A group of local primary school teachers have shown their true colours in a series of vibrant paintings, thought-provoking sculptures and detailed prints.
The series of works by 12 teachers were the results of a six-week evening course led by Hautlieu School's Head of Art.
The initiative came after Senior Advisers from Children, Young People, Education and Skills (CYPES) visited 18 primary schools and found that pupils wanted art to play a greater role in their learning.
“Art came up again and again," Kate Sugden, the Senior Adviser for curriculum, said. "To teach art to a high standard requires specific knowledge and skills, and there are teachers who find this area of the curriculum a challenge because of the techniques involved.
"Art promotes creativity and problem solving; it is an essential part of the curriculum. It is also therapeutic so can enhance wellbeing – and that’s what the teachers noticed the most during their sessions.”
Pictured: Kate Sugden, Senior Adviser for curriculum, with the Minister for Education, Senator Tracey Vallois.
The teachers - many of whom use art in their lessons without having ever studied the subject in detail since they were at school themselves - have acquired a variety of techniques, skills and knowledge thanks to the six-week course which was taught by Hautlieu School’s Head of Art Jacque Rutter.
“As well as running the course in the evenings, I have also visited the teachers in their schools to run programmes,” she said. “Working with younger pupils has inspired my A-level teaching.
“Unless you know about the art language you can’t develop or improve. But by the end of the course they were amazing art critics; they blew me away. And they certainly did their homework each week.”
Pictured: Hautlieu School’s Head of Art, Jacque Rutter, led the course.
As well as learning about art concepts, critique and materials, the teachers experienced what it felt like to be on the receiving end of a teacher’s instructions, the vulnerability of expressing themselves creatively, and the pressure of having to complete tasks within a set time.
Theresa Gregory, a Year 6 teacher at Springfield School, took part in the course and said Jacque had given the group the confidence to take a lead on art in their schools.
"Putting us in the position of the pupils has been the most inspirational aspect of the course – we’ve experienced how it feels when you think your art has gone wrong or how positive you feel when your artwork is displayed," she said. "I can truly understand how important it is to put art where it should be in the curriculum.”
Pictured: Primary school children wanted art to play a greater role in their learning.
Year 4 teacher Hayley Toudic, the art lead at Jersey College Prep, said the skills and knowledge she has acquired from the programme have already had a positive impact on her teaching.
“Jacque has introduced us to a whole new world of teaching,” she added. “What we have learned is cross curricular so we can use it in all sorts of ways for any topic.”
The budding artists recently displayed the fruit of their efforts in an exhibition focusing on the theme of Liberation 75 – a topic that will inspire a lot of school artwork next year - to mark the end of the course.
The Minister for Education, Senator Tracey Vallois, welcomed the initiative. “This has been a different way for teachers to collaborate,” she said.
“Being in the same room as other professionals who can share experiences and have the opportunity to throw ideas around and learn new techniques, assists in building confidence and reassurance for teaching back in the classroom as well as having the chance to inform what else you can do. And that can only lead to a raft of opportunities for our students. We are all learners after all.”
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