When our Head of Art, Craig Askew was training to be a teacher, he came across an old book titled "Art and the Child" written in the 1940's, by an art educator called Marion Richardson. She recognised that the power of imaginative expression could be developed in almost every child as part of their education.
He began to experiment with many of her ideas and has always used these as a basis of the Art curriculum he has developed and continues to develop, and taught over the last twenty five years.
When visitors come into the Art department at Wellington SchooI, we always say we teach through purposeful play, and “try it and see”. Happy confident students succeed, and we firmly believe all our students can be a success and become great creative makers and thinkers; independently driven, passionate about creating and unafraid to take chances.
We encourage escape from the rigid disciplines of “making”, which is so often the constraining factor of the traditional school art curriculum. An innovative and progressive art curriculum leads students to new heights of creativity and to outstanding examination results. This in turn allows our Sixth Form students to attain direct entry to Art and Design based degree course at the more prestigious universities and art colleges year upon year.
We always say students do not need to complete a colour wheel to show what happens when colours combine, just give them the paint and let then experiment and play and see what colour is truly capable of!
1. To develop creativity, confidence, independence and to remove the fear of failure.
- We firmly believe everybody is creative, that we can nurture talent and support all students to find their creative voice through a progressive curriculum.
- We develop the student’s visual awareness by fostering an environment of purposeful play where students can develop their self-expression.
- It is our fundamental belief that we offer students a truly creative education and that to teach creativity we need to teach creatively.
2. To trust the students and to let go as teachers.
- We do not have a house style or a prescriptive way of “making” Students are encouraged to think and make creative statements.
- The students are encouraged to take on the role of artists and designers, making use of guided and self-originated strong contextual references to develop their own ideas.
- We celebrate “the big what if”. We encourage pupils to try things out, experiment and see where it leads.
- Great emphasis is placed upon team and shared teaching.
WE GIVE STUDENTS
The freedom to be creative….
- Creativity is a natural and inherent act. It is in all of us and we truly believe that each student has the ability to make work that is able to show both their creativity and their personal vision.
- We create an environment that allows the students to play and experiment with materials and find solutions to make their ideas.
The space to respond to themes personally….
- We try to avoid putting constraints upon the media, the scale and the dimensions of the work.
- If we have the materials, the students are encouraged to strive to make their ideas, irrespective of whether the piece reaches an outcome or not.
- The process of making is as relevant as the finished piece.
The freedom to be inventive and resourceful…
- to be curious and experiment, children are engaged with open opportunities to foster and support their explorative play
- Just learn to let go!
- Play is not anarchy, play has rules, we plan to play, we trust to play; trust to be creative.
- The behaviours we knew as children should be nurtured and not buried or forgotten.
- This is the essence of Art at Wellington School; this enables our Art student to achieve highly.
The School has produced a number of famous artists including Daily Telegraph cartoonist Bob Moran and nationally acclaimed landscape artist Holly Brodie.