There has been a recent trend in teaching in Portugal, focusing on specific subject areas, to the detriment of teaching the artistic disciplines which favour the development of creativity, sensitivity, self-confidence and adaptability. The arts are also able to promote the development of students’ autonomy, as well as their expressive lexicon, which together with the honing of motor skills, are of great importance in the development of any child.

The cognitive stimulation promoted by the disciplines of theatre, literature, poetry, music, singing, painting and others, leads to learning linked to emotions, fantasies and critical thinking. By exploring a way of looking at the world that allows children and adolescents to train their adaptability to different circumstances, they are better able to face the realities of the globalised world in which we all now live. The speed at which information has to be grasped by everyone, and even more so by new generations, means that now, more than ever, it is important to be able to adapt, while the training of emotions has become essential.

Artistic teaching works not only on the intellectual and personal capacities of each individual, but also on their social development. It is important to promote with children the possibility of expressing themselves freely, in their time, and without making judgments or offering opinion about their artistic manifestations. Colégio Bernardette Romeira, promotes this teaching strategy because it considers it the most appropriate to be able to fully develop the educational project of building the “Citizen of the World”, of preparing students for multiculturalism and tolerance that requires constant adaptation to change and to other ways of operating in the global world.

“The acceptance of diversity and pluralism, requires the development of a differentiated pedagogy that values ​​the social meaning of learning, thus managing the differences of the groups, and valuing the abilities of each student,” explains Profª. Cláudia Farias, professor of Visual and Technological Education disciplines and Coordinator of the artistic education department of the school.

From pre-school, students at Colégio Bernardette Romeira develop their artistic skills with specialist teachers in different areas. This stimulus at an early age is important, so that from an early age they can learn new ways to develop their personality. This strategy remains in the 1st cycle, where probiotics classes are added, aimed at learning information and communication technologies, adjusted to the ages of the children.

Music is also a curricular subject from pre-school to the 6th year of the 2nd cycle. Group classes allow students to experience and have the opportunity to develop their global artistic training. As stated by the Professor of music in Portuguese studies and international studies, Prof. Pedro Gil: “Music is the art that unites the College and links the cycles in the objectives of our students, helping them to evolve along their individual paths.”

At the curricular level, students are able to learn a musical instrument, while there is also the possibility for students to take further lessons outside of the regular teaching hours, something that is also available to students from outside of the school community. Individual lessons or group classes are available, in singing, guitar, piano, drums, ukulele, among others.

There are two important events in the school calendar where learning at an artistic level (musical, visual expression, dramatic expression and singing) from the different students is shared with the school community: the family party (in December) and the year-end party. Every school year they present their performances at a large party that usually takes place in the municipal auditorium of Olhão, but which due to the pandemic, has been presented in video format.

At Colégio Bernardette Romeira, the focus on the arts has shown the importance of this strategy for the child’s development to be complete and for them to be able to become adults who are better prepared for differentiation, adaptability and the continuous demands of a constantly changing world. As Bertolt Brecht says, “All arts contribute to the greatest of all arts: the art of living.”

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