Welcome back Penguin Artists and Parents: Grades 1-5
Welcome back to school! I shall be your child’s art teacher for this school year. My name is Helen Arnold and returning students already know me as ‘Miss Helen’. Please be sure to subscribe to the ES Art Blog today. By doing so you will receive a notification via email approximately once a month, of posts which are intended to provide you with a deeper understanding of our program, and in turn will allow you more meaningful conversations with your child about his/her learning. Feel free to visit the art room during Open House (Monday), to say hello! For now, I provide you with some basic ‘need to know’ information. Wishing you a great school year ahead!
IB PYP Visual Arts Statement
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 (US) National Core Arts Standards, and within the IB PYP Framework.
Scheduling & Reporting
First Grade come to art once a week for 45 minutes the whole year. All other grades are working on a six week rotation. Grades 2-5 will receive 2 x 40 minute blocks per week for six weeks at a time. I shall be starting the year working with Grades 1,2 and 3, and later, 1,4 and 5.
School reports are issued in January and June. In Art we follow the (US) National Core Art Standards. These are Create, Present, Responding and Connecting. Details of this curriculum can be found at
In the January report you may find that only one or two of these Standards have been assessed and reported on. By the end of the school year, you will have received a report on all four Standards.
Student Art Work & Seesaw
Most artwork is stored at school the entire year. It does not come home on a regular basis. The various reasons for this include:
- It is needed for assessment purposes.
- It is needed for exhibitions which might happen later in the year
- It is needed for bulletin boards to not only celebrate student learning, but also inform our community of our learning process.
- It may be needed for parent/teacher meetings
- It allows students time to return to, reflect upon and finish work at a later date
- And finally, a portfolio of work which comes home at the end of the year, encourages more meaningful conversation and reflection between student and parent, than when pieces come home sporadically.
If you would like to view your child’s art work at any point in the year, in the art room, you are very welcome to do so. The student may share it with you at any time in the classroom. If you need a specific appointment with me, please email to arrange a convenient time.
SeeSaw: All students will be expected to bring their iPad to art. Seesaw will be used for students to document and present their work. Parents are encouraged to comment in a constructive, positive way to support student learning. Your child’s homeroom teacher will provide more detailed information regards Seesaw during your Open House meeting on Monday.
“To be creative you actually have to do something.” (Ken Robinson)
There is so much more to art than ‘making’. Two Standards in our art curriculum are:
Responding: Understanding and evaluating how the arts convey meaning
Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context.
The best preparation for art is the experience of REAL LIFE! We are so lucky in Moscow to have access to an abundance of art exhibitions. Please expose your child to as much possible. In addition to this, the more exposure to cultural events, travel, places of interest, every day play and exploration, strong relationships and the outdoors (just a few examples), the greater the pool of inspiration. There are also plenty of art books, stories about art, stories about artists – all great to include in your home reading, many of which you can find in our school library. If possible, provide a safe space in your home which may spur creativity, complete with scissors, markers, paper, glue, play doh, etc. Model your own interest in art and creativity. It is likely your child will follow. Artists need inspiration and the greatest inspiration comes from real life experience!
All about me
I am from the UK, and have enjoyed a over 20 years international school experience, teaching in Indonesia, Thailand, The Philippines, Germany, England and now Russia. The majority of my work has been with Elementary School students, in addition to eight years working in Middle and High School. It’s a small world and I love the strong connections we all make through our multicultural classroom, growing together with deeper understanding, openness and respect for individual and collective qualities within our fabulous international community. Moscow is also such a delight. As I begin my third year here, I continue to view the city, it’s art galleries, theatre, concert halls, open air shows, architecture, parks, the river and frequent firework displays with awe. This is an exciting and beautiful place to be!
Please feel free to contact me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org