BY CALUM FRASER
Art produced by a group of children from a South-east London special needs school is being exhibited at a high end gallery in Chelsea.
Pupils from Drumbeat School, which takes children from Lewisham, produced a selection of artwork inspired by London which will be exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in the King’s Road.
The artwork was originally displayed in Drumbeat School, Bromley – a mixed, all-through school, for pupils aged five to 19 with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
A school spokeswoman said: “Art is proving to be a very effective therapy for students diagnosed with autism, helping to meet the pervasive challenges autism presents.
“As the students enjoy and succeed so well in creative art projects we decided to have dedicated arts weeks through the year, when the whole school would concentrate on and develop a specific topic.”
Drumbeat’s higher level teaching assistant Vincenzo De Noia contacted the Saatchi Gallery after he visited and saw other work by pupils there.
Nadine Wright, head of education at the Saatchi Gallery, then looked at some of Drumbeat pupils’ work and offered the school an exhibition space.
Mr De Noia said: “It is such an amazing achievement for our students and families at Drumbeat School that made us all so proud.”
Early Years children painted the backdrops for the artwork and decorated large cut-out letters spelling London. Older students made buildings and skyscrapers from junk modelling, including the London Eye and the Gherkin.
Headteacher Marie Neave said: “We aim to meet the needs of very special children and young people and support them to make continued progress in their learning.
“Our vision is simple – to put our children and young people first every time. We believe that all our children should leave Drumbeat independent, confident, caring, ambitious, courageous, safe, respectful, resilient and successful.”
Other students made model London buses and created the foundation for the exhibition to stand on.
The exhibition is on in the gallery’s Education Room and will continue until June 21.
Visit www.drumbeatasd.org for more.
The Education Room is available for schools to use free of charge, subject to prior booking.
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