Artsmark have published an article on the Architecture workshops held at Furzedown Primary Schooland their significance in bringing creativity to more technically based subjects. Artsmark is part of the Arts Council, England and is a school-based award scheme working to promote the relevance of Arts subjects in a heavily EBaac and STEM orientated curriculum. The article is on their website and copied here below:
If I was to offer your school the opportunity to teach a subject that produces creative and exciting results, how many of you would think I was referring to architectural design? A handful of you? None of you? Well, that isn’t surprising as architectural design is not a subject normally taught in schools, and that’s a shame because it can produce very imaginative and inspiring results.
At Furzedown Primary School, I run an architecture workshop with Michaela Truscott, Art Teacher and a year-5 class during the summer term. Looking at structure, spacial design, materials, drawing techniques and model making, the workshop allows children to experiment and play with ideas that help to draw a connection between artistic and cultural subjects with technical based subjects such as math and science.
I have seen many children apply their knowledge and ideas, to produce extraordinary results, especially when children see opportunities to achieve a goal which is very personal to them. I remember one particular workshop that took place outdoors and the children were asked to build an enclosure or den using sheets and boards. Investigating the pros and cons of different shapes and the structural benefit of triangles, one child, who came from a large family, used the project to create her own personal space in her back garden with the kit she learnt to use at school. I’m told that she spent a lot of time outside during the summer. The project was her prototype, allowing her to combine technical issues of structure, material selection and shelter with cultural issues of spacial design and personal aesthetics.
At the same school, another child designed and created a bench. It was important for him to be able to lie down and experience the outdoors to observe the passing clouds. The bench design cleverly combined the application of structural, material, aesthetic and ergonomic considerations.
Combining the arts and Ebacc subjects help schools to address relevant areas of the national curriculum and to achieve targets for child development. I’ve seen this achieved through my workshops. Technical academic subjects might be objective, but it’s the arts and cultural subjects that encourage students to engage with their creative selves to find solutions to technical questions. In doing so, children can explore solutions in ways they may have never known. This is why the arts and EBacc subjects can complement each other and fortify their importance to the national curriculum.