Art and Design
The second a child is born his/her senses awaken. Their sense of touch and feeling, their hearing and their sight are probably the very first things that babies use to make sense of the world around them and this continues as the child grows, develops and matures. When we reach adulthood we are still using them as we appreciate the world in all its glory.
When children start school at 3 or 4 years old, we give them different resources to stimulate and enrich these senses: play dough is squashed, pulled and smelt; cereal boxes and cardboard tubes are fumbled with as children try to join them together to make a masterpiece (that we don't recognise as such!); paint encourages their imagination as they discover they do not need to rely on a brush to make marks, as hands, fingers and thumbs along with feathers, shaped bits of plastic and sponges all make totally different pictures.
Older again and children learn to work with materials other than paper, pencils and paint: tinfoil, clay, plaster or fabric; pastels, chalk or charcoal. Their imagination is growing in leaps and bounds as they discover there is no limit to what their mind can think of. They may decide to make a Christmas card with real lights on a Christmas tree, or a Rudolph with a red light bulb for his nose! They go home full of enthusiasm to create a 'Tin Forest' like in their story book, and as a result parents and siblings become involved sharing in the excitement of creating something. The child learns further as more experienced people share their knowledge in using a variety of objects to create their imaginary world.
From a young age, our children are introduced to different artists and designers - sometimes unconsciously as teachers put up images of different buildings as they play with wooden blocks; or consciously as they are shown old and modern artists and their paintings. All of this influences our children as they learn to incorporate different methods into their own work.
As can be seen from this small sample of photographs, the children in St Clare's have great talent and who knows? Perhaps there is a future artist, designer or inventor that can say "I remember when I was young in my primary school, St Clares, and we did such and such and it gave me such a thrill of excitement that I wanted to do it more and more!"