Works of art from the National Art Collection are being used to develop and nurture key learning skills in early childhood, primary, secondary and higher education levels.
The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands has developed an education programme specifically for schools. The programme was developed in conjunction with Ministry of Education policy advisers and teachers from local schools to ensure it is directly linked with the national curriculum.
The interactive programme is free. Sessions are designed to be age appropriate and to complement and enhance students’ learning. Through these sessions, children examine and explore artwork and become familiar with the cultural heritage of the Cayman Islands, while engaging in activities that develop social skills, literacy, vocabulary and numeracy.
Pilot sessions took place with several schools generating feedback from teachers and students.
Following a session with students, Bodden Town Primary School Deputy Head Kimberly Litrico said, “The activities were enjoyable for students and highly appropriate to their current studies. Learning about 2D and 3D shapes fitted in perfectly with what the children learn in numeracy at school. This is an area that some of our pupils struggle with, but viewing it from an art perspective really consolidated their understanding.”
The Active Learning Sessions will be launched this week, thanks to a donation of $22,500 from Dart Cayman Islands, that was approved by the Dart Foundation.
Dart Cayman Islands and the Dart Foundation, a private family foundation for philanthropy based in Mason, Michigan, have both been keen and active supporters of the National Gallery and its programmes for the past 12 years.
Natalie Urquhart, director of the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, added, “We are very excited to offer this unique learning experience to schools across the Cayman Islands. Education is central to our mandate and it is important to us that we create useful programming that directly supports the official school curriculum. Through ALS, students will have the opportunity to engage with the art and cultural heritage first hand; to improve skills such as observation, research, assessment and creativity; and to experience learning outside the classroom. We hope every school will take advantage of ALS and are grateful to Dart Cayman Islands and the Dart Foundation for their support of this new educational resource.”