hero

Santam  child art

The Santam Child Art project is a recognised and well-established national initiative which aims to promote the love of art among children in South Africa and Namibia. It offers a platform for our children to express and present their thoughts and ideas in a creative manner.

Art is a highly valuable, but often neglected, aspect of human development. Although Arts and Culture is a part of the formal curriculum for primary school children in South Africa, there are many schools in disadvantaged areas where the subject is not offered, or where it is under-resourced. In fact, research has shown that most Arts and Culture educators in these areas have not received formal training in the subject.

Launced in 1963, the Santam Child Art project aims to promote a love for art among children and improve Arts and Culture educators' abilities to teach the skills required. We believe that art has the ability to deepen children's insight and capabilities, helping them to develop holistically and reach their full potential. The programme provides young people with an opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas through art, and be acknowledged for this creative expression. Although it is not a primary goal of the programme, we hope that the programme would result in economic development –  the creative industries offer a variety of career opportunities. Furthermore, the innovative thinking art encourages is sought after in all sectors.

When we reviewed the Santam Child Art project in 2010, we decided to reinforce it with a developmental focus, making it more inclusive of disadvantaged schools. Therefore, we decided to develop workshops aimed at improving the skills of Arts and Culture educators. This focus aligns with our desire to develop schools as an investment in the future, and to provide children with constructive after-school activities.

The programme has grown to incorporate a national art competition, an online exhibition of selected artworks, an art calendar and informal art centres at schools. All schoolgoing children may enter. The teacher development programme is targeted at Arts and Culture educators in underprivileged and special needs schools. Learners in these schools also benefit from art classes supported by Santam.

To implement this project, we have partnered with the Ibhabhathane Project (under the auspices of the Frank Joubert Art Centre) who has assisted us in the development and implementation of the workshops. The 10-hour workshops train Grades 4 – 6 curriculum advisers and educators to acquire the necessary skills in visual arts, drama and music. Free informal art classes are also offered to children from disadvantaged communities who lack adequate support in visual art tuition.

The programme involves all relevant stakeholders in the schooling system, including:

  • The National Department of Basic Education
  • Provincial Education Departments in the Northern Cape, Western Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo
  • Participating schools
  • The Ibhabhathane Project
  • Frank Joubert Art Centre
  • Business and Arts South Africa

During 2012, Santam's Child Art programme won the prestigious BASA/Financial Mail Award for Youth Development and was a runner-up in the Mail & Guardian Investing in the Future Awards.

The methodology

The art competition is open to any schoolgoing child in South Africa. Each year, a new theme is chosen, and children, with the help of their teachers, submit works addressing this theme in any two-dimensional medium of their choice. Selected entries are featured in an online exhibition, and 13 of those are used in the annual Santam Child Art calendar. The funds raised by the sales of the calendar are used to support free art classes for learners.

As part of our effort to improve art education in disadvantaged communities, we have partnered with the Ibhabhathane Project since 2011. Run by the Frank Joubert Art Centre, the Ibhabhathane Project presents Arts and Culture workshops to educators. The programme is approved and supported by the National Department of Basic Education that, while able to instruct the educators in the policy for Arts and Culture teaching, is not equipped to train them to acquire the necessary skills. 

The workshop content is aligned with the National Department of Basic Education’s new CAPS (Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements) programme.

The 10-hour Arts and Culture educator workshops train Grades 4 – 6 curriculum advisers and educators to acquire the necessary skills in visual arts, drama and music. It is in this age group that the base of all art teaching is established and were educators can have the biggest impact on learners. The workshops not only help educators to develop their creative art-teaching skills, but also offer opportunities for greater imagination and innovative teaching.  By training educators, Santam Child Art is able to leave a tangible positive impact as educators perform better in their roles.

Secondarily, this also gives the Santam Child Art competition leverage in schools, because schools with skilled teachers are more likely to participate year on year. The Ibhabhathane Project has undertaken workshops in the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. A manual and training DVD has been developed as a practical guide to assist teachers in preparing lessons for their learners.

Free informal art classes are offered to children from disadvantaged communities who lack adequate support in visual art tuition. The art classes are held at schools, children's homes and private art schools, and are presented by local artists who are often unemployed, bringing in an element of job creation. 

Santam Child Art gallery

As part of our effort to improve art education in disadvantaged communities, we have partnered with the Ibhabhathane Project. Run by the Frank Joubert Art Centre, the Ibhabhathane Project presents Arts and Culture workshops to educators.

The 10-hour Arts and Culture educator workshops train Grades 4 – 6 curriculum advisers and educators to acquire the necessary skills in visual arts, drama and music. It is in this age group that the base of all art teaching is established and were educators can have the biggest impact on learners. By training educators, this project is able to leave a tangible positive impact as educators perform better in their roles.

Free informal art classes are also offered to children from disadvantaged communities who lack adequate support in visual art tuition. The art classes are held at schools, children's homes and private art schools, and are presented by local artists who are often unemployed, bringing in an element of job creation. 

Entries – SA/Namibia

Each year, participating schools are invited to send entries for the Santam Child Art Project and selected works are used in the annual Santam Child Art calendar. The school and art centre that produce the most selected artworks per age category will receive R3 000. All learners whose entries are selected will receive a medal and a certificate. Special awards are given to schools or art centres whose learners participate for the first time and whose artworks are selected. 

View the online exhibition for 2016

South African Exhibition Namibian Exhibition

Download

Click below to download the 2018 entry form and information brochure.

South African Exhibition Namibian Exhibition

Download

Click below to download the 2017 entry form and information brochure.

South African Exhibition Namibian Exhibition