Why painting is just as important as learning times tables
17 January 2018
Art is an important part of the curriculum at Limespring School. Children do at least an hour of art every week including collage, printing, drawing, painting and clay work. We also study history of art and organise regular trips to galleries and museums like the Wallace Collection, the National Gallery and the Royal Academy.
We believe that all children should receive a well-rounded education that includes art, music and drama – in addition to core academic subjects like maths, English and science. Art classes can help develop a child’s creativity (a skill that is vital whether they become a scientist or a graphic designer), motor skills, problem-solving ability, and encourage them to innovate and seek new ways of doing things. However, art is of particular importance when working with children with learning difficulties. Many children with dyslexia and dyspraxia can show exceptional ability in art. But their success is not in spite of their condition but because of it. People often talk about the challenges of being dyslexic or dyspractic but rarely about their many positive characteristics, including greater visual and spatial awareness, problem-solving abilities and a rich imagination – qualities that are vital to the artistic process.
The prestigious Royal College of Art discovered that 29% of their students identified as dyslexic compared to 5-10% of the overall population. And there are numerous examples of people with learning difficulties who have gone on to achieve tremendous success in their creative fields – from the Oscar-winning filmmaker and artist Steve McQueen to the architect Richard Rogers (both dyslexic), and the photographer David Bailey, who has dyspraxia.
Art can also be extremely helpful in building children’s self esteem and confidence. When children with dyslexia and dyspraxia struggle to articulate their feelings verbally or through writing, art can provide an outlet for self-expression – something that is particularly important for those who have a low opinion of their own worth or who are struggling with other aspects of the curriculum.
We are immensely proud to see the fantastic work created by our pupils displayed in local shops. This year we also joined the National Gallery scheme, ‘Take One Picture’ in which pupils from around the UK create a piece of work in response to a classic painting. We are very much looking forward to seeing the artwork our pupils create in the coming months.