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Welcome to Art Week!

15 Mar 2017

This week at Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai we are celebrating art. The entire week is a focus on individual, class and all-pupil art projects and art based activities. Pupils will not only learn about artists but also explore various forms of art while focusing on a theme.
EY3 EY3 pupils will focus on stories during art week. Using mixed materials, they will create environments and settings for stories, clay animations and puppets. They will also use dough to create characters from the stories.
EY2 EY2 will learn about several artists and art techniques this week. They will study Pablo Picasso while using shapes in art, Andy Warhol with an introduction to flowers, and Miro and Kusama while studying feelings and faces. The pupils will explore block printing, self-portraits, bamboo art, t-shirt painting and more. The week will end with an EY2 Art Jam.
EY1 Seasons is the theme for EY1 during art week with each day focusing on a different season. They will create a group art project around each season including murals and sculptures while thinking about what they associate with each season. The week will end with an art exhibition where the children will review and discuss their work.
Children, especially in the early years, need to be given outlets to express themselves artistically and they thoroughly enjoy experimenting with different ways of creating works of art. In a typical early years classroom this might include painting, gluing, building and constructing, stamping, cutting, drawing and even sculpting. Art is great for giving children the opportunity to make choices, as well as solving problems such as, how can I get these eyes to stay on my paper? Spending time creating also allows children to experiment with materials and how they can be manipulated. Only through experimenting will children truly grasp the concept that mixing two different colours can make a new colour. That the colour out of crepe paper will leak when it is wet. That by changing the way you use your paintbrush you can create different effects. While children often complete art projects that centre around a specific theme, such as a colour, song or story, they also need time to simply create and explore. So children at Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai are given access to a range of different art materials throughout the day so that they can use their imagination to create all kinds of things. During a typical day, children may paint, draw, sculpt, cut, glue and thread, depending on their individual desires. Whilst there are of course rules, such as paint doesn’t go on walls and playdough is not for eating, we try not to give the students too many boundaries as this can restrict children too much.
Often in our early years setting we choose not to use predesigned and printed templates for our art activities as this can restrict the creativity and imagination of the children. If given a template, children may feel pressure to create an art piece that is perfect and lifelike, with some children even feeling bored by the restrictions of such an activity. However if children are given only guidelines about the art they are to create then they can use a range of ideas, techniques and materials to express themselves. By allowing children to create their own individualised artwork it also shows children that other people have different points of view and ways of expressing themselves. By learning that their way (or the teacher’s way) is not the only way, they learn to value diversity.
Because all children will express themselves differently, it is important that we ask the children about what they have created so that they can give their creation meaning. Often children have created very intricate works of art that they can explain to you with great detail. It is important that we give them the opportunity to talk us through their creation rather than just making assumptions. At this time we also praise the child on their beautiful piece of art. This helps children to grow more confident in their artistic ability and feel proud of their creation. Because the art making process is left open to the creator all children are able to experience a measure of success. There is no right or wrong when it comes to art.