One School’s Mission Comes To Life with The Big Draw…Posted: 21/10/11
Art can be extremely accessible and used for numerous reasons…
to educate, to provide therapy, to tell a story, to communicate emotions, to bring people together, to create memories, to entertain…
…to name a few.
In collaboration with The Big Draw - a national campaign to inspire more people to draw, Chiswick Community School in London, have covered some of the above by organizing a project creating a colourful mural. In addition to this, they are using drawing as an educational tool in other subjects of the school curriculum.
Julie Herd, head of the Art Department, tells us more;
“The Big Draw project that we implemented was the first year of the Big Draw for us and it proved really beneficial for all involved. We developed images inspired by the techniques of the artists Stephen Wiltshire and Raoul Dufy. Our source imagery was based on the building styles of the houses in the area of the school. We made memory drawings, continuous line drawings, and observation drawings as preparation. We then made a further link to Raoul Dufy to produce a colourful mural as the main piece for ‘The Big Draw’ event. Other departments such as Science, PE, History, and English, took part in their own way by making a focus on drawing in their lessons.”
It’s great that this school chose to make their Big Draw project personal, and therefore unique, by basing it on drawings of the buildings in their local community. I also admire the way that they approached it as a serious art project, taking inspiration from artists Raoul Dufy and Stephen Wiltshire. The results were fantastic…
Headteacher, Tony Ryan, explains the school’s mission;In relation to the government initiated Every Child Matters, the school take students educational and personal development very seriously. As part of the PIXEL group, the school focuses on students who are at risk of disengaging from school life and abandoning academic study. School art projects, such as this one in aid of ‘The Big Draw’, are clearly effective in encouraging students to work positively and harmoniously together within their local community.
“Our focus is on developing the whole child by providing a ‘holistic’ learning experience designed to prepare students to take their place in a fast changing society. Academic performance is of course a vital part of this education but it is by no means the whole story; our emphasis on Opening Minds Curriculum at KS3 and on developing Emotional Intelligence across the school, demonstrates our commitment to enabling students to develop a range of skills, attributes and techniques that will serve them well later in life.”
It’s fantastic to see that schools like Chiswick Community School are putting so much focus on the social development of young people, in addition to an academic education. The arts can be a brilliant way to approach these issues and in turn, create a better future for the young people of today.