Hello! The Primary Art class was founded by me, Emily Gopaul. My pronouns are she/her/hers and I am London born and of Indo-Guyanese decent. I am an artist, art teacher, primary art consultant & advocate for art in education. I am always happy to hear from people interested in art education or any of the issues surrounding my interests and work, for work opportunities, advice, conversation or collaborations – Contact me here.
I began by offering consultancy and advocacy alongside my part-time art teaching and in Dec 2019 I took the exciting decision to go full-time with The Primary Art Class work. I believe that through my advocacy and consultancy work I can have the biggest and most positive impact on the art education landscape – and although there is a lot of good practice out there, there is also a lot we can improve on!
As a life-long learner, my consultancy and advocacy practice is always evolving and unfolding. I am fortunate that I work with many different and interesting teachers, leaders, galleries and organisations – lots of enriching conversations and moments to learn from and share in. I stay up to date with changes and new thinking in education and art, so that my views and offerings are relevant and contribute to positive and inclusive change. I also have close to two decades of classroom experience and have held Leader of Art roles in both primary and secondary schools in the state and private sector.
I believe that all children are entitled to opportunities to engage with art, culture and creativity, and that this should be supported by the education system, cultural institutions and government initiatives.
I am committed to promoting and facilitating thinking and action around themes of diversity, curriculum reform and reclaiming cultural capital. I work with schools and cultural organisations to address current inequality issues in our art education system and provision.
Positive art experiences can far surpass the boundaries of any one art lesson; including supporting positive wellbeing, which should be at the heart of how we look after ourselves and our communities.
I advocate an art education provision in schools and galleries that is genuinely inspiring and diverse, one which sparks a love of art and experiences of creativity. I also understand the pressures schools and teachers face and I endeavour to support them in the best ways I can. I firmly believe that individuals who are in touch with their own creativity and wellbeing, can best lead and design exciting art opportunities. Through the content I create and work with organisations such as Tate or BBC Teach, as well as directly though consultancy in schools and sharing CPD events I proactively support this.
As well as working directly with schools, my consultancy and advocacy work has included articles on the Guardian Teacher Network, blogposts for organisations such as Rescue Our Schools, CPD events and work with Tate and BBC Learning. I am available for all types or primary art education related input and I am an NSEAD registered Primary Art consultant.
I created this video as an extension to my presentation at the June 2020 NSEAD national conference around Cultural Capital and its current relevance. Here I am speaking about how primary school art and design leaders can reclaim the term and meet the needs of their school communities post COVID and BLM.