Primary Art Conference
Friday 7th February saw The Royal Harbour Academy host a Primary Art Conference, where 5 local feeder schools sent staff and students to enjoy a wide range of art activities and CPD. For the primary school students, who were all juniors from Years 3 through to 6 (from Drapers Mills, Bromstone Primary, St Ethelberts, Cliftonville Primary and Christ Church CE Junior School) they learnt new sketching techniques, participated in a variety of challenges and had a taste of what art is like at secondary school.
For staff there was a wealth of new ideas and strategies to discover and the opportunity to share ideas and ask questions relating to the curriculum, Artsmark Award and the transition process for students. For the Year 9 Royal Harbour students it was a perfect opportunity to build evidence towards their Silver Arts Award qualifications.
The day was delivered by Katie Green and Maggie Johnson who both teach art at the Royal Harbour Academy, however many of the activities were run and supported by students from Years 7 and 9. Katie Green stated ‘This day doesn’t just allow us to work alongside our feeder schools to help each other with ideas for art and transition but it allows our students to take on leadership roles that ultimately give them confidence alongside transferable skills of planning, communication and the ability to teach others. It is also wonderful to see what the children from primary schools are capable of when given quality time to explore new techniques for art.’
Some of the more popular activities were for Anime style sketching and animation, digital art, origami plus students were able to try their hands at printing and photography among many other techniques. The part of the day that was enjoyed the most however was the ‘scrap heap challenge’ where students were inspired by sculptures created by the artist Leo Sewell in order to transform ‘rubbish’ such as egg boxes into their own bird sculptures. For staff, the cross-curricular workshop inspired by the collage artist Guy Catling sparked a host of ideas that could be easily taken back into the classroom and linked into topic based learning.
Feedback from the primary schools included comments such as “…Easy but thought provoking ways to integrate (art) into the primary classroom”, “An excellent way to give children an insight into secondary school life” and “Great sharing of ideas. A good range of simple but effective activities for students. Good to have the opportunity to talk to colleagues”
One of the primary school students commented, “I didn’t know I could make things like this- I want to do more!” and one of the Year 9 students observed, “I have learnt a lot through teaching the younger students how to do a technique that I enjoy”
The day has enabled the schools to build closer relationships with further opportunities for outreach and staff development planned for later this year.