I have recently been shown around a lovely primary school (as we are borrowing their hall for our art session in November while they use our hall for their pantomime 😁). The school was amazing - filled with art along the walls, halls and classrooms throughout. When a pupil first starts at this school, they press their hand into a ceramic leaf which is then placed on one of several trees in the reception area. This is then left there with all the others for them all to see, touch and compare until the pupil leaves to move on up to the next school. It is then handed back to them in a ceremony which I am told is quite emotional.
During discussions with the head teacher and one of the governors, it came up several times the subject of art being followed in schools. Or more importantly how it is slowly being squashed out!
In the state sector the EBacc’s focus on English, maths and science threatens to crush arts subjects; meantime, reduced school budgets mean dwindling extracurricular activities. A full article published Friday in the Guardian - https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/18/the-guardian-view-on-creativity-in-schools-a-missing-ingredient supports this unfortunate state of affairs.
I know it has been said many times, but "Where would we be without art?!" Mentally, physically and emotionally?
An ex-Coronation Street star is backing Durham commission’s call for arts to be taught to all children. Arts education should not be a luxury" says Julie Hesmondhalgh https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/oct/20/arts-education-not-a-luxury-julie-hesmondhalgh
There is much written about how art has a positive effect on your mental health and well being. I'm not sure where I would have ended up if I had not had my school art classes and a great ceramics teacher - even though I have not touched a potters wheel since I left. It has shaped who I am today and helped me through some tough times. Many of my customers have said how the recipient cried with emotional joy when they received their painting.
If you have any influence in this - please help Art continue in schools!