Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop’s Schools Programme has been running since 2012 and is designed to introduce Primary 5 pupils to many diverse ways of thinking about the world around them and making art. Working in partnership with the two local primary schools Trinity and Victoria 100 + pupils come to the sculpture workshop for an hour a week for an entire school year.
For eight years this unique schools programme has succeeded in introducing pupils to a remarkable range of artistic histories, concepts and materials. The studio is at the core of the programme, where most of the workshops take place. It is a space that changes each week, a space the young people can play, experiment, collaborate, problem solve, ask questions, use their imaginations and actively engage in discussion and making.
Across the year, the workshops are devised to encourage the pupils’ confidence and creativity. One of the key aims is to let the pupils shape their own experiences of the programme by empowering them to experiment widely, and to express and develop their own ideas, working both independently and collaboratively. Working with the Curator for Learning, the invited artists design workshops that explore an aspect of their practice, sharing the techniques and processes they use in their studios and work with the young people. The resulting workshops are complex but accessible, unique and experimental and enable the participants (both pupils and teachers) to experience the kind of creative processes that are difficult to deliver in a conventional classroom.
In the workshops the young people have complete autonomy. There are no set outcomes and no formal assessment. They work collaboratively, individually and are encouraged to evaluate their work and that of their peers in a supportive and constructive way which over time develops their critical skills, their articulacy and their explicit and tacit knowledge.
The work from the Schools Programme, including performances, is often presented through sharing sessions and an end of year exhibition, open to the public.
Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop Schools Programme has been kindly supported by Creative Scotland, The Schiehallion Group, The Robertson Trust, Trusthouse Charitable Foundation, The Golsoncott Foundation, Edinburgh College of Art, Thistledown Trust, Trinity & Victoria Primary Schools and The Binks Trust.
Read all about our schools programme on our blog here