Each year level has a certain number of different stitches to aim for.
Year 3 need to work on the running stitch family of stitches and have a go at stem stitch and one "tricky" stitch if they would like to.
Year fives are expected to be able to do the running stitches and stem stitch plus one of the tricky ones. I have set these targets because I realised that a lot of the kids were saying "This is hard" and giving up really quickly when challenged by something that wasn't really hard but actually just required some concentration and a little perseverance.
Having said this within each class there are some kids who do have extra challenges to face whether it be physical or just down to a lack of confidence or experience with a certain skill, so several children have their own specific goals that I will negotiate with them along the way.
My father was an artist and a teacher also, he worked in many contexts - as I have done but at one stage he worked with young kids with disabilities at Rocky Bay, some of these children were born without arms or legs so for an art teacher this was a big challenge, but this didn't stop my father from looking for the positives finding ways to see what they could do rather than focusing on what they couldn't do.
This stuck in my impressionable young mind and to this day I try as much as I can to help children see beyond what they can't do to find ways of doing things that works for them - whether it means insisting that they have just one more go at threading that needle for themselves
or finding ways for them to hold a tool in a way that works for them
or finding something that might support them and make the job just a little easier.
The look on their faces when they actually achieve something for themselves is priceless.
The photos used here are from my year 4/5 class.