School Name: Bilton Church of England Junior School
School Address: Plantagenet Drive, Rugby, CV22 6LB
Contact Teacher: Mrs. Faye McKee- Art Leader/ Alex Norton- Head Teacher
School Phone: 01788 810675
Email : [email protected]/ [email protected]
No. of teachers involved in the delivery of your TOP project: 15
How many students took part : 105 pupils per year group from Year 3-6
Did you or a colleague attend the TOP CPD day? Yes
Has your school used Take One Picture to support ArtsMark? No
Bilton Junior Church of England Junior School is a three form entry junior
school located in Rugby, Warwickshire.
Our children love their art lessons, however with increasing pressures being
placed upon delivering the core subjects it can be one of the first subjects to be
knocked off the timetable. The BBC reports that ‘Creativity and the arts are
being squeezed out of schools’, so this seems to be a national picture.
Therefore, when we heard about the Take One Picture project, led by The
National Gallery, we thought it would be an excellent way to raise the profile of
Art & Design and inspire other learning through its exploratory approach.
I led an Arts Week in the month of July based on the fresco, ‘Penelope with the
Suitors’, painted by Pinturicchio in the 16th Century.
We spent time using
viewfinders to look at
sections of the picture and
spotting as many different
objects as we could.
The children enjoyed
spotting many different
patterns so this became
their first focus. Here they
are using pastels to pick
out the various colours
and shape that they see in
Investigating patterns found in the fresco through tactile use of art materials was highly
engaging and an excellent tool to encourage year 3 to study the fresco in closer detail.
Eventually the children began to question what
Penelope was doing, which led them to
understanding the art of weaving and its
importance in history.
We watched videos of how the loom worked
and took different fabrics apart to find the
threads and how the fabrics were put
together. We then learnt how to weave using
“We were picking out thread from the
material to see how it was made. I
found it difficult when I was breaking
apart the third material. I enjoyed
-Mariam Yasin, aged 8
Next we used
cardboard looms to
wool. We used a
lolly stick as a bobbin
and taped the wool
to it. Many children
attempts to weave
using wool and found
it very challenging
but they showed
good perseverance .
We then used our new learnt skills to attempt a large whole year group weaving. In
the picture we could see the view out of Penelope's window which showed lots of the
adventures of Odysseus and we decided to make our own woven view.
The pupils sketched the view from the windows in school and we took photographs to
base our weaving on. We used recycled
plastic bags to weave the view and
the pupils selected suitable colour
bags, and referred to the colours they
could see in the view to help them
weave the picture. We tried to weave
different sections in different
directions to make each stand out.
-Mrs Thompson, Year 3 Teacher
“We looked at Penelope with the Suitors. It is a fresco from
Italy. They drew it on paper with charcoal then transferred the
outline to the wall. Like Penelope, we weaved a view but from
our classroom, 3AT. We had to weave shopping bags through the
squares. We used Sainsbury bags for bricks. Asda and any other
green bags were used for grass, and lots more for different
-Isabel Davies, aged 8
We studied the
fresco and decided
that we wanted to
investigate the cat
in the picture
cats…lots of cats!
“When I did the pencil sketch I was terrible at the
start but then I tried and tried again and finally I
did it. It was lovely to look at other people’s
- Callum, aged 9
After our observational sketching, one half of the year group wanted to create a Jackson
Pollock inspired piece on canvas, whilst the other decided to create a Batik hanging.
Children were closely supervised
due to the hot wax!
The Batik hangings depicting
images of cats, inspired by the cat
at the bottom of Pinturicchio's
-Mrs Vipond, Year 4 Teacher
In Year 5, we began our project by playing the
soundscape, based on the fresco, provided by
The National Gallery.
Children drew what they could hear. Many of their sketches featured crashing waves and
sail boats. Some children listened very carefully and included pigs, meowing cats and a
bow and arrow. I was surprised that they were able to identify the sound of a bow and
arrow being shot which actually
represents the bow and arrow
competition played by Odysseus.
We studied cropped images of parts of
the fresco. Children posed questions
about what they saw and made
observations and some began making
In the style of Paul Klee, we drew some
of these images without looking at our
sketch book page, which turned into a
highly engaging task. The children were
able to focus on form and shape in
Pintoricchio’s ‘Penelope with the
Suitors’. To save paper and create an
abstract effect they were asked to
overlap their drawings, creating a
Can you spot any of the details from the
The children became very
interested in learning more about
the story of Odysseus , so we
listened first to the BBC Radio show
based on the story- reflecting
mainly on Penelope’s story first.
We wrote diary entries from the
perspective of Odysseus’ wife.
Whilst watching the animation of
Odysseus, the children made notes
about his epic adventure and all of the
different obstacles he had to overcome
during his 10 year voyage home.
We wrote kennings about Odysseus.
These were created on tracing paper
overlaying a map with symbols to
represent his journey.
The colour blue became our next line of
enquiry. We learnt that it was likely that
the pigment lapis lazuli was used by
Pintoricchio in the fresco. With research
we discovered that this would have been
a highly valued colour, sourced from the
Silk Trade Route.
Some of the children wanted to explore
creating their own different shades of
blue. Some then attempted to create
their own names for the hues.
Keeping on the blue theme, we invited a
local artist in to work with us. We
worked with stoneware clay to create
thumb pinch pots.
“I enjoyed lots of things during the week. Firstly, I liked watching the video about how
a fresco would have been created back in the day. Secondly, it was fun in the activity
where my partner described a Pinturicchio painting, and I had to draw it. I didn’t know
what it was supposed to look like but they had to describe it as I drew itThen I got to
see how close to the original I managed to make it.
When making the clay pots I found it tricky at first but on my second one it got easier.
-Lily, aged 10
“BI eenfojoryeed… After
These were fired, then filled with blue glass
which went through the firing process a
second time so that they would melt.
The final pieces were mounted on reclaimed
wood (much like old wood that could have
been from the galleon in the fresco). The
original idea was to hang the wood on a wall
like the bow and arrow behind Penelope, but
due to spacing issues the sculpture will be
fixed into the ground on our school premises.
I find it interesting that the pots actually look
like barnacles which I could imagine were on
the bottom of the galleon that Odysseus
-Mrs McKee, Year 5 Teacher
We began with creating lines of enquiry
based around the fresco.
We focussed on Penelope, the central
character, and conducted a character
study based on her role in the Odyssey.
We then used drama to explore her role
further. We split a play script, which
depicts Odysseus departing for war and
then Penelope and Telemachus waiting
for his return, learning about the end of
the Trojan War and seeing the other
Greek soldiers return, into smaller chunks
and performed each part to the class in
We linked the theme of We then designed our own WW1/2 sweetheart
the painting – Penelope pins. We also used drama to investigate the
waiting for Odysseus to emotions behind the sweetheart pins, creating a
return from war – to our sketch that showed soldiers giving their
topic learning – World sweethearts pins before going off to war to fight
Wars One and Two. We and whether they returned.
pins that soldiers gave to
their wives and
girlfriends in the First and
Second World Wars,
focussing on the imagery
We first designed and studied
World War II badges, before
designing one specifically for
We were inspired by the
context of that time period
and stories we had heard
about what Odysseus would
have encountered on his
“Some of us decided to make
our sweetheart designs using
collage techniques straight
into our sketchbooks”
We then considered whether Odysseus would have given Penelope a sweetheart pin
before leaving for war. We explored the imagery and symbolism around the story (bow
and arrow, olive tree, Greek Gods) as well as other Greek symbols for love, endurance,
marriage, hope etc. We created collages based around this symbolism.
We then designed our own sweetheart pins for Odysseus – some children sketched,
others used a design software on the computer – and then annotated a photocopy to
explain our choices, explaining what each part meant. We then crafted the pins out of
clay and spray painted them.
“I really enjoyed working with clay because we don’t often get to use it.
We were making sweetheart pins inspired by World War II soldiers. We made pins in
clay form our designs.
It was tricky to form the right shape for my design and the details were harder to
I didn’t know the story of Penelope and Odysseus even though I really enjoy Greek
mytholog,y so I was thoroughly inspired by the week’s work.
-Keira, aged 11