Zanela Mhlongo, (MRP Foundation Creative Arts Assistant), and Nozipho Ncengwa, Educator, stand with Kearsney Primary School learners. They hold MRP Foundation’s Creative Arts Manuals, developed to assist educators with dance, drama, music and visual arts lessons. Image MRP Foundation/ Pierre Tostee
With creativity being a crucial skill to unlocking a learner’s future success, a set of Creative Arts Manuals have been developed to assist educators spark creativity in their classrooms as part of the MRP Foundation holistic schools Programme.
The easy-to-use MRP Foundation Creative Arts Manuals were developed and distributed to educators teaching Grades R to 6 Creative Arts lessons. Designed by MRP Foundation Creative Arts Implementation Partner, Peter Court, who has extensive experience in both the creative arts and education, the manuals help educators teach dance, drama, music and visual arts and ignite new ideas and techniques to those with some experience.
“The Creative Arts use a completely different set of brain skills and teaches teamwork, various forms of self-discipline and stimulates the imagination. A decade from now, these learners are going to be applying for jobs that haven't even been invented yet and an ability to adapt, think laterally and out of the box and create, are going to be essential,” explains Peter.
These inspiring manuals complement the national curriculum, CAPS, and so far, have been incredibly well received by the educators from the five MRP Foundation supported schools in KwaDukuza, KwaZulu-Natal. “Teachers are using the creative arts teaching skills in their other lessons. Those who complained they 'couldn't draw' are now illustrating concepts on chalk boards with confidence during lessons other than just Art. This has generated a sense of fun and a desire to experiment with new ways of delivering the curriculum,” explains Peter.
Nozipho “Zipho” Ncengwa, is an HOD and Foundation Phase educator in English and Creative Arts at Kearsney Primary School in KwaDukuza. Zipho has been at the school since 2005 and involved with the MRP Foundation Schools Programme since its inception. With no background or training in drama, dance and visual arts, Zipho, together with other educators, spent their weekends training voluntarily for these subjects. “There were things that I could never do, like draw and dance, but through the programme, I have been empowered to teach these subjects. The manuals give step-by-step lessons and show me how to assess learners” said Zipho.
“This programme has changed the way I teach and how children learn. It has improved learners’ confidence and their marks and has become a motivating factor in their lives. We have seen an incredible difference in our learners, especially those with learning difficulties. They have had a confidence boost.”
The expertise shared through these manuals gives Zipho the confidence to know exactly what she’s teaching, making her life easier. “I love what I do. I teach drama, music and dance. With a programme like this, rural learners now have unlimited opportunities in so many fields. This is going to uplift learners from poor backgrounds. My dream is to see these learners being prosperous in the future.”