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Art in Reception & Year 6 – a useful tool to teach children about empathy and different views & opinions

Published on 11/04/23

Creating art is a useful tool when teaching children about empathy and helping them to recognise that people can have different views and opinions. They begin to understand that other people’s views can be equally important to their own and valued.

We can use the children’s creations to emphasise that there is not a ‘right’ answer and help the children see that an outcome can be achieved in different ways. As Early years practitioners we are regularly having conversations with the children about taking it in turns to share ideas and to listen to one another’s opinions. The children’s drawings and paintings are a physical example of this concept. Through displaying their artwork together, the children can be encouraged to notice differences and similarities. They can talk positively about their friends’ paintings and compare them to their own.Reception art

In Reception the children have been finding out about the techniques used by impressionist painters. They have spent time finding shades of green in Monet’s paintings and they have learnt what colours to mix to create lighter and darker shades of green. They children used their shades of green to paint their own pictures of nature and applied the results of their colour mixing to make a collage of flowers. 

Our Year 6 pupils have also been studying Monet in their theme ‘A world of difference’. They have been discovering the impact that Monet and other impressionist artists had on the style and techniques used in painting at the time. In trying out some of Monet’s techniques the children develop an understanding of how one artist was able to change the direction of the art movement, highlighting to the children that it is possible for one person to have a positive effect and change the behaviours and habits of a group. Art Year 6

Through the vehicle of art and the process of creating their own artwork both our youngest and oldest children are learning valuable life skills. We are teaching them about personal responsibility. How their actions and views can have an effect on the people around them, whether this is valuing other people’s contributions or having a positive influence on other people’s behaviours.

Sarah Holyoake – Head of Early Years

Artwork Year 6Artwork Reception pupil