Art critics insult work in primaries;Letter

4th June 1999 at 01:00
HAVING read the article "Primaries told to stop copying the great artists" (TES, April 23) we should like to thank Mr Bowden for putting the lid on the pot, before it boils over.

We wonder just where the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority quango has gleaned its information on the way schools interpret critical studies in the art curriculum.

To suggest that schools have reduced the work of some of the most passionate and individual painters of the past 100 years to "formula and pastiche", is to reveal a narrow-minded and insulting view of this aspect of the art curriculum.

At this time, when foundation subjects are being "pruned out", the quality work already in evidence throughout the different year groups in many schools will, sadly, disappear.

Children, even those in the early years, happily absorb information about the lives and works of famous artists, and many other perhaps lesser known, but equally respected artists are discussed, and enjoyed.

It isn't only sunflowers, lilies and goldfish which adorn our walls. There is excellent work going on in schools, led by dedicated teachers. We may not all have had special training, but credit us please with sufficient intelligence to glean help where and when required from our more artistically skilled colleagues.

Judging from the positive feedback we receive from parents, it would appear that the approach we take on this subject is the right one and not to be discouraged.

Have the art educationists really checked out what teachers think is right for the children in their care, or are they swayed by the opinions of the few?

Annette Hill

On behalf of teachers at Fulford St. Oswald's CoE school

Heslington Lane, York

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