SKIP has identified the importance of integrating extra-curricular activities within the children’s overall education. Therefore, as a recentdevelopment, primary and secondary children on the SKIP programme now have the opportunity to learn about the value of art through a structured art education programme, in the form of one-hour long interactive sessions delivered once a week at the SKIP centre.
It was as a result of the success of ‘Holiday Club’, where children enjoyed 3 lessons of Art a week over a period of seven-weeks, that we recognised how much more Art has to offer in the educational development of a child. The children were opened up to learning and communicating through other means than those which are merely verbal and the workshops allowed the children to express themselves creatively within a classroom environment through a range of activities such as origami, watercolour painting, printing and even making their own musical instruments. This enabled them to build skills in organisation, self-confidence and independent thought; a giant step away from copying from the blackboard, which is the main teaching method in Peru.
SKIP decided, therefore, to include Art in the overall curriculum here at SKIP and the subject has been incorporated into the education programme as follows:
PRIMARY ART EDUCATION
Fitting in with their current education programme, Primary School children attend Art lessons once a week as one of their three obligatory, extra-curricular activities. This gives all 9 Primary groups, totalling around 170 children, access to a quality Art education. The art curriculum is split between the various age groups, allowing the children to enjoy age specific lessons that are adapted accordingly to their ability.
The youngest children on the Primary Programme (Groups 1-3) are currently covering the theme of ‘Animals’ and are using many different mediums to express their thoughts on this topic. They will get the chance to experience drawing, crafts, sculpture, the use of chalks and pastels giving them a first taste to the many ways in which you can create the same concept using many different art forms.
In the older Primary groups (Groups 4-9), there has been more of a focus placed on self-reflection through the topic, ‘All about me’. This inspires the children to create a portal through which they can look into their own and each other’s lives through the medium of Art. From self-portraits to art activities where the children are asked to consider how they are seen by others, the children are given a creative outlet to express themselves. This builds on the limited Art education they receive in schools.
SECONDARY ART EDUCATION
Secondary Art has taken a different approach to that of the Primary Programme. Forty children have chosen to take Art over other electives in Sport or Communication, and our Art teachers act as a facilitator to their classroom discussions, stimulating the children’s ideas on the value of art.
It has been very important for SKIP to work alongside the young people on the secondary programme in order to set a curriculum in areas that interest them most. Therefore, at the beginning of the year, the Secondary School children were given a questionnaire covering questions on how they thought art affect their lives, how they would define art and how they feel art may be able to help the problems they encounter in their lives. Through their own thoughts, they defined what art means to them.
The curriculum was then modelled through the answers to this questionnaire and has led to many interesting discussions surrounding how our Secondary School children feel Art can move their community. These discussions have led to exciting new classes in dancing, theatre and rap. We are also currently working towards a guerrilla-art style project with Secondary in which we will be making a mural for the outdated Art classroom using the resources available.
Overall, the inclusion of Art as its own subject in the SKIP Educational Programme is exciting for us as we hope to stimulate the creativity and intellectual development of the children through artistic, interactive activities. We hope to empower the children to express their feelings and build their self-confidence, helping them create a more positive future.
Read more about being the Art Teaching Coordinator in SKIP