Recommended age group: 5–19
Time required: varies
By taking part in this project, the students will:
- recall, discuss and portray highlights and success stories of past Olympic and Paralympic Games
- consider how the Olympic and Paralympic Values could be conveyed through art
- think about aspects of the community that they think could be improved
- identify a public space in which to show their finished artworks
- create artworks in preparation for an exhibition or display in a community space.
Who would benefit most from this project?
This project is designed to be as flexible and accessible as possible to suit a range of ages and abilities, and different types of schools. Here are some approaches you could consider:
- running it as an annual off-timetable/themed day across the whole school or a year group with different classes focusing on a different Value or Values, and/or a different community issue
- adding it to your transition programme, e.g. from primary to secondary school, with older students working on the project alongside the new intake groups
- targeting it at a particular cohort such as the Able, Gifted and Talented, those at risk of under achievement or disengagement or as an in-depth project for a school art club
- marking a date in the school calendar as a special 'Art and the community day/week'. Invite a local artist in to work with the students on creating a piece of art related to a particular Value, e.g. determination or excellence, and decide where this will be displayed so members of the community can see it too
- providing opportunities through your student voice and home-school partnership programmes for students and their families to discuss community issues that concern - or inspire - them. Focusing on a particular issue, can they suggest how committing to one or more of the Values could improve the problem? These could then be 'interpreted' by the students in art activities as suggested above.
You could launch the project in an assembly and include a film celebrating the highlights of a previous Games and one or more of the Values assemblies.
- invite students to recall and recount their favourite moments from a previous Olympic and Paralympic Games
- ask them to make a sketch or create a photo montage of their favourite Games moments - or of an athlete who has inspired them in a big way
- list the three Olympic Values (excellence, respect and friendship) and the four Paralympic Values (courage, determination, equality and inspiration) on the board or flip chart
- ask the students to choose one Olympic and one Paralympic Value to focus on, and to make a sketch or design a symbol that they think conveys that Value. What colours and shapes do words like 'respect' or 'inspiration' conjure up for them? What might an 'equality' or 'friendship' logo look like?
Issue - what issue?
This part of the project, linking the Values and the Games/sport to particular community issues, is entirely at your discretion. You don't have to include it as part of the project at all and could just concentrate on portraying the Values through art and thinking about people in the community who would most enjoying seeing the final results.
Some students will, however, be able to link their interpretation and portrayal of the Values to a particular community issue which they think needs to be improved, such as:
- sport and leisure facilities and opportunities for young people
- safe cycling routes and lanes
- opportunities for people with disabilities to be active
- community groups who may feel isolated, such as young parents or senior citizens
- crime and gang culture.
Where to show your finished artworks?
Depending on the size and nature of the finished pieces of work, you could consider these public spaces, for example:
- children's hospital/ward
- sports clubs
- community hall
- residential care home
- council offices.
Working with local artists
This is a great project to talk to a local artist about. He or she may be willing to become your artist in residence for a term or longer, working with the students on their ideas around the Values and the Games, and encouraging and supporting them throughout the project.