Visual art is integral to the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP). It is a powerful mode of communication through which students explore and construct a sense of self and develop an understanding of the world around them. Elementary art classes provide students with a wide range of opportunities and means to respond to their experiences and engage with historical, social and cultural perspectives. The students are stimulated to think and to articulate their thoughts in new ways, focusing their attention on the creative process rather than the final product. (IBO)

The ES Visual Arts Program at AAS is created through the National Core Arts Standards, and within the IB PYP Framework.

All Grades: Eco Fair Art Opportunity

Eco Fair Art Opportunity

Looking for a fun and meaningful, art activity during the holidays?

All ES Artists are invited to create an artwork for our ECO FAIR art exhibit. All works will be shown.

Theme; Wildlife Animals, Birds or Insects

Create a 2D or 3D artwork of your favorite Wildlife.

2D artworks should be no bigger than an A3 paper.

Choose any art form you like! Painting, Drawing, Printmaking, Junk Modelling, Sculpture, Photography.

  • Bring your finished work to the Hall of Flags on Thursday 18 April
  • Pin it on the boards available on the day
  • Place 3D art works on the table
  • Be sure that your name and class can be seen on the work.

Thank you for bringing joy, celebration and color to our Eco Fair, through art!



Third Grade: Student Led Conferences Thursday 29 March 2019

Third Grade Students should invite their parents to the art room, to discuss their most recent learning journey and their understanding of the Line of Inquiry “Understanding symbolism in art helps us to gain a sense of the artist’s perspective’. Students will have choices of learning experiences to share, including an invitation to interpret art works through use of symbols, and to demonstrate skills in dot painting (parents are invited to join in). Valuable discussions include reflection regards the joy and challenges met, during the process of dot painting, and strategies to overcome these.

Guiding questions/discussion points will be provided for parents to assist students, should they need help with conversation starters.

We look forward to seeing you Thursday.

Second Grade: Student Led Conferences 28 March 2019

Second Grade Students should invite parents to the art room to show a photograph of their self portrait and explain/demonstrate their understanding of the line of inquiry “artists use scientific and mathematical knowledge when creating artworks’. Conversations may also focus on the steps required to create their portrait, and specifically the challenges met, and strategies for improvement. Hundertwasser artworks will also be available as discussion points, and some clay provided in order for students to demonstrate skills specifically in clay attachment – the Four S’s – Slip, score, squish, smooth.

Guiding questions/discussion points will be provided for parents to assist students in conversation initiation, though it is the choice of the student, regards which aspect of his/her learning he/she will share.

We look forward to seeing you Thursday.


First Grade: Student Led Conferences 28 March 2019

First Grade students should invite parents to the art room to discuss and share any aspect of their learning in art. The guiding questions/discussion points below will be provided for parents, to assist as conversation starters if necessary. Patterned fabrics, and printmaking stamps will be provided for students to demonstrate their knowledge/understanding and skills, as they wish. In addition to this, students may discuss their knowledge/understanding of the art forms and artists which they have most recently engaged in (Matisse and Carle). Students and parents will be invited to contribute to a collaborative ‘painted paper’ art work, where students may demonstrate their knowledge of shape and layering, and explain the process of creating painted paper collage art works. We look forward to seeing you on Thursday.

Fourth Grade: Student Led Conferences 28 March 2019

Fourth Grade students are expected to bring parents to Room 3002 (next to the art room) to view the Fourth Grade ‘Exhibition of Moods’. Feedback, reflection and evaluation was an essential part of this unit, and students need your opinion on their work and that of their peers. Students have worked hard to generate ideas, and apply their knowledge and understanding of the use of subject matter and color to express a feeling.  Hopefully, still a BIG SECRET, students would like you to guess the mood of their own painting and also of their classmates work. This is a very exciting moment for students. Please join in the fun, and contribute to our feedback session. The results of this activity will help students self evaluate their effectiveness as a communicator through art.

Cultural masks in their current stage of artistic process (not finished) will also be available, in addition to our original Barong and Rangda Masks. Guiding questions/discussion points will be available for students who would like a little help with conversation starters. We look forward to seeing you on Thursday.

Fifth Grade Student Led Conferences: 28 March 2019

Fifth Grade students should invite parents to visit the art room and the ES Lobby Area to discuss any aspect of their learning journey in art. As they are currently in the throws of their Exhibition work, one important area for discussion could include the child’s reflection, regarding how he/she might ‘use creativity to raise awareness of matters important to them’ (Gr 5 PYPX Line of Inquiry). Discussions around the joys and challenges of collaborative work would also be of great value. The following guiding questions/discussion points have been provided. However, it is entirely up to the child, how he/she chooses to share his/her learning with you. We look forward to seeing you on Thursday.



Fifth Grade: Reflection, Art Forms & Free Choice!

Having completed their collaborative art stations, the last few lessons involve a final personal reflection and consideration regards most prefered art forms. Students have been required to reflect on at least one art experience in reasonable depth, and post this to Seesaw. They are required to identify the name of the art form, and discuss the process and any challenges they met along the way. Challenges can be in the form of application of knowledge and skills, or the experience of working with others. Seesaw posts should demonstrate the students ability to speak or write about their work, making good use of art vocabulary, and also an explanation of strategies they may have employed to overcome difficulties. As this is a ‘final presentation’ of work, rather than a documented moment, students have also been encouraged to carefully consider visual presentation. ‘Bad photo, Good photo’ discussions incorporate consideration of art elements and principles, such as emphasis, contrast, and use of space.

During the last couple of lessons students have been allowed to further explore the opportunity whichever medium interests them most. They are also encouraged to use computers to research additional art forms, and discover new skills, techniques and possibilities. This final exposure to a wide variety of art forms is helping students tune into their preferred media, as the begin to consider how they might incorporate Visual Art in their upcoming PYP Exhibition.

The gallery below provides examples of some great ‘presentation shots’ (created by students) and students engaging in their personal media exploration choice.

Fourth Grade: Who We Are and Mask Making

(This post contains a link to a Student Seesaw Post and a Youtube Video. In order to listen to/watch the post, it may be better to view from a PC or Laptop)

For the second time this year, Fourth Grade are involved in a Transdisciplinary Unit. This means that in art we are addressing the same theme and concept, which they have previously, in class. The PYP Unit of Inquiry was, and is in Art now, ‘Who We Are’. The PYP Transdisciplinary Theme of ‘Who We Are’ addresses questions about culture, beliefs and values. Following on from their home classroom UOI, students are continuing to develop an understanding of the Central Idea: Beliefs and Values contribute to identity and an understanding of diversity, with the key concept of Perspective (What are the points of view? Different ways of looking, interpretation and understanding).

In art class, we are approaching our own Line of Inquiry: People of all cultures use creativity to tell stories about their beliefs and values. 

Tuning in to a Mask Making Unit

(Image borrowed from mapio.net)

There is nothing better than a primary source to spur curiosity and generate questions. Students have tuned into the central idea, concepts and line of inquiry by observing two masks originating from the island of Bali, Indonesia, and using a secondary source (Youtube) to gain a sense of the masks in action, and the sounds of Gamelan and environment surrounding them. With much excitement, many questions arose, around who they are, where they are from, what are they for, how were they made? Students have been exposed to the story of Barong and Rangda at a very basic level (as to some they may appear frightening!), concluding that they portray the Hindu belief/value in balance. With the knowledge that one character is good, and one evil, students practiced their Thinking Skills by observing and describing the visual characteristics of the mask, paying close attention to the craftsmanship, and point of view as an artist: “how did the artist use the elements of art and principles of design to express the character of these mythical characters?” In addition to this, they have been exposed to images of masks from a variety of other cultures for critique and analysis. Selecting one by choice, students should have uploaded their thoughts to Seesaw. Please click on the link below for examples by Emily 4MA and Laura 4BE.

Ivan 4MS Analysis of Indonesian Mask Rangda

Laura 4BE Analysis of Venetian Mask

The Creative Process – Developing Skills & Create

Usually, we would spend time, planning for a mask of our own (designing), and one which may express our own values/beliefs. However, as this was a focus of our last unit (many lessons were spent generating ideas for a painting) this trimester we have skipped directly to developing skills and creating, as we do need the extra time for ‘making’. So, this time, students are diving in! This is  spontaneous creativity! Most have ideas in their minds, but have not been required to share this yet (Reflection/Evaluation to come later). During this part of the process, students are developing skills by changing the shape and building on a basic form by use of cut out cardboard pieces, and the creation of 2D and 3D shapes, to add to the original form using a variety of attachment techniques (This is not easy). Good organisational skills have also been the key to success.

Having created a strong foundation, they have been learning to use paper and paste to form one piece. Again, very challenging for many, and a lot of  fun, for all. The focus so far, has been on the art elements of shape and form. Watch this space for the introduction of color.


Fifth Grade PYPX: Dear ‘Next Artist’…

Week Two of art rotations is complete and things are gaining momentum. Some artworks are appearing successful, some not. We shall need to gather some community feedback after the February Break. Our first week was exciting and energetic, and most students had the opportunity to explore two or more art forms. In recent days, we have taken a breather. A quick reflection: What is happening here? In some cases random acts of creativity, not necessarily connected to what has gone before.  Is this one big paint festival?! What was our original goal? Students are becoming increasingly aware of the power of individual contribution, for the good of the collective whole and the need for communication with their collaborative peers from other classes. Now, as they leave the room, notes are being eagerly written, for the ‘next artist’, with intention to inform him/her of their thinking, in hope that the next contribution to the work, may be more effective. From this we can see a sense of pride and camaraderie developing. A splendid new development this week! Here below, some ‘Dear next artist…’ letters and some video clips from the last couple of days. Wishing you all a rested holiday.


Fifth Grade: Artists as Change Makers

(Videos in this post may be easier to view from a laptop or PC)

Transdisciplinary Theme: How We Express Ourselves, PYP Key Concept: Perspective

Central Idea: Collaborative Inquiry is a journey which empowers students to demonstrate life-long skills and dispositions which lead to action.

Line of Inquiry: Artists work together use creativity to raise awareness of matters that are important to them.

Note: Our line of Inquiry strives to place emphasis on three things: Collaboration, Change Makers, Global Issues & Citizenship.

Welcome back! This is going to be a long blog post (student video at end of this post). My aim is to enlighten you, as best possible regards this year’s strong integration of art and the upcoming Grade 5 PYP Exhibition (PYPX). As you may know, during the latter part of this school year, students will be involved in in a personal investigation of their choice. Groups will be organised according to interest and students will involve themselves in a collaborative process of inquiry, and be required to present their learning journey to the whole school community.  This is the culminating learning experience of your child’s elementary school experience and very exciting! Please do not contact home room teachers regards this, at this moment in time. You will be introduced to specific details at the scheduled time, after February break. However, as the Fifth Grade art rotation began last week, and shall continue until Mid-March, art class is currently helping to prepare students to ‘tune in’ to the idea of investigating a PYP transdisciplinary theme, Central Idea, Concept, make specific connections with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and to develop an understanding that there are a variety of art forms, which they could choose to utilize, later.

Identifying Transdisciplinary Themes, PYP Concepts and UN Sustainable Development Goals

During our first week of art class, through close observation/analysis of various artworks, students had the opportunity to clarify their understanding of the PYP Transdisciplinary Themes and Concepts and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. They have begun to consider how art can be used as a means of raising awareness of such issues.

Students have been exposed to the work or artists who clearly have something to say. Completely open to personal interpretation, students have worked as a whole class, to seek meaning, and identify the Transdisciplinary Theme, PYP Concepts and UN Sustainable Goal in various artworks. So far we have specifically observed the work of Jo Atherton, Yayoi Kusama and Von Wong. 

Exposure to a variety of art making forms

During week two and three, students are being reminded that art comes in a variety of forms, such as painting, drawing, construction, collage, and photography. The intention here is to open their minds to the various media which they could use, if they choose to, as a means of expression during their upcoming personal learning journey. It is already a busy and exciting time, as students have rotated through teacher directed, art stations. All classes are contributing to the same stations. They are reminded to constantly keep in mind, the question “How can I use creativity to express a matter which is important to me?”

PYP Attitudes/Attributes (Learner Profile)

Incorporated into all, is consideration of the PYP Learner Profile. A shared painting can be a challenge and cause great frustration when a partner removes, changes, or transforms an area of a work with which you held a moment of great pride. A strong sense of perseverance, and acceptance is required  and students are being encouraged to be responsible and caring in their approach to all. I am pleased to report, that to date, a large percentage of students are demonstrating high levels of positivity in this regard. In fact, as the week has progressed, excited students have returned to art class before or after school, or during recess, simply to observe the new development that has occured during their time away.


Reflection and evaluation comes quite naturally. The art room can be noisy at times,  as students are constantly engaged in talking to each other about what is working and what is not. As we are in the the early stages, some guidance is required in some instances, as they self and peer evaluate. Positive and constructive feedback is encouraged as they make collaborative decisions regards their next steps with the work. At the end of each lesson, a whole class moment of reflection is required, where students discuss challenges met, and any strategies they may be devising to overcome this.

Next Steps

The entire Fifth Grade are working rapidly. It has been amazing to see! For all of us, there are moments or great joy, and moments of disappointment. An artwork can be fabulous one minute, and ruined the next! Tolerance, forgiveness, acceptance, open mindedness, and perseverance are our words of the week! Two weeks of planned work is well under way, and in these early days students are requesting more. Together, we are making decision regards the introduction of new stations. And together, we shall decide, later in the year, and as a result of community feedback, which of our collaborative works we agree to being ‘presentable’ for the exhibition.

Below, I share two videos. Von Wong’s ‘The Last Straw’ and his artwork ‘The Parting of the Plastic Seas’, and a video of Fifth Grade artists at work.