The best summary of Programme Achieve I have found comes from Prospect Primary School SA. The programme focuses on Four Foundations of Successful Learning as they are the cornerstones for achieving success and emotional well-being for all students.
The programme not only gives the school a common language with which to discuss life’s challenges, it can be a community wide agreement as well.
‘The Keys to Success’ are
- getting along
The “Keys To Learning” are suitable for the Art Classroom and group projects where ego could certainly get in the way. Instead students are learning life skills to accompany the technical and artistic education they are experiencing. So I am continually challenging the students to take risks and appreciate new experiences whilst at the same time helping them manage their self confidence. The aim is always empowerment and self efficacy.
It is a whole school approach so that each year the therapeutic value of the programme is reinforced and carried over. Persistence is essential no matter how talented the student because talent alone is not enough. So the children learn about communication within a “Culture of Achievement and Social Emotional Well Being.”
Because Art is stimulating and engaging it is easy to keep students focused whilst being explicit about social mores and the qualities that will bring them closer to their goals. When we talk to them about organisation it is easier through art to show them steps, stages and why appropriate care of equipment will lead to better results and therefore higher achievement.
Throughout 2007 I will continue my research through Australian Catholic University “Building and Inquiry Culture”. The focus of the Inquiry is “How does Visual Literacy Empower Numeracy and Literacy.” I believe that when Visual Literacy and the Creative Arts are filtered through and supported by as well as supportive of Programme Achieve the social and emotional learning required to achieve success become explicit and connected. I seek evidence of these connections.
I have been asked by Dorit of New Teacher Support to “describe a day of your work at school as an art therapist or using expressive therapy” so I will write an article about this soon. It may further explain the approach and the benefits to the students of this style of teaching.