Literacy Coordinator/SLT, La Houguette Primary School
“We have had many opportunities in school to develop, not just artistic and creative techniques, but the exploration of art appreciation. Over recent years, this opportunity has been sidelined with the demands of the curriculum. The loan of your exhibits is allowing children to explore, discuss, compare and appreciate art in a very real and stimulating context. It is also enabling us to look at, for example, the Andy Warhol with every year group. Because this is being done throughout the school, it enables children to be provided with opportunities to learn about how a different year group has approached the artwork.
A Year Two class was enthralled and delighted to explore how Year Four had interpreted a similar task, recognising some of the skills we had covered – but enabling them to see what had been achieved in a slightly more sophisticated manner. This sharing and pooling of ideas reinforces the learning for the children, and they are learning – not just from the teacher and the images, but from one another.
Displaying our work around the school is causing lots of comparisons and conversations from parents and very interested children. Your exhibits are offering us the opportunity to teach the language of art, throughout the age range.
We have chosen specific exhibits from your collection to address key skills. The Suzanne Moxhay was a fabulous language development starter, enabling children to develop creative and more sophisticated language skills. They produced extended writing from discussing the content of the image. This facilitated word lists and word banks from different year groups – which resulted in a range of story writing throughout the school. We displayed some of this work in the main entrance and, again, it provided opportunities for children to read and compare other year groups’ writing with their own work. It was also recognised by several staff how this artwork could have linked perfectly with the project The Lost Words. The loans are enabling us to make connections with other topics and themes, and as such are proving to be cross curricular, hitting the skills within the Big Picture. We have had some fascinating discussions about the monetary value of this original artwork.
We have also explored how we can all appreciate and learn to understand art, and how fortunate we are to be in a position to have this work loaned to us. We made the link with your support when we explored one of Andy Warhol’s beliefs that art should be popular, and is for everyone.
The loan of ‘Petit Bot Bay’ by Eugen Gorean is proving very stimulating. The children are developing watercolour painting skills, and his technique in this beautiful image is being recreated by the children. They are not copying the image but utilising the technique, creating their own watercolour snapshot of Guernsey. They have had opportunities to explore painting on wet paper, using less water, more water, subtly mixing the colours to create a multitude of shades. We did some research on this young artist, and his link with Guernsey. Again, this provided us with a real context and allowed us to consider your role as a benefactor, supporting artists and bringing the work to a wider audience.
We are looking forward to the exhibition in June, and we have a fantastic range of examples of work to share. We have set up a team of staff who are interested in developing some of the forthcoming initiatives and enabling our school to access these incredible opportunities, for example the football team strip, and the Renoir walk.
We are also encouraging parents to be involved, as we know we have some very enthusiastic and creative parents on board. We will be generating ideas to support these projects, looking at which year groups they would be suitable for, ensuring a spread of activities throughout the school. We look forward to sharing with you our work in June and our ideas for next term.”