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Art instruction and activities occur at The School in Rose Valley throughout the school on a daily basis, and art is a weekly class for children from Kindergarten and up. The art curriculum meets or exceeds national standards in art education. The program combines teacher-led lessons and projects in all media as well as art appreciation and history, and experiences inspired by children's interests and creative explorations. Our goal is to empower all students to enjoy art and to find personally appealing media and forms for creative self-expression.
SRV has a rich and diverse history in providing a strong, relevant arts education. From the school’s inception, art has played a major role in the curriculum. In the face of today’s budget constraints and advancing technologies, we continue to consider art a critical element of students’ overall education and development as thoughtful, fulfilled people.
The art curriculum is organized around three big concepts: How Art Communicates; How Art is Organized; How Art Shapes and Reflects Culture. The curriculum emphasizes the understanding of materials, techniques and processes, and the development of specific skills. Students look at and discuss art by famous artists and folk art from cultures around the world. Projects undertaken in art class are often related to or integrated with curriculum in other classrooms, such as when students make animal masks in art to wear in a dance performance in music. Popular traditional SRV art projects include making felt with our own sheep’s wool, modeling clay people, sculpting with recycled materials, and drawing and painting self portraits.
Preschool – In the preschool classrooms, children are engaged in art activities almost daily. Easel painting, play dough, drawing, cutting and gluing are available at all times for children to do at choice times. Teachers coax children to try special projects such as finger painting, printmaking, clay and collage, and ask the children to draw regularly in their journals is part of the Language Arts curriculum. Through all of these activities, the children develop gross and fine motor strength and control, experiment with a variety of materials and techniques, and enjoy the simple satisfaction of aesthetic self-expression.
Kindergarten – Our students begin to attend art classes in Kindergarten. Every art class begins with a session of viewing and discussing a work of art, during which the students are exposed to the basic ideas that art can communicate ideas and feelings and that art reflects the culture, times and place in which it is created. Kindergartners are introduced to the principles of design, including line, form, shape and texture, and they learn about the primary colors. Creatively, students of this age enjoy experimenting with messy processes such as blending colors, and they love to cut and glue. Specific media and projects that appeal to this age include collage, finger and scratch painting, and sculpting with natural or recycled materials.
Primary Years – In their discussions of art from around the world, first and second graders begin to be able to observe similarities and differences between specific artwork of two or more cultures. Through project work they continue to study the principles of design, concentrating on shapes and texture (pattern), and they learn about the concept of secondary colors. Weaving and printmaking are fun for these students and help them develop their fine motor skills. They also enjoy the challenge of painting with watercolors and making both figures and pots with clay.
Middle Years – Eight to ten year olds know more about the world around them and are better able to discern and discuss more subtle similarities and differences in the artwork they see, such as comparing the work from two different Asian cultures, or between two periods of European art. They begin to learn about the roles of artists in other cultures, times and places. In their studies of design, they concentrate on contour, shading and overlapping, and they are introduced to the color wheel and corresponding colors. Students of this age are very interested in learning technique and mastering particular skills such as drawing faces. Their work tends to be more detailed and original as they use it to express their personalities and aesthetics.
Older Years – The oldest students begin to recognize the work of selected artists and cultures, and to understand the role they play in the context in which they work, such as Picasso’s effect on modern art in Europe. They discuss the role of artists in contemporary society, and the influence of mass media and technology on the visual arts. In their studies of art theory, they identify and evaluate design principles in real world situations. Students of this age take their time over their artwork. They enjoy projects that allow them to express their individuality, and look for ways to differentiate their work. Challenging media such as drawing with charcoal and pastels pique their interest.