Creativity helping schoolkids through the crisis

School art projects have been helping students document and deal with life during lockdown.

Designing and making masks, capturing their pandemic experience through portraits and photographs and traditional painting and drawing are all proving powerful ways for students to understand and cope with the enormous upheavals of their lives this year.

De La Salle College visual arts teacher Ryan Hayward said art projects had been a real success story of remote learning.

De La Salle visual arts teacher Ryan Hayward with some of his students’ works.Credit:Eddie Jim

"The senior students really reflected on their time in isolation by documenting it. They were thinking about how their lives had changed and their current living environments and the current world," he said.

"Once they get started, they're excited about it. We were seeing students submitting their work on a weekend and we'd think 'oh he's been working on the weekend without being told to do that'."

"It's also such a good break for them, from sitting in front of a screen."

A key component for teachers of at-home art classes is making sure they're accessible to everyone.

"We had to make sure everyone was on a level playing field because we're not sure what materials students had access to; so we had to design activities keeping that in mind," Mr Hayward said.

"We thought people have cameras on their phones for photography activities and most people have pens or a few pencils but we didn't want to say paints because we didn't know who has them or who can afford them.

"So we actually had to get creative with creating the lessons."

Another positive has been the response from parents who joined the activities.

"The feedback from parents is that they're helping and really enjoying themselves. It's a bit creative and fun doing these activities with their sons and it's actually a really good bonding experience too," Mr Hayward said.

The school has collected the works into a book as a way for everyone to remember their shared experiences.

Lauriston Girls' School also encouraged its students to document their lives during the pandemic, including remote learning and increased family time, through its 'Our Novel Journey' project.

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