At Art Club the main aim is to be have fun while trying a large variety of different arts and crafts. The atmosphere is very relaxed with the current group being bubbly and lively – although occasionally in moments of deep concentration there is almost a hush in the room!
With the focus tending towards crafts, projects so far have included papier-mache models from dinosaurs to trouser bowls, from pulp masks to garbage gobblers; painting; weaving; jewellery making; creating stained glass effect hanging plaques and decorated face masks.
Future projects include collage, dreamcatchers, clay modelling and more pieces from the Art Attack book! The members of Art Club are always welcome to come up with their own suggestions which will be used if at all possible.
Aims and Objectives Policy
Children would learn even if they did not go to school. Learning in school, however, differs from learning outside in that it is structured. The Intended Learning Outcome of each activity can be looked at as the curriculum, thus if children’s learning is to be directed towards desired ends it must be planned. Consequently, it is incumbent upon us professionally not only to state what to do but to be able to justify it with reference to educational aims that are accepted both with in and without the educational service.
It is comparatively easily to compose quite admirable aims but at such a high level of generality as to be of little practical value when needing to assess our own performance as practitioners and the overall quality of the educational provision of the establishment. Nevertheless, we do require a statement, an aim, which clearly shows our long-term destination.
The proposal here is that we take as our general aim the statement below:
“first to enlarge a child’s knowledge, experience and imaginative understanding, and thus his/her awareness of moral values and capacity for enjoyment; and secondly, to enable him/her to enter the world after formal education is over as an active participant in society and a reasonable contributor to it, capable of achieving as much independence as possible”
The first part can be seen as setting the routes along which formal education has to travel and the second part can be seen as setting the destination.
However, when needing to devise and implement those particular educative practices that are to benefit the child and lead the child towards the achievement of the aim, it is necessary to have an aim that more clearly indicates what a child must be able to do, and know, and be, in order for them to be more capable of achieving the general aim for education.
Consequently the particular aim for this establishment is:
“to empower all individuals to be better able to be in control of their own lives and to be better able to act with rationality, sensitivity and humanity.”
Stated in this way, clearly sets out the vision to which this establishment aspires. This vision does not belong to one person but to all who teach and learn here and all who are involved directly or indirectly with the school – governors, parents and interested parties.
In order to realise our destination we need to be more explicit with regard to stating intermediate aims which in practical ways enable the destination to be reached.
In preparing these intermediate aims we need to be aware of both parental expectations and societal requirements. Parental expectations are at times too high whereas ours can be too low; societal requirements are often rhetorical reflecting the passions of many diverse partisan groups (whereas ours can often be without specifics). An aspect of our professionalism must be the selection of intermediate aims which:
a) Honestly match those realistic parental expectations with those reasonable societal requirements
b) Afford a positive and wholesome route to our general aims.
The Practical Curriculum (HMSO) states:
“Schools have the capacity and the will to help their pupils in at least six ways
(i) to acquire knowledge, skills and practical abilities, and the will to use them;
(ii) to develop qualities of mind, body, feeling and imagination;
(iii) to appreciate human achievement in art, music, science, technology and literature;
(iv) to acquire understanding of the social, economic and political order and a reasoned set of attitudes values and beliefs
(v) to prepare for their adult lives at home, at work, at leisure, and at large, as consumers and citizens;
and most important of all:
(iv) to develop a sense of self-respect, the capacity to live as independent, self-motivated adults and the ability to function as contributing members of a co-operative society.”
Accepting the above six points as our intermediate aims still leaves us with the task of translating these aims into successful classroom practices which focus upon clear objectives. Therefore we need:
(a) to be able to match the school’s curriculum (the intended learning outcomes) against our intermediate aims
(b) to be able to assess the effectiveness of the curriculum in achieving our intermediate aims.
To match the school’s curriculum against the stated intermediate aims requires of teachers a professional sensitivity towards those aims and an awareness of the fact that between curricular areas and objectives there is an overlap.
To be able to assess the effectiveness of the curriculum is not a simple task; nor is it one that will easily be subject to the litmus test, i.e. turning the right colour if the curriculum is correct. In fact what is required is an exact science of hindsight but at the present time!
Some aspects do have a product that can be measured against our aims. However, other aspects are more likely to be ‘felt’ to have been achieved. What we must look to therefore is what can be labelled the effective curriculum – those skills and attitudes and that knowledge that the child takes with them when they leave this establishment.
The following matches the above statement and will be the objectives for the school. It is important for all the staff to understand that the following objectives relate directly to each and every child whatever their age and stage. As such each objective can be broken down to become a ‘stepped objective’ as reflected within the teacher’s planning document.
When at the age of eleven years children have completed their primary education, this is what we would like them to be able to do and know and be as young people:
Listen with concentration and understanding; speak to the point with clarity and confidence; read fluently, for pleasure and for practical purposes; write aptly and reasonably correctly, using sentences, paragraphs; correctly spell words in common usage; write in a legible hand.
Add, subtract, multiply and divide whole numbers, decimal and fractions; weigh and measure; use rulers, scales, thermometers, stop watches and other mathematical instruments; have some knowledge of elementary geometry; use mathematical skills for practical purposes.
Use simple tools and materials in a safe and orderly way, combining brainwork and handwork in the making of artistic and functional objects.
Understand and pay regard to the rules of health and safety.
Plan, observe, record and make notes and illustrations in connection with projects that demand high standards, persistence and elements of self-directed work.
Use the scientific approach to finding the solution to a problem
Have some knowledge that people of other nations live in different ways, some knowledge of the past and its influence upon the present, and some thought about the future.
To be considerate and respectful of others feelings; to be considerate and respectful of other’s religious beliefs; to be able to work and play amicably and successfully with others.
To have an appreciation of and a respect for nature.
To have confidence in their own physical abilities and physical co-ordination.