Explore is a simple and practical resource for introducing creative multisensory arts activities to your group or setting.
The resource outlines three artist led case studies which took place in three Special Needs Schools. Interactive tactile sculptures were placed in each school as a starting point, exciting and intriguing the children, and then through using movement, textiles, printmaking, collage, colour mixing, clay and plaster the three artists challenged and engaged the children in creating their own work.
The resource consists of 2 parts:
A fun and user friendly guide with an overview of each case study including advice on how to recreate the activities, planning and reflection advice and guidance on commissioning artists to run workshops in your own setting.
This web resource has more activities to download, further information on the sculptures and details of how to borrow the guide for your group or setting.
Here are 10 simple creative activities to download, print off or file away for future ideas!
Dark Descriptions (2,694KB)
Sense of Place (2,709KB)
Playing with Food (1) (2,688KB)
Playing with Food (2) (2,689KB)
Playing with Food (3) (2,692KB)
What Smells Where? (2,691KB)
Connecting Colours (2,693KB)
Sensory Tray Play (2,693KB)
Generic Learning Outcomes
We use the GLO framework to assess creative activities. It identifies:
"Learning is a process of active engagement with experience" www.inspiringlearningforall.gov.uk
This is particularly useful when measuring the impact of creative activities which require participants to directly engage and experience something new.
Within the five key areas of the GLO framework, we feel the following were clearly demonstrated within our case studies:
Generic Learning Outcomes (2,686KB)
Staffordshire's Arts Service invited Janette Walton, a specialist teacher for pupils with multi-sensory impairment, to attend some of the sessions and provide feedback based on her specialist background and experience. Here you can view Janette's observations:
Plaster & Pigment
Julie Edwards of Planet Arts worked with Hednesford Valley High. Her workshops encouraged the students to create clay and plaster blocks embedded with organic and manmade materials. Julie reflects, "One of the key staff loved the cause and effect of the process - they loved the sensory qualities of all the materials, and the control the students had." The workshops were so successful that staff are now in the process of creating a sculpture trail in the grounds, using the pieces created during the workshops.
Gizella Warburton worked with Springfield Community Special School and devised a series of creative activities based on the idea of fruit as abstract, tactile, sensory objects. Students worked with a wide range of materials to investigate combinations of colours and textures in response to the theme. During the sessions, one Teaching Assistant noted, 'S' in particular was more vocal than I'd ever seen before!"
Rachael Lines of Frontline Dance worked with Wightwick Manor. Wightwick had never had an artist work with them before, and were excited by this opportunity to develop new ways of working. Through a combination of dance, movement and sensory exploration, Rachael enabled all the students to participate and staff were impressed with the results, commenting, "It created focus for those who normally struggle".
View the guide online via page suite:
Explore Multisensory Guide
The Explore multisensory guide is available to borrow for short term loan from local libraries and each Special Needs School in Staffordshire has been sent a copy.
The School's Library Service also has copies.
Staffordshire's Arts Service would like to give special thanks to the following people who helped make this project such a success;
The project was supported by Arts Council England, West Midlands.
Contact: Tracie Meredith, Community Arts Officer
Tel 01785 278571