Art Workshops for School Children in South London 

In 2017/18 we are helping teenagers from six South London schools engage with contemporary art at the South London Gallery, by supporting children’s charity Children & the Arts.

Many children in the UK are missing out on a creative and cultural education.

Children & the Arts’ Start programme is delivered nationally across the UK to give children in disadvantaged circumstances access to high quality arts experiences that increase their confidence, boost their self-esteem and raise their aspirations.

This academic year ArtSocial Foundation co-funds the Start programme in South London that introduces over 300 school children from areas with low arts engagement to the South London Gallery.

Six schools are participating in the programme, including the Tuke School for children with special educational needs. Some children who participate are non-verbal and have other special needs.

The project has four goals: to introduce children to contemporary art, inspire them, enhance arts participation by children and teachers, and to get the children to create art themselves. They are encouraged to reflect critically on their experience, building their confidence and raising self-esteem.

Throughout the year the children participate in artist-run workshops at South London Gallery, planned around the gallery’s exhibitions, and in their schools. The programme also helps with teachers’ continuing professional development, holding sessions with artists, forums, panels and sessions for sharing experiences.

“The project was really refreshing to us. It’s not something that we would normally do and it really pushed us to think a bit differently about what we could do in school. The artist was so informal and casual… it made me realise that there is a different way of doing things. It’s also really useful to be able to educate parents better about how important the arts are.” – Teacher

The year will culminate in a professionally curated exhibition of the children’s work at South London Gallery, held in summer 2018.

 “Seeing their work exhibited professionally in an art gallery gave pupils a sense of pride and achievement. Pupil comments from the exhibition demonstrated this. One pupil wrote ‘I’m proud of our school and all their lovely work!’”  – Teacher

The programme is in its third year and has been proven to help both teachers and pupils gain confidence in teaching and learning about art, as well as changing their perception of what art can be.

“As usual it’s been a great project with lots going on and activities which has involved everyone at different levels. I know my students have gained from the experience and have been enjoying looking at the photos we took”  – Teacher