How an Art Room works
Our unique methodology helps children and young people learn, achieve and thrive.
Using art as a vehicle for subtle therapeutic work, our highly trained practitioners work with the children individually and as a group, helping them express themselves and grow in confidence.
The methodology is designed to achieve several key goals:
- to create a nurturing, safe and creative atmosphere
- to give each child a sense of their own worth and capability
- to encourage positive language, social literacy and emotional support
- to provide a structured experience that helps students feel safe and accepted, while helping them explore their own choices and decisions
- to help the children negotiate situations where they have gone ’off task’ or are finding it difficult to manage mainstream education, so they can avoid exclusion
Each session lasts around two hours and children attend once a week, during school hours. Most take part for at least a term and sometimes longer.
Small groups and high levels of individual support means practitioners can carefully manage the complex needs of every child. Two or three trained practitioners work with small groups of eight students or less.
Over several weeks, sometimes months, children become more self-assured and socially competent. Each child's progress is carefully tracked and shared with their school as part of an ongoing dialogue to share insights. This dialogue not only helps The Art Room understand the needs of each individual child, but it also makes sure the positive impact endures when children return to classroom.
The sofa area is where every session begins and ends. Here we share our news, read and explore stories, maps, books, strange props and art work. Here we look back over the session, speak about what we enjoyed, what we struggled with, what we discovered.
Many of our children struggle with the many transitions they need to make. The welcome we give each child, and the ending of each session, is an integral part of the session.
The food table is where we gather to share toast, fruit and juice. We talk informally, sharing thoughts and feelings, and we fill each other up with ideas and possibilities for our art-making.
Our materials are all out on display, easily accessible and well-ordered to encourage children’s independence. We use high quality and often unusual or upcycled materials to facilitate imaginative, successful and satisfying art work.
The Art Table is the where the making happens. Children work on the same project for a number of weeks, adding layers and new ideas, trying out new materials and techniques with the support of their key working practitioner. Some children use this time to talk, others to be quietly absorbed in a process.
We provide a bright, beautiful, ordered and stimulating space where children’s art work is displayed alongside that of more established artists and objects from around the world.