Principal’s Blog – Why the Arts are important to boys

18 October 2020

Why the arts for boys?

Being passionate about something ignites the mind, body and spirit of a person. Passions do not segregate by gender, ethnicity or age. In fact, being passionate about something brings vitality to our life and electrifies the soul. Our boys at Wellesley are no different. Every day, each boy comes to school with interests and passions that range from Minecraft to motorbikes.

But how do we know what each boy’s current passions are? It begins by listening carefully and understanding what is making each boy ‘tick’. Understanding the factors that make him special and showing empathy and care in the learning cycle. An iterative and reflective process where boys need boundaries, high expectations and support that is targeted at the right level, to enable him to discover his best every day and have some hard fun!

Boys must feel like they’re known, loved and cared for at school. They must feel like they belong to something, they have a place and are celebrated for who they are. They are furiously loyal, have a great sense of humour, have quirkiness and individuality.

At Wellesley – we love that, and we get it!

Wellesley is about the right culture and providing the right opportunities. From the age of 5, Year 0/1, our boys engage in a plethora of activities that enliven the soul. These include STEAM, Visual and Performing Arts, French, Kete Aronui (cultural time), Wellbeing, Physical Education and an extensive range of additional clubs and activities.

However, having recently celebrated our successful biannual ‘Artbourne’ exhibition, it has given me pause to reflect in more detail, on our Arts programme.

We offer Visual and Performing Arts at Wellesley, where boys receive specialised tuition across the term. The programme links to classroom work where it can, and has specific outcomes of its own. Performing Arts instruction helps children with the development of motor skills, language skills, social skills, decision-making, risk-taking, and inventiveness. Visual Arts teaches our learners about colour, layout, perspective, and balance: all techniques that are necessary in presentations (visual, digital) of academic work. It weaves our values of perseverance and risk taking in learning into each lesson and gives the boys every opportunity to excel.

Every other year, we organise an Artist in Residence. This is where a current artist comes to Wellesley, working on site with our boys, it  shows a pathway to be an artist. This culminates in Art Week where the entire school engages in making art for three days, allowing the boys the opportunity to have their pieces exhibited alongside our resident artist. What is great about this exhibition, is that no year levels are on the displayed pieces of work, meaning a Year 1 boy’s work could be right beside a Year 8 boy’s work. Both are usually spectacular.

This year our Artbourne theme was, “Celebrating art in our bubble”. Local artists were invited to showcase their work and we also featured art by our Y8 Art Extension group. This event is yet another feather in the cap of opportunities that Wellesley offers in igniting passions in our boys.

We invite you to come and Discover Wellesley for yourselves. To see our school in action and to feel the culture of respect and empathy our staff and boys display daily. Our next Discovery Day is on Tuesday, 10 November from 9am – 12pm or Sunday 15 November from 2-4:30pm. Come and visit our beautiful school between the bush and the sea, a destination for boys’ education unparalleled in location.

Register online for our Discovery Days at