St Thomas Art Project

In partnership with NMMU Arts and Culture

The St Thomas project seeks to reintroduce art (Visual and Drama) to the school’s DOE CAPS creative art curriculum. The programme is integrated into the school’s time table and two double sessions of teaching periods per week are dedicated to each discipline. Focus in year one is on the grade 8 group and two Grade 8 classes have been identified. The OTP/NAPDI/NMMU funded project provides four facilitators. Two for each art discipline.
The project has introduced these disciplines at grade 8 level with the hope that those starting the subject in grade 8 will eventually complete their Matric with either visual art or drama as one of their subjects.

The projects long term goals include:
⦁ Promote the concept of itinerant teacher for the arts
⦁ Promote the concept in the community of the development of an FET school of the arts at St Thomas
⦁ Advocate with MEC’s, politicians and influential individuals for the reintroduction of ST Thomas as an art school.
⦁ It is anticipated that once these art subjects are introduced the SGB will be inspired and encouraged to approach the DOE to employ full time drama and art teachers at the school.

Proposed Programme
Two teachers are to work one day a week each, teaching visual art to two separate 8th grade classes. The classes will take place during the regular school day during Creative Arts classes. (St. Thomas will arrange a double period on Mondays and Wednesdays so that the classes can have one long block, rather than two shorter blocks at separate times during the week). The double periods take place on Monday and Wednesday mornings.

The project requested will teach just half of the two 8th grade classes at a time. While half of the two classes take visual arts, the other half take a theater class, which meets during the same periods. Having a double period will enable our teachers to work with media without having to worry about a shorter work time, which would be necessary during a single period when considering time lost to set up and clean up.
Meeting with just half of the class (about 20 students), will allow for more attention and support to each student, which would not be possible with twice as many students.
Halfway through the school year, the eighth grade sections will switch. Those students who took visual art during the first two terms, switch to the Theatre class and those who were in Theatre, then take visual art for the third and fourth school terms.

Students who have visual art the first half of the school year complete a total of four long-term projects. Visual art students either begin with a clay or collage project, with all students eventually receiving instruction in clay as well as two-dimensional work. Two-dimensional work includes an oil pastel and collage self-portrait, a printmaking project (self-portrait collagraph,) and a water colour city-scape. Clay projects include pinch and coil pots, as well as a clay house.

While Creative Arts classes are an expected part of the curriculum outlined by the Department of Education, there is little school training for those teaching the subjects. Any art instruction outside of this partnership between St. Thomas and NMMU are short-lived and difficult also due to lack of supplies from the Department of Education.
We are looking to expand the St. Thomas program by beginning an after school visual arts class that would meet on Fridays. We also hope to continue next year with these grade 8 students, as they move forward to grade 9, but also begin a new class with the incoming grade 8 students.

The project will have three facilitators. Two for Visual art and one for drama.
The facilitators follow the National Curriculum Statement (CAPS) syllabus
Each facilitator will have contact time of two 50 minute periods during a ten week cycle (refer to time table attachment)

Class rooms
The school has an art room (fully functioning) with kilns and storage space and a Drama room that has sufficient body space for the movement of a 35 sized class. These are to be utilized by the three facilitators on a rotational basis. Class periods are conducted within the stipulated school time table.

For more information contact Michael Barry.
Tel 041-5042566