Developing learner agency through arts and physical integration
One of the many Primary Years Programme (PYP) core values is learner agency. It encourages the development of student voice, choice and ownership of their learning goals through experiences. This empowers students to influence and direct their own learning in collaboration with their teachers.
How learner agency is nurtured at TK
To facilitate learner agency in SK students at TK, Hélène Boiron (TK’s only kindergarten arts and physical literacy integration specialist) combined arts and physical literacy, which is the development of fundamental movement skills such as running, hopping, catching, and throwing so children gain the confidence to participate in various physical activities like sports and games. The combination of arts and physical literacy has allowed Helene to develop visually engaging learning spaces that provide a safe zone for personal expression, artistic exploration, exciting opportunities for discovery through sustained play and above all, an immense joy in learning.
A dedicated learning space
In fact, the art integration classroom is a dedicated space where SK students can explore and develop their understanding of concepts through music, drama and visual art. It is a time/space ‘hub’ where students can choose to communicate in different languages to express themselves individually and collectively through multiple perspectives. So how does Hélène inspire our young learners to embrace learner agency through memorable self-directed learning experiences? Let’s find out.
Explore - Spontaneity
Musical exploration is a time for students to experiment with beat, rhythm and dynamics (volume and intensity of sound production) in music. Spontaneous reactions from the audience, such as dancing and clapping, support and guide the students in their improvisation.
Beware of the creepy carrots!
Beware of the creepy carrots! Students’ enthusiasm for Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown’s book ‘Creepy carrots’ led them to explore various dramatisation techniques.
Invitation to learning
Students are put in charge of a lesson where they teach family members how to play their favourite clapping game.
Explore: Connecting to trees
The art integration programme goes beyond the classroom. It honours young learners’ need for exploratory movement. In an inquiry about trees, students connect with nature by spreading their legs, holding hands and spreading as far as possible like the roots of the tree stump in the Outdoor Discovery Centre. They also enjoyed climbing the many trees that make TK such a beautiful learning space.
Tableau: “Standing like a tree”
“Standing like a tree with my roots dug down, my branches wide and open, come down the sun…” This traditional folk song guided the students into their dramatisation of trees, small and tall, old and crooked, with twisted winding branches. In this tableau, one student is standing tall with her arms wide and open. The other students are connected to her as the roots to prevent her from falling down!
Hands at work
Students work with clay, an activity where time seems to slow down and create a relaxed space for self-expression. Co-construction of knowledge is very visible, as students observe each other’s work and create, test, modify and decide on their next step.
To Hélène, thank you so much for inspiring our young learners to embrace such remarkable and memorable experiences.
*The development of fundamental movement skills such as running, hopping, catching, and throwing so children gain the confidence to participate in various physical activities like sports and games.