Submitted on Wed 19 Dec 2012
The Art program is a significant component of any school's curriculum but particularly so at Giant Steps. Pamela Honeyfield explains why.
"The overall goal of the art program at Giant Steps is to facilitate the creative exploration of the artistic environment to promote self-expression and develop a relationship between self and media. For children with autism, communication is a major issue and the art program contributes to building social foundation skills, joint attention and also offers an alternative communicative skill. Verbal prompting is kept to a minimum and children are encouraged to express themselves freely.
When I started at Giant Steps 16½ years ago, we operated from one building with one teacher. One day I came across an old paintbrush and some red paint and realised that I just needed an appropriate space. We have come a long way since then - Art is now an established as an important component of the curriculum with a dedicated art room and a full-time program for students from our youngest in Early Learning right through to our senior College students.
Every artistic mark made by our students is important and we showcase whenever possible, both on campus and externally. In 2010, one of our corporate sponsors, the TRC Group, asked us to create artwork that speaks to their philosophy - paintings titled 'Teamwork', 'Commitment', 'Quality', 'Going to Work' and 'Inspiration'. These were produced on large-scale canvas and now hang in their office space for the public to view."
An exciting development for the Art program is a collaborative art project with one of our long term sponsors, Lend Lease. See the website for more details.