• Fir Tree Junior School

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Take One Picture

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During our Take One Picture project we studied 'The Fighting Temeraire' and investigated the artist Joseph Mallord William Turner. We started the project by being detectives and unpicking different features of the picture which had been split up into small sections - this was a particularly interesting activity as we each identified something different about the picture. As well as this, we also researched the Battle of Trafalgar, Lord Nelson and Napoleon. As a class we found out the following facts:

  • The painting shows the final journey of the Temeraire, a celebrated gunship which had fought valiantly in Lord Nelson's fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805
  • The Temeraire was a 98-gun, three decked battle ship that had been launched in 1798 during the French Revolutionary War
  • Her name meant 'bold' or 'fearless' in French
  • 33 years later, decaying and no longer in use, she was towed 55 miles up the Thames to be broken up in a shipyard.  


As well as this, we also researched the Battle of Trafalgar, Lord Nelson and Napoleon - particularly focusing on the strategies that Lord Nelson used to defeat the French and Spanish. 


We learnt that the gunship was painted in light tones (white and pale yellow rather than the darker yellow and black colour - which were found on the actual ship) to make it look like the ship was floating effortlessly on the calm waters. Plus, Turner had painted this picture to create a memory and celebration of the ship and so distorted certain features to show how elegant and nobel the vessel was.  After this, we spent time recreating the artists work and have produced our own version of this picture which is displayed in our classroom:



To end our Take One Picture we created our own news report script on the Battle of Trafalgar in groups then acted them out in front of the class. We added the BBC news theme tune to make it even more realistic. It was a great way to improve our confidence and knowledge of the Battle, some photos can be found below:

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