The Art of Learning at Cokethorpe School
'I teach them not to be intimidated by failure'
At Cokethorpe School, outstanding teaching is enhanced beyond the classroom by leading experts who place the curriculum into real world context through lessons, lectures and workshops.
From Shami Chakrabarti debating human rights with Sixth Form students to Thor the Viking bringing Nordic history to life for the Junior School, pupils are inspired by the wide range of learning experiences.
The GCSE and A Level Art pupils recently received a visit by local artist Beatrice Hoffman, who delivered a sculpture masterclass at Cokethorpe.
During the hands-on workshop, pupils were guided through the technical and creative process for sculpting Roman-style busts. Beatrice demonstrated techniques and clearly explained the learning points that pupils would take away from the day.
The pupils all agreed that their sculpting had benefited from the workshop. A Level student Ed Woolley said: ‘I enjoyed the opportunity to experiment with sculpture under the guidance of such an experienced artist. My understanding of 3D proportions has developed so much in just one day and I am really pleased with the impressionistic direction my piece has taken.’
Beatrice believes that sculpture provides a great conduit for teaching a broad set of life lessons that extend far beyond art: ‘I teach them not to be intimidated by failure; not to fear mistakes, but to embrace them! The Arts are particularly qualified for imparting these life skills, because in other subjects there’s more of a clear cut right and wrong; here, there’s just a long road to the final solution with many missteps along the way.’
This philosophy of learning closely matches that of Cokethorpe, with the overriding belief that pupils learn most effectively when faced with challenges that encourage them to see failure as a positive step in the learning process.
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