What do children make of Holbein's Ambassadors at the National Gallery?
Jacqui Hodge, headteacher, Windlesham Village Infant School, Surrey:

"I attended a course for teachers at the National Gallery, where we were each given a copy of The Ambassadors to use as a work stimulus, but initially felt the picture would be very difficult for very young children; ours are between four and seven. But I held a staff meeting, and everyone was enthusiastic, so we thought we'd give it a go with the whole school.

"The youngest children got into looking at patterns in the picture and did mosaic pictures and clay-work. The next age group of children looked more into the fact that it was a portrait; they did facial portraits of each other and full-length portraits.

"The Year 2s - six- and seven-year-olds - thought about the conversations that may have gone on between the two men in the picture, and made their own recreation of it. The whole year worked on it, and they're very excited about having their work displayed at the National Gallery."

Cathy Joyner, Year 6 class teacher and deputy head, Fitzjohn's Primary School, London:

"My class of 10- and 11-year-olds were doing a Tudor project, so this fitted in really well. We talked about the two men depicted and what they represented. We then looked at the objects on the table, and the idea was that the children would think about objects that referred to their own lives and the things that were still the same.

"The two men in our picture are the head teacher and the music teacher. The children wanted the headmaster in it because he represented not only authority in the school, but also maths and science, and their music teacher because he represented music and the arts. The objects on the table in our painting relate to the school, and show the children's talents: the musical instruments relate to the school orchestras, and a computer was put in to represent our technology."

"Take One Picture: an exhibition of children's work based on 'The Ambassadors' by Holbein" is at the National Gallery, London WC2, 1 April to 19 July

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