The Superpower of Looking (SPoL) is an innovative and inclusive programme that will transform the visual literacy skills of primary school children across the UK, taking the world of art and images as its starting point.
Using a set of free teaching resources, children will gain an essential superpower: the ability to really 'see' – to critically observe, analyse, question, interpret, and empathise. Children will become visually literate in the image-dominated world around them.
While SPoL's overriding focus will be to equip children aged seven to eleven with these vital life-long skills, at a practical level it will enable teachers to deliver many aspects of the Art and Design curriculum, as well as providing exciting new interdisciplinary approaches to learning. SPoL promises to provide children with the cultural capital that each and every one of them is entitled to.
Launching on our Learn pages in October 2021, SPoL comprises a toolkit that enables learning through questioning, guided looking and a series of original films focused on inspiring artworks.
The Superpower of Looking concept was brought to Art UK by Alison Cole who is Editor of The Art Newspaper and also sits on the Art UK Advisory Board. It is designed to harness the power of digital learning, demonstrate the techniques of visual literacy, and provide children with sharpened powers of observation and analysis, as well as a love of art.
Alison is developing the resource alongside teacher and author Penny Huntsman, who shares the belief that visual literacy is as important as reading and writing. The pilot project to test the concept was funded by the Freelands Foundation and was completed in early 2020.
The Superpower of Looking: Phase Two Pilot, Winter 2021–2022
The Freelands Foundation is now funding and supporting Art UK to run the second stage of this initiative in Aberdeen City & Shire and the London Borough of Brent.
Schools participating in our winter 2021–2022 pilot in these regions will:
- increase their confidence in teaching and talking about art
- be supported via online sessions and direct contact
- shape the final version of the resources
- be able to use The Superpower of Looking as part of an Arts Award and the Artsmark
- feature on the Art UK website and in our national rollout
Submit your school's note of interest via our online form.
If you would like to find out more, please email Shane Strachan, Learning and Engagement Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org).