Our Chinese painting

Term: 1 Year: 2013

The three friends of winter——pine, bamboo and plum blossom

Linking Language – A cross curricula journey

The Sum of the Parts is greater than the whole”

This statement epitomises the collaborative nature of our Art program.  As an educator one of the best gifts we can give to our students lies not just in the passing on of knowledge and information but in resourcing and combining the skills of others, which in turn enhances the talents of each individual. Our shared abilities generate a creative force stronger than the individual can produce alone.  The students are not the only ones to benefit, as working alongside our peers provides us with greater insight into the practices of others.  It also gives us physical support as staff that so often teach in isolation.

The goals of the art enrichment program are to develop these skills through consultation and collaboration. The more links we can make for students, in as many ways as possible, the richer their educational and artistic experience. Pivotal to the development of this program is the way in which it is consciously extended into other areas of the curriculum.

The ambience of our school reflects the collaborative nature of our work.   Poetic text greets you as you walk along the pathway to our school. The Music Room is filled with text and visual narratives. Our Library and Art are well integrated and we work in unison in what are called Lart sessions where we combine language and art in an integrated approach. 

We have initiated a strong base for our literacy program yet the introduction of the Chinese language taught across levels Prep to Year 5 is also a literacy based component of the curriculum.  Up until now we had not explored the potential of extending this into our collaborative program.

Spending some planning time with the LOTE staff to make links across curriculum areas and into our Library program has taken us on yet a broader learning journey. 

Through planning together and shared experiences, the LOTE program is now being supported by visual references developed in the art room and research undertaken in the library.

ICT is also intertwined within the program and video clips of Dragons, that include imaginative and stimulating visual resources are used across Art, Library, and Chinese sessions.

The Chinese teaching staff makes a valued contribution to the program and a feeling of enthusiasm resonates throughout the school.  Planning together has given them a broader base from which to work and provided new ways of making the students learning visible.  This has not previously been the case with our LOTE curriculum.  Seeing the Chinese language out in our community space visually supports the learning outcomes and promotes interest from all staff and visitors to the school.  This opportunity has seen us explore the cultural aspects of China and we have created artworks both individual and collaborative based on the resources and research that has taken place in their LOTE sessions.  Through ICT resources we have developed designs for their work and translated text so that both languages are clearly visible alongside the work on our displays.

This shared approach can be taken with any LOTE area of study and will always lend itself to Library or online research within a classroom setting. 

We are the richer for these experiences.

Practical ideas and projects for implementation will be available at the workshop at Zart on February the 18th.

For other ideas and references feel free to visit www.jeanettejenningsart.com

Jeanette Jennings
Leading Teacher
Winner of the VictorianTeacher of the Year award 2011
Carey Baptist Grammar School, Donvale
Suitable for level 4