Mission Statement The Featherstone Children’s Art Program introduces children to a variety of art experiences that will further their individual development, creatively, personally and artistically. It is a place where children can transcend expectations and explore and develop their true authentic selves through art.
Philosophy Statement The Featherstone Children’s Art program is rooted in the belief that children’s development and growth benefit greatly by experiences in art education. It is our belief that children develop at different rates, and exposure to a variety of art materials and experiences in an environment that is supportive and respectful, enhances their growth in all domains (social, emotional, physical and cognitive). Taking risks with discovery and exploration is part of learning and growing; an imperative element in developing creativity.
Respect for each child, the materials, and the work, is a cornerstone of our beliefs. Acknowledging and supporting children’s approaches to art materials and self-expression is paramount for developing confidence and creativity. Learning to care for art materials and participating in set-up and clean-up as much as possible, helps children develop a respect and appreciation for the tools they use and the studio environment. All work produced in the art classes is of value and children learn to talk about and treat everyone’s work with respect and sensitivity. While there is no “wrong way” to paint, draw, sculpt, or construct, there is a desired expectation of mutual consideration in the art studio.
We believe children should be exposed to a variety of art experiences with the time, space and freedom to explore their own creativity. Teachers present materials and sometimes subtle inspiration, giving children the opportunity to discover their own artistic style and ways of creating. Our goal is to help children develop a love and appreciation for art, in themselves, and in others, with respect for individual differences.
Curriculum Statement The Featherstone Children’s Art Program curriculum is founded on the belief that children develop creativity and artistic expression through both free and guided exploration of art materials. Children will be exposed to experiences with basic art mediums: pencil, crayon, pastel, paint, collage and construction, and clay. Depending on the age level and experience of the child, these explorations will begin with simple experiences, but will build in complexity over time, or as children’s ability, interest, and development dictate. Children will work on both individual projects and collaborative pieces, with focus on individual creativity and respect for their peers, the materials, the space, and the work.
Code of Conduct The Featherstone Children’s Art Program is a place where children can participate in art experiences in an environment where they feel safe, respected and valued. “Respect” is the cornerstone of our philosophy and the foundation of our values. Children have the right to learn, create art, and play without disruption or antagonism from others.
Teachers and staff are committed to teaching and reinforcing appropriate student behavior through modeling and positive encouragement. Courtesy, respect, and problem-solving strategies are practiced by all staff members and the same is expected from adults visiting the Children’s Studio.
Criticizing, mocking or defacing another’s art work is prohibited. Teaching children how to respect and be curious about their peers’ work is part of our philosophy and teaching. Bullying is not tolerated and will be dealt with swiftly, in keeping with our belief in safe spaces for children; that means emotionally, as well as, physically. Active defiance towards a teacher is problematic, as this is disruptive to the class and disrespectful.
While understanding that children develop at different rates and young children are still learning appropriate behaviors, we will provide the extra scaffolding some children need in order to help them be a more productive and supportive member of their group. We believe that parents play an important role in helping their children achieve success, so we partner with you in working towards a happy outcome.
If, after exhausting all efforts with a child and parent, it becomes clear that the learning environment is continuing to be compromised (children feel unsafe, are disrupted or bullied), then we will have to request the child be withdrawn from the program. We cannot sacrifice the happiness and security of many children for the behaviors of one.
With these guidelines in place, Featherstone can provide a positive, productive, safe and joyful learning environment for children.