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budget is almost nothing- how do you manage to teach art GCSE and A level

Discussion in 'Art and design' started by shillingstone, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. hi

    I am looking to find some good ideas-
    we have just had our budget ( like a lot of you out there) cut and are wondering how on earth we are going to fund art for our GCSE students as well as A level ones. We are thinking of going down the road of asking students to buy basic equipment such as brushes and sketching pencils as well as the hard back sketch book we already ask them to buy. Does any one else do this? and if so what do you do if a student does not buy the equipment or cant?
    ANY ideas would be really helpful.

    ever hopeful
  2. Hi there,

    I work at a school in South Africa where many of the students do not have money for the basic equipment - it is tough but consider raising money for materials by having an art auction or art exhibition where tickets must be bought - alternatively asking the staff to sponsor a student (even if it is just one or two pounds each for the basics). Alternatively, art projects using scraps of papers and newspapers for collages, newsprint for charcoal drawings, or even monoprints where things like feathers and the end of pens can be used for mark-making as opposed to painting. Hope this helps!
  3. We get our year 7s to buy both a hardback book and a set of pencils from us. This year we also asked our GCSE and A level classes to pay for equipment in advance in September such as A3 sketchbooks, a brush set, mount board, canvas and even a contribution towards refreshments for our end of year exhibition. We put it in a letter asking for the money to be bought in for September and put down the art price alongside standard shop prices to indicate how we can save the students money. The only problem is you have to make sure they get the money in and that they do need the equipment charged for - it was awkward realising that the students didn't all need canvas when they'd paid for it already!
  4. Pennyforyourthoughts

    Pennyforyourthoughts Occasional commenter

    You need to be creative here.................
    You target local industry and businesses for off cuts of card, carboard boxes, cardboard tubes (cut up for toten poles) paper, metal, wood, wool, fabrics, perspex, in fact anything that you use.
    Look out for any competitions that the school can enter to win prizes
    Apply for grant funding for the arts by doing community projects..... the equipment serves dual purpose helps the school and the community. There are numerous funding pots, for community groups, heritage, enviornment,
    Focus, B&Q etc..... for broken breeze blocks for stone sculpting, for end of lines of emulsion, tiles, broken reject brushes, damaged canvasses. B&Q have community grants as do the Co-Operative Society
    Framers for offcuts of canvas, mounts etc
    Target Big corporations for sponsorship........ for their local schools. Gas, Electric, Water, etc
    Contact your local recycling depot for any old glass, metals,etc for sculputre
    Supermarket plastic packing trays for paint pots, paint trays.
    Garden centres for plastic trays for felting
    Woollen mills for off cuts for textiles and wool tops for felting.
    Use your scrap store if you have one..... if not use an old shed on school premises or a parents property to store or Create a Scrap store for local schools and community groups.
    Share facilities with other schools....... eg if you have printing press and no kilns, swap for a morining for GCSE groups.
    Get staff on boards for ideas or scrap to be brought into school
    Create projects that you can get financed and then get your GCSE group to plan, create and make sections for evaluation.
    Carpet shops for carpet tubes.
    Pool orders with another school to buy in bulk.
    Go on to www.Freecycle.co.uk for your area and ask for what you need you will be surprised what people want to get rid of....... even oil paints, canvasses (that can be painted over).
    Its out there...... go get it.
  5. We are the same as you, have had our budget cut every year and now are down to £1000 for years 7-13. You have to be very inventive, do projects using cardboard, papier mache, collage, soap sculpture etc. We send out a letter to GCSE students at the beginning of the course saying they will be expected to buy sketchbooks and have drawing materials.
    We sell sketchbooks for 50p more than they are and with the money that adds up buy all the other luxury things that they like. Ribbons, glitter, permanent pens etc. We also won a digital camera for our deparmtent by entering a competition.
    When will they learn that art needs more money than most departments?!
  6. I give the members of my department the '£5 car boot challenge'. I give them £5 (my own money and there is only 4 of us including our technician) and we all head off to our nearest car boot to buy the most and best bits for still life objects.
    We get lots! Bottles, reflective tea pots, unsual glasses, fabrics, jars, old boots, cassettes that we break up, broken musical instruments, ornate objects and lots of other lovely stuff.
    Its great fun, we come in with our findings and we end up with loads of interesting things to give the kids to draw.
    Hope this helps - we have been told that our budget will be cut drastically for next year - so we are buying all the 'treats' that we can now

  7. Pennyforyourthoughts

    Pennyforyourthoughts Occasional commenter

    Supermarkets have pencils in bulk very cheap.... and they are not bad.
    Also ask for any canvasses that they may have at home these can be primed and used again.
    I think I may have said this before BUT................. target all the printing works and painting companies............... scraps and end of colour lines in emulsion usually go for free or very cheap.

  8. Hello,
    Pennyforyourthoughts mentioned competitions: if you're in London you
    can enter Look Out London- even though term has finished entries can be
    made retrospectively- to win materials from Cass Art and Daler Rowney.
    All the details are at http://engage.org/projects/look_out_london.aspx
    will be other similar opportunities throughout the year I would
    imagine. It's the first time engage has run this : we hope to do so
    again next summer. The deadline for entries is 13 August.
    Hope that helps a bit!

  9. Ideas:

    Altered books using discarded textbooks/encyclopedias. etc.
    give a theme assignment for a 2 page spread---kids can use page images or texts as inspiration or gesso over the whole thing...look up Alt. book ideas....

    Recycled materials---for sculpture---polystyrene from large electronics, cardboard boxes for cardboard sculptures or relief, paper sculture or altered book cuttings...

    make tempra paint work as acrylic by adding cheap PVA glue
    go around to business and ask for materials: Iron mongers, wood scraps, telephone repair men-will give you those wonderful colorful bendy wires if you ask....
    advertise to take old computers and electronic equipment...take them apart and use the computer chips, wires, etc to use in mixed media art or sculpture.
    Grafitti art---subtraction method...clean a dirty wall in a design.. or take scrap wood and do Keith Haring or Bansky art inspired by a personal theme or cause of their own..
    Scrap fabric or discarded clothing--have kids bring in clothing they no long want. Make sleeves and sweaters, etc into inventive creatures or soft sculture.
    Do a fund drive with pottery and food. Each student designs a cookie or treat tray or bowl and then make or fill with treats to sell as a fundraiser....could also tie into partial dontation to homeless shelter..etc.
    put nylon stockings over a bent wire (hanger) stuck in and secured in a block of wood scrap. twist the shape into a sculpture--paint with acrylics or tempra mixed with glue.

    Make your own charcoal with burnt sticks---do a modern verson of Cave Paintings....

    Collect objects for still life from Op shops and garbage...I kid you not.

    Ask tile vendors for leftover tiles and grout. Make ottoman style portraits or designs.

    get discarded shop window "dummies" cover with found objects, collage, writing, photos...etc. as a political statement or personal identity project...etc.
    Get wood scraps of all kinds-including discarded furniture. Cut up into shapes and do Louise Nevelson-esque Assemblage---Repetition...
    Use thick muslin instead of canvas---use with different media-- you can put it on a wood frame or add washer weights sewn on to hang roughly....
    Plastic bags---look up "Plastic Fusion" on line---requires dry irons...
    Weave with plastic bags
    sewing images with plastic bags
    making costumes with plastic bags.
    use brown packing paper from shipments of materials
    natural objects

  10. Mrs Grumpy

    Mrs Grumpy New commenter

    "Pennyforyourthoughts" and "ArtwithHeart" have got excellent ideas. In some areas there are businesses that for a joining fee and a fiver a visit will let you load a supermarket trolley with all sorts of junk - if possible, cultivate a member of staff there to tip you off when something good comes in. Local printing firms can be great - the card offcuts and misprints I got from one firm were better card than I could buy! Other staff members may have relatives with firms that can help, and because they teach science or French, may not tap such sources themselves... Over the years I've built up loads of contacts for "Junk" that is vital to us, especially now. The subject needs resourcing, especially when many parents and families will be reluctant or even unable to fund students' efforts. Sadly some students will be put off doing Art as an Exam subject if they have to pay out for kit - and it's not always a solution to say they can get it as they go along, because they want to start off with it all!
    You might even extend the £5 car boot challenge to year 12 /13 students - Schools often have funds that can be tapped, and that way at least partly subsidise the outlay. They can then be set the challenge to use these in a term's work... it might work. Remember how we all scavenged as students?
    Art using perishable items, in a Goldsworthy manner can be digitally photographed, and if you're crafty, you may persuade IT to fork out. (Well, you might)
    Images for resources can be obviously lifted from the Internet, but also scavenged from Art mags, (Cultivate "Arts Fund" subscribers) and other sources. Seek out wrecked books and salvage images, remount and use.
    The sad thing is that we always are the Cinderellas - yet so little we buy can be used and re-used over the years, like textbooks in many other subjects. But who is it that Heads look to to do an eye-catching display for a special event? Yes. Who does the Sets for the School Production? Yes. You've guessed. Us. We could always start charging for our skills and services to the rest of the School community - but could they afford us?

  11. I've found the most amazing website for cheap arts and crafts materials called ScrapStores UK. Its a charity whereby you can pay for school or individual membership and from then you can visit and buy all kinds of materials for SUPER cheap!! Go to http://www.scrapstoresuk.org for more info but I promice your £1000 will turn into £10,000!

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