Thirteen learners made a trip to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford on Tuesday, a visit which will prove invaluable not only in their studies for our new Arts Award, but also in helping them develop key social skills.
The visit was to coincide with the Andy Warhol exhibition, a study of whom will form an important element of the Arts Award programme. It allowed learners to look closely at the history of his art, assess what he did and draw inspiration to help them in their creative processes throughout the course.
The trip also gave learners the opportunity to see a diverse range of art, being taken on a guided tour of the museum to see everything from Manet to Picasso, along with a whole range of historical exhibits. To ensure the trip was engaging and interactive, learners broke into pairs and hunted for paintings from images and clues provided by the museum, ensuring they gave all the works in each gallery their full attention. It also provided them with the opportunity to practice team work and communication as they sought to find the answers first.
After the tour was completed, learners were able to convert observation into practice, with a drawing session themselves to interpret or copy Edouard Manet's 'Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus'. Peter said: "I enjoyed looking at all the paintings. Coming here will help give me inspiration for the Arts Award so I can do even better at it".
Whilst the trip did provide an engaging, interactive and inspiring way to launch learners into the Arts Award programme, it provided so many other opportunities for learners to practice social skills and experience things they might not be so familiar with. Just being out in a busy public space can be a challenge for some, and they were able to practice their spatial awareness and taking other people into account when conducting themselves.
There was also the chance to browse around the gift shops, and some learners used it as an opportunity to purchase gifts and give themselves valuable practice at shopping, communicating and handling money at tills.
Teacher Sam Hewson said: "Our learners have practiced so many independence skills today - requesting things, initiating conversations, handling money, team work. Some have really come out of their comfort zone to be a part of today so deserve a lot of praise for representing LVS Oxford so well. Today will have been a huge benefit for all of their personal social development and building the confidence to know that if they want to go somewhere or achieve something, they can do it".
View our image gallery from the highly successful trip here.
We aim to provide them with a 'tool box for life' - a variety of skills and coping mechanisms that they can take with them in to the future.