects is a simple project which can be run on a shoestring by most museums. The process is relatively simple; the returns massive.

  • Step 1: Choose an object
  • Step 2: Deliver training for teachers with accompanying teachers’ resources
  • Step 3: Teachers devise and deliver projects
  • Step 4: Celebrate the outcomes, for example through an exhibition

As the National Gallery is treating projects around the country as partners, you will be able to use their branding and host your case study on their website. The steps towards becoming a National Gallery partner are to:

  • Attend a Take One museums’ training day
  • Observe a teachers’ training day delivered by the National Gallery (attendence is free but you will need to organise travel to London)
  • Have an informal meeting with the champion to support the planning of your project
  • Sign a partnership agreement, including commitment to annual Take One regional network meeting and collecting data

The Take One model can be broken down into several stages. Each stage has associated worksheets you can use to plan your own Take One project. Below is a selection of fact sheets created by the SW Champion to compliment to National Galleries workbook (above):

Topics Additional Worksheets
Choosing your object Selection criteria
‘Ways in’ to objects Three-stage model
Lines of enquiry
Creating Teachers’ Notes
Hosting a CPD Pro forma letter to schools
Supporting school activity Hosting an exhibition

Regional Champion Support

During 2009-10 MLA funded 17 museums and archives across the South West, East Midlands and London to deliver pilot Take One projects.In 2010-11, Somerset Heritage Service were appointed Take One Champion for the South West to further develop the Take One model in partnership with the MLA and the National Gallery. Since then 10 organisations have run Take One projects in the south west. A further 53 museums and heritage organisations have now taken part in Take One training. Click HERE for the full list.

From 2012 onwards the Somerset Heritage Services remained as SW Champions, liaising directly with the National Gallery, but without funding support. As of September 2013, the Somerset Heritage Service stepped down as Take One Champions due to changes in staffing. If you are interested in undertaking a Take One project, you can liaise with the National Gallery directly, or contact another regional Champion.

Case Studies

Since 2009, 10 projects have taken place in the South West in a range of museums from Local Authority museums and archives to small volunteer run community museums. They chose a range of objects and paintings to run their projects in their local area:

  1. Axbridge & District Museum: The Hiring Fair - Case Study & Teachers' Notes
  2. Blake Museum: The Irene - Case Study & Teachers' Resources
  3. Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum: Painting
  4. Gloucester City Museum & Art Gallery: Wheatstone Concertina
  5. Gwennap Pit: the entire site
  6. Hinkley Point Archaeology Outreach Project: Wick Barrow Bronze Age Beakers
  7. Museum of Somerset: Low Ham Mosaic
  8. North Somerset Museum: Roman Patera
  9. Shaftesbury Abbey and Gold Hill Museum: Gold Hill
  10. Watchet Market House Museum: Sculpture of St. Decuman’s Church - Case Study & Teachers' Notes
  11. Wells and Mendip Museum: The Bicycle Pump Respirator - Teachers' Notes


Contact the National Gallery directly if you have a query about running a Take One project or would like to find out more:you!

The National Gallery
National Gallery Education
The National Gallery
Trafalgar Square

Telephone: 020 7747 2424
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it