We have had Dave Hulston working in our school as a resident artists for the last 3 years and seen great success in the way that he works with the kids and along side staff. We have been so privileged to be able to use him to, not only thoroughly engage the children in the arts, but also provide sustained CPD for staff throughout school. We selected Dave through the Change School programme but then made the decision to keep him on due to the impact that his way of working made on teaching and learning across the curriculum, through an arts approach. He has taught the children and staff to use a creative thinking process. It has transformed the way we plan our topic and literacy work, giving ownership to the children and leading them through independent exploration of an area of learning. Children now question, explore, develop, evaluate and do, in a continuous creative cycle. They naturally make links in different areas of their learning and make decisions about the best way to learn and show off what they know or achieve. This has helped to raise attainment and impacted on children's self esteem and particularly their independent motivation. Children have been exposed to a great variety of art forms as part of our projects with Dave: They have made books. They have made films, made music and recorded sounds. They have drawn on different scales with different media. They have layered mixed media, painted and printed. They have built sculptures using found and recycled objects and within all this, they have worked independently and collaboratively.
I believe that the arts empower the curious minds of all,
young and old alike.
I believe that If we can appeal to the natural curiosity of
our young people they can quickly become hooked into their learning and will
lead the journey themselves. To enable that we have to take risks, letting the
children go is often a scary prospect for the teachers I have worked with.
The teachers at Webster school are confident in giving their
children the space to explore issues that arise along a learning journey.
Children and adults are given permission to play
They then use the ‘other’ vocabulary of the arts to delve
deeper, often connecting them to the subject matter emotionally.
Developing opinions and ideas through an empathetic approach
to learning and building skills in paint poetry and music to express them seems
to keep the magic alive.