‘Art therapy activities facilitate positive changes in emotional wellbeing’

How art therapy can aid pupil mental health, resilience and creativity

Chroma is implementing arts therapies into schools to help support children’s mental health, creativity and resilience through collaboration with teachers. Based on experiences working within schools in Beijing, Bangkok and Singapore, learning consultant Nici Foote believes that creativity and collaborative teaching and learning experiences motivate students to think critically, help them with authentic problem solving, and provide students with greater opportunities to use higher-order thinking skills to support understanding.

Arts therapy sessions implemented within schools will help support children in self-expression and build self-confidence – Daniel Thomas, managing director, Chroma

Foote said: “Children were more engaged and tuned in through an inquiry learning process. The Primary Years Program sees students follow their own ideas, researching and undertaking different activities around the classroom to get children activating their own choice and voice within learning.

“In Singapore, Bangkok and Beijing, the schools are forward thinking and innovative. They use the Inquiry Process whereby students lead the way in their own learning journey.

“Collaboration between teachers and students, within lessons, offers an innovative approach to education that helps build and create ‘trust’ between all parties. Supporting students creatively helps steer them towards gaining a better understanding of a topic or subject.”

Art therapy within schools

Chroma aims to implement arts therapies into schools to achieve similar effects for students.

Daniel Thomas, managing director at Chroma, said, “Arts therapy sessions implemented within schools will help support children in self-expression and build self-confidence, both of which have become even more important factors due to the mounting pressures children face at school.

“Role-play in dramatherapy, for example, can help students explore issues they may be dealing with within school or at home; art therapy activities support self-expression allowing children to discuss their feelings and music therapy develops confidence, helps develop healthy bonds between students and teachers, and facilitates positive changes in emotional wellbeing.

“Above all else, these sessions are fun and provide students with a necessary pause from schoolwork. Following arts therapies sessions, children feel motivated and inspired, creating a positive attitude towards the rest of the school day.

“Teachers are also encouraged to participate in sessions, to help build trust between teacher and student and to gain a better understanding of their students’ emotional wellbeing and needs. With this, teachers can identify the ways in which they could change their approach to teaching to help facilitate a more amiable learning experience – one that is vibrant, passionate, student-focussed and where all students can thrive.

“Teachers, mentors, teaching assistants and arts therapists should work together and support students’ learning journey to help children develop resilience in a supportive environment – where they can learn without a fear of failure.”

Foote added, “To be a great teacher, you need to consider yourself a facilitator. Changing the language of teaching is the first step.”

Arts therapies promote creativity, collaboration and innovation between teachers and students, which when applied towards learning outcomes could offer teachers the opportunity to teach innovatively and students to learn creatively, advocates Chroma.

Main image: © Copyright 2011 CorbisCorporation

You might also like: Beyond sport: the link between exercise and wellbeing


Leave a Reply

Send an Invite...

Would you like to share this event with your friends and colleagues?

Would you like to share this report with your friends and colleagues?

You may enter up to three email addresses below to share this report