Pilot arts-based curriculum proving successful at elementary school

Students still learn the core skills such as reading and writing

A careful blending of fine arts and academic instruction is proving popular at a local school.

Edwin S. Richards Elementary School has hosted a fine arts-based curriculum pilot project since 2011, and according to principal Jan Minty, “the kids are having fun, learning to cooperate, self-regulate, and building self esteem and confidence.”

The children in the two classes (a Grade 2/3 and Grade 5/6) are still absorbing the core educational curriculum, she noted, but this type of artistic instruction gives students the choice between using a pen and paper, or showcasing their knowledge of the material through movement.

But the teacher offers this choice based on an “elegant fit,” she said, which is an innovation in teaching core curriculum concepts in partnership with the fine arts to allow children to creatively demonstrate their learning and understanding, she said.

Minty reports the parents are “thrilled” with how their children are learning, and the parent advisory council is supporting the endeavour, “but it’s still growing. I think it’s an exciting way for kids and teachers to learn.”

For example, the Grade 5 class was learning geometry, and decided to put the lesson into movement, said Minty. A similar method was used to teach students about weather.

Minty spells off the teachers occasionally to give them time to learn new methods of including artistic aspects into academics.

Next year, the plan is to introduce the fine arts inclusion concept across the whole school either in a science or social studies block, said Minty.

It’s an idea finding more favour, and Minty was quick to point out that it’s not just a trend that will fall by the wayside, as Simon Fraser University has begun offering a diploma in integrated learning.

One of the program’s key pillars is reaching out to the community, exemplified by the involvement of professional dance teacher Lee Kwidzinski and the creation of the intergenerational dance project.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Fuel truck hits train in Port Coquitlam, causing massive fire

CP Rail reporting no injuries, driver of truck is safe.

Mission RCMP recover 22 stolen vehicles and several firearms

Charges are still pending after police search two separate properties

Fraser Health asking taxpayers for millions more in health care capital funding

Health authority wants Fraser Valley taxpayers to triple annual contribution to $5.75 million

UPDATE: Brother of teen killed by stray bullet in Vancouver says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down while on his way home from dinner with his family

UPDATE: Rockslide keeps Coquihalla northbound lane closed

Highway 5 is closed in one direction.

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

Movie filmed in Castlegar B.C. opens Friday

Hollow in the Land starring Dianna Agron will be playing in select cinemas.

Semi rollover on Highway 3

Highway 3 is reduced to single-alternating lanes

Most Read