Research is indicating that Covid 19 is having a more significant adverse effect on younger people's emotional wellbeing, particularly our children from BAME backgrounds. I am witnessing this in my own children - low mood, tearfulness, sleep problems - and
I am noting that the children I work with who have been attending school in some form are doing better emotionally than those who have stayed at home.
This two-part project uses artmaking to help children process the current situation and draws on the way people have sought to be collectively linked in order to lessen isolation - for example, painting rainbows and putting them in their window for others
to see, joining in the Clap for Carers. There has been a resurgence of people making/ crafting/ baking since they've been confined to home. As a school you will no doubt have been finding ways for all pupils and families to feel connected.
This is a further opportunity for children to connect now - before this school year ends. It acknowledges we are all going through the pandemic together – but have very different individual experiences of it.
• Each week, teachers send their students (via whatever online means your school is using) the theme for their art making and an explanation of what to do.
• The children make a piece of art in response to that theme, and send a photo of what they have made back to their teacher. This should not include an identifiable photo of the child.
• At the end of the week, the teacher (or relevant technical person!) puts the images together into one combined class image which is shared with the members of that class.
• The children will be able to see their own image, look for those of their friends, and guess who made what. This will promote feelings of belonging, shared experience, and a sense of being seen and connected.
These are the themes for each week:
• Hands - We are always talking about washing our hands now, but we can no longer touch. Make/ photograph/ draw/ paint / print an image of your hands. You could draw round them and cut out or decorate, make a handprint, decorate gloves,
write a message/ draw on your hands, take a photo or any other means you can think of. Send your image to your teacher who will put them together. Now we are holding hands.
• Make a line - the line stretches from one side of the screen to the other - this could be your arms, legs, something in your room (a football scarf for example), something you have made (a plait, a necklace, a daisy chain) and take a photo.
When the images are put together the lines join up and are connected across every person in the class. We are all joined up.
• Quilt. Most of us are staying at home most of the time now. Can you make a square for the quilt that says 'home' to you? What colours will you use? What patterns? Will you draw, paint, sew, knit or take a photo of a special object (no
people please!) in your home? Share it with your class teacher and it will form part of your class (or maybe even a school) quilt.
I hope you enjoy creating and connecting. Thank you. firstname.lastname@example.org