BBs Art Adventure
As a Centre, we have always tried to provide children access to a variety of different learning opportunities. With emphasis being placed globally on the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education for children, we introduced British Science Week to Bright Beginnings, giving children the chance to test out real life experiments such as volcanoes and bottle rockets, and grew rocket seeds that had spent several months in space with astronaut Tim Peake, reporting our data to the European Space Agency!
Our children have loved Science Week and have shown a real interest in science and space as a result, but there has been increasing concern from schools and teachers across the country that with the emphasis on STEM subjects, arts education has been falling behind, including interest in art.
Art has always been important at Bright Beginnings. Our children paint, draw and create masterpieces daily, and we are keen as a Centre to further extend the opportunities we offer our children. As such, we have been considering how we can facilitate artistic learning and experiences throughout the entire Centre.
One of these ways is through the Picture Library, a lending scheme organised by the Leeds Art Gallery that allows businesses and members of the public to borrow works of art by a variety of artists for display at home. The works of art available for borrowing range from paintings to photographs and include artists such as Picasso, Matisse and Lowry.
As a Centre, we are really excited by this scheme and are planning on arranging for a small group of our staff and our 3-4 year olds to visit the gallery at the end of October. The children will be given the opportunity to make their own selections, and these artworks will be displayed in the Centre and used as the basis for a variety of different learning experiences, for example encouraging them to use them as inspiration for their own artworks which will be displayed in a pop up gallery in reception. The gallery hosts selection events four times a year where we will be able to swap our works of art and choose five more!
In addition we are looking at ways we might be able to work collaboratively with Leeds Art Gallery to further develop skills amongst our Bright Beginnings staff team which will enhance and promote art to children, such as taking advantage of the invitations to private exhibitions offered to us through the Picture Library scheme, and the possibility of having working artists and members of the gallery’s education team collaborating with our staff and children.
If you would like more information about the Centre’s art initiative, please feel free to contact our Quality & Practice Manager Fiona Hakin. Her email is [email protected].