Make art for children's sake

2nd July 2004 at 01:00
Contrary to Peter Muschamp's research on artists in schools (TES, June 18), our evidence is that working with artists is very successful. We are a small nursery school in Lambeth, south London, and have been doing some extremely exciting work with artists in the school and in the studio we rent in term time.

Artists are not teachers, we want to work with them for their expertise and creativity, it is our job to be teachers. We have very clear guidelines about how we work together and over the past year, working with professional artists and students from several London art colleges, I have seen no evidence of "creative tensions and jealousies as artistic temperaments flare".

In fact it has been an amazing learning experience for all of us, children, staff and artists. We have all learnt so much from each other, maybe because we went in to the project without any planned outcomes, we focused on the processes and let the interests of the children lead us. So much so that at a recent show at one of the art colleges, I noticed that the student artist had credited the children of Triangle nursery school as fellow collaborators.

Deborah Hardy Headteacher Triangle nursery school Clapham, London SW4

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