As you are well aware we have faced unprecedented challenges this year and at the heart of all of this there has obviously been a concern for everyone but more so the children who have lived through these unique times, missing out on valuable education and the interaction with fellow pupils and friends.
Teachers have had to work in very different ways to deliver education to children. The concern around the impact that Covid-19 has had on children’s mental health wellbeing is at the heart of all teachers work and for those of us that work within the arts. Since the start of ‘lockdown’ we have all been working to deliver innovative ways for children to engage with the arts and each other, helping to break down barriers, giving children the opportunity to achieve an award whilst having fun.
The New Art Gallery Walsall Discover Arts Award Online programme has been created for teachers and families to work with their children in line with the government guidelines, we have developed a new range of children’s online workshops led by artists to support young people to get creative at school and home. We have worked really hard to make sure all of our activities are safe, easy to access and use materials and techniques that can are readily available and affordable.
Through working on the Discover Arts Award with schools and families we found children felt a great sense of achievement and this really gave them a boost. We made sure that part of the programme focussed on allowing children to open up and talk about their experiences and worries around Covid-19 using art as a tool to share their thoughts.
TNAGW Discover Arts Award at School
Over 50 students from one of our local primary schools have worked with us and used our online resources to complete the Discover Arts Award for schools, and they are now planning to continue their Arts Award journey with us aiming for the whole school to achieve their awards!
Families are also continuing to work with us on their Discover Arts Award at home online with parents and children enjoying their first steps on their Arts Award journey.
“Thank you so much. It was fantastic having a goal to focus on and it’s quite rare for the girls to have opportunities to reflect on their work.”
“My son loved working on his mini gallery, it certainly helped us during the Covid-19 lockdown, we shared his work with his teacher, and she loved his gallery and what he had written about his chosen artist and their work”
Whatever the future brings we feel confident that we are developing the knowledge and tools to support young people, teachers and families to stay creative and stay in touch.
Catherine James – The New Art Gallery Walsall