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Learning For Life Programme (LLP)

Nurturing Thinkers, Learners and Leaders through Visual Arts and Pottery

Jing Shan’s programme in Visual Arts and Pottery is a 6-year spiral programme that aims to develop literacy in visual arts and pottery skills, equip pupils with critical and creative thinking skills, and build pupils’ social and emotional competencies through values-in-action (VIA). 

Desired Outcomes

The Visual Arts and Pottery programme supports the school’s long term goal in our five-year strategic plan of nurturing “Critical thinkers with an inquiring mind”, “Self-directed and collaborative learners”, and “Values-driven Leaders”, in support of the school vision of “Thinkers. Learners. Leaders.” 


Critical Thinkers with an Inquiring Mind

Since 2015-2016, the school has incorporated Artful Thinking routines into the curriculum. Artful Thinking is adapted from a Project Zero initiative from Harvard Graduate School of Education and is part of Project Zero’s long history of work in the areas of thinking dispositions and visible thinking.  

It leverages on a research-based approach to help teachers regularly use works of visual art in their curriculum in ways that strengthen pupil thinking and learning.  Thinking routines, which are short, easy-to-learn mini-strategies, are used to extend and deepen pupils’ thinking. Too often, pupils are exposed only to the final, finished products of thoughts e.g. the finished painting or sculpture.  They rarely see the patterns of thinking that lead to these finished products, yet it is precisely these habits of mind that pupils need to develop. A key part of Artful Thinking involves making pupils’ thinking visible by documenting their unfolding thought processes as they use thinking routines.

Self-Directed and Collaborative Learners

From 2016, the school hopes to infuse ICT in the design and conduct of the activities as we hope to engage our pupils more meaningfully during the inquiry process, and to tap on the affordances of technology to archive pupils’ art-making thoughts and processes. 

In addition, we will integrate appropriate applets, Web 2.0 tools, simulations or videos to excite and engage pupils in the self-directed learning of art.  By integrating appropriate applets, Web 2.0 tools, simulations or videos, we hope to document and consolidate pupils’ rigorous conversations and discussions in an organically collaborative manner.  Pupils will also engage in seamless learning using “Out of Eden Learn” platform in collaboration with Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.

Values-Based Leaders

Over the period from 2013 – 2015, as part of our Niche Programme, the school has succeeded in infusing values into the Visual Arts curriculum, and incorporating visual arts with leadership through our community outreach programmes like art exhibitions both in and out of school and VIA platforms like engaging K2 pupils in pottery. 

In addition, the school comes up with a yearly theme in which it engages pupils in the discussion of global issues and awareness, which then translates into pupils communicating their interpretations of school core values through their art pieces.

Tiered Deployment

The school segments the pupil population to better cater to the identified needs, motivations and abilities of the pupils.  On one dimension, the Visual Arts and Pottery programme is segmented vertically – for the masses and for the talented few.  

On another dimension, the programme is segmented horizontally by level, according to the school’s 3 learning phases - ‘Exposure’ phase for P1 & P2 pupils, ‘Experiential’ phase for P3 & P4 pupils and ‘Extension’ phase for P5 & P6 pupils.

Tier 1: Visual Arts & Pottery for All

As part of the school's Niche Programme in Visual Arts and Pottery ( 2013 - 2015), the school has a comprehensive pottery programe blended into the Visual Arts programme. During the 6-year programme, all pupils are taught basic pottery skills alongside visual arts skills.

    • Exposure Phase - P1 and P2 pupils
      • P1 and P2 pupils are introduced to elements of art including Line, Shape, Colour, Value, Form, Texture and Space.  The pupils are exposed to these elements and taught simple Artful Thinking routines which engage them in the expression of their thoughts through social interaction in order to develop basic art knowledge and social and emotional competencies.

      • In Pottery, the P1 and P2 pupils are introduced to Pinch work at a basic and intermediate level respectively. Pupils will use the skills taught to create an art piece in accordance to the theme of the year. This requires class discussion for ideas and then incorporating their ideas into their art piece, while utilizing the pottery skills taught in that level.  

      • During PAL Visual Arts lessons, pupils are explicitly taught art making skills, through simple art discussions and expression of opinions. This teaches them at an early age to respect the work of others and to appreciate the viewpoints of others.

    • Experiential Phases - P3 and P4 pupils
      • P3 and P4 pupils extend on the basic art elements that they have learnt since P1 by asking thoughtful questions, constructing careful explanations, exploring new viewpoints, and seeing the complexity and multi-dimensionality of the art elements when they interplay. The curriculum also infuses ICT in the design of the activities as we engage our pupils more meaningfully during the inquiry process by leveraging on ICT to capture their thinking process and make it more visible to them.  

    • For the P3 and P4 Pottery curriculum, pupils are exposed to a new skill set – basic and intermediate slab work respectively. Pupils will be using the Artful Thinking routines to derive their idea/concept for the pottery piece. This will then be incorporated to the making of their art piece.

    • Extension Phase - P5 and P6 pupils
      • P5 and P6 pupils are required to make oral or written presentations to explain and communicate their thinking processes during lessons and within their termly art journals. During the termly Art Exhibitions and Annual Arts Festival, pupils showcase selected art works completed over the year.   

    • In Pottery, P5 and P6 pupils learn Basic and Intermediate Hand Building Skills respectively.  To further promote and sustain the appreciation of Pottery as an art form, and tap on their pottery skills to benefit others, the P5 pupils perform a VIA project as an outreach programme with the pre-schoolers in the community by teaching them basic pottery skills culminating in the creation of a piece of pottery.Pottery workshops are arranged for the P5 pupils to teach the K2 pupils of participating preschools. Thereafter, the pre-schoolers are invited to come to the school to complete the glazing process of their pottery piece and the school completes the product by firing their pottery pieces and each piece is presented back to the pre-schoolers together with a certificate to capture the memorable learning experience. The P5 pupils document their learning experience through a reflection post-activity facilitated by the teachers.

Tier 2: Visual Arts & Pottery for Talents 

In Tier 2, learning opportunities to support the talented few (those who exhibit greater interest and/or aptitude) are planned and implemented as follows:

  • Visual Arts Club CCA
    • The Visual Arts Club CCA was formed to allow identified pupils with interest and aptitude to discover their passion and develop their strengths in visual arts. As much as the arts curriculum allows for the development and promotion of character and resilience, the CCA allows for the learning and exploration of advanced art skills and techniques.  

    • The school taps on the biennial SYF to extend the pupils’ learning and make creative applications of the various art forms and techniques learnt according to the theme provided. Selected pupils’ entries are then submitted to participate at the SYF.

  • Pottery Club CCA
    • The school identified the Pottery Club as a platform to nurture talented pupils who show interest and aptitude in pottery. These pupils are identified and encouraged to join the Pottery Club by their art teachers. This is a more specialised art CCA in which pupils only focus on learning the different skills within pottery.