The Schools of Tomorrow project is a link between schools and the Nottingham Contemporary, funded for three years. We are currently in year two of the project, although it’s the third year of involvement, due to Covid 19 delays. The goal is to find out how artists and teachers can work together to add positively to existing teaching and learning practices.
“Teachers and artists are learning from each other. They are developing teaching and learning that is different to that which they might do separately. We think of this new teaching and learning as happening in a third space. We reflect on what is being developed in the third space as it happens and explore how these new practices can be developed and embedded more widely, including beyond the life of the project.” Schools of Tomorrow guidelines.
The current installation at the contemporary is based on the modernist architect Lina Bo Bardi and what she imagined when she drew an illustration of the public piazza of her Museum of Art in São Paulo (Masp), 1968. At the height of Brazil’s military dictatorship, she pictured a world of innocent play, where children clambered over rainbow carousels, crawled through tubes and slid down the red ribbon-like slides of her “practicable sculptures” – which never saw the light of day.
Our link artist, Sian Watson, focused on how children respond to the space offered for play. She had a focus group of children when they started in the baby provision and is following their development through nursery. These children are now the nursery ambassadors. Sian has worked with all the nursery children in outdoor free flow and is about to support development of the play house.
There have been a variety of activities completed including:
- Story mats for vocabulary and language development
- Exploring colour mixing in puddles using powder paints and chalks
- Exploring materials for gross and fine motor skill development
- Investigating movement in the wind
- Door stop visits to families for art activities, started during lockdown
- Children recording their movement and play using Go Pros
- Leading CPD sessions
As we end year two, we have benefitted from further professional development, linked to the use of transient art and the potions area. This will lead into year three, with Sian and N2 staff completing the project.