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News | We launch Your Paintings: Masterpieces in Schools

Pupils from St Matthew's Primary School in Stretford examining a work by L. S. Lowry

Children from St Matthew's Primary School in Stretford examining L. S. Lowry's Market Scene, Northern Town

This month twenty-six masterpieces will be lent by museums and other collections around the United Kingdom to primary and secondary schools for the day, in a programme that seeks to introduce young students to the nation’s rich and varied painting collection. The project was launched yesterday when works by Monet, Turner, Gainsborough and Lowry were loaned to schools in Shropshire, Cardiff, Peterborough and Greater Manchester. Have a look at this brilliant video of Monet's Le chemin creux dans la falaise à Varangeville visiting Onny C of E Primary School yesterday. Artists Bob and Roberta Smith and John Byrne are leading the project and will be visiting a selection of schools.

The project offers participating children a unique opportunity to explore the contemporary relevance of a famous painting and to grow up with a lasting memory of the day a great painting visited their school. Each of the schools will have the opportunity to use the painting as inspiration for creative learning across as many subject areas of the curriculum as possible and we are looking forward to seeing how the different schools react to their masterpiece, and the work they will produce around it.

Supporting these activities, the BBC website features curriculum-based slideshows full of ideas for using paintings in the classroom. These new educational resources are designed to inspire schools to use great art in teaching and learning. They are complemented by a selection of art world career profiles, from Tim Wonnacott (chartered surveyor, auctioneer and Bargain Hunt’s front man) and Dr Aviva Burnstock (Head of Conservation and Technology at The Courtauld Institute) to Charlotte Higgins (Chief Arts Writer for the Guardian).Have a look: http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/about/schools/

The Masterpieces in Schools programme has been developed by the PCF in partnership with BBC Learning and reflects our commitment to improving public access to UK collections, to raising the profile of our national art collection amongst young people, and to highlighting Your Paintings as a learning resource. The PCF is grateful to the BBC, and the 27 museums and schools for supporting this unique programme. We’d also like to thank our generous sponsors Hiscox.

Keep checking the Masterpieces in Schools section of the PCF website to see the Masterpieces as they are revealed around the country over the next two weeks: http://www.thepcf.org.uk/what_we_do/228

Laura Marriott
Operations Manager