Teaching the Creative Arts at our School
In addition to our commitment to delivering all aspects of the National Curriculum to a high standard we also place considerable emphasis on other creative curricular experiences. We are the only primary school in Gloucestershire to fund an Arts Development Officer, Mrs Parkes, to work in school with our children and to coordinate delivery of creative arts throughout the school. In addition we have allocated a budget to fund work with a variety of outside artists.
We aim to give stimulating experiences of a wide range of arts activities to give our pupils an interest in, and a love of, the arts. We also enable them to recognise their own skills, to appreciate the work of artists and provide them with opportunities to work alongside visiting professional artists.
Our curriculum recognises that all children are different and ensures that artistic and creative experiences are equally accessible to all children regardless of their academic or social abilities. Arts activities provide opportunities for some children to achieve great personal satisfaction and admiration from peers that greatly add to their self-esteem. Children with special needs are supported in and out of the classroom by both the Arts Development Officer and our visiting artists, thus ensuring equal access to arts activities for all pupils.
In recognition of our considerable work in this area we have been awarded the Artsmark Gold Award. The Assessor who visited our school described us as ‘a leading practitioner in delivering the creative arts’. We are justifiably proud of this achievement.
The technique of batik involves the application of hot wax to a fabric to create barriers before applying coloured fabric dyes to create images and patterns. In our school children from all year groups have had the opportunity to create a piece of work using this technique. The walls of our corridors and school halls are decorated with many of our wonderful giant batik pictures.
In 2006 our first attempt at producing some mosaic work with our Year 3 children resulted in the Sun & Water mosaic you can see on the outside wall of Mr Savory’s office. In 2007 our Year 3 pupils created some stunning mosaic pieces to decorate the quiet area in the junior playground. Summer term 2008 saw the creation of a giant mosaic depicting children playing playground games. This is now mounted on a wall in the junior playground. During the Autumn term of 2008 our Year 3 children created some individual leaf mosaics which were then mounted in patchwork style onto a backing board. The final result is a really impressive piece of art work. The year 2009 saw the creation of a Roman Centurion mosaic which is hanging in the junior hall. This almost life-sized mosaic was made by the children from both year 3 classes and was based upon some of their designs. In Autumn 2010, the children created one or our most impressive mosaic pieces to date. They designed and made a circular 'Four Seasons' mosaic to hang on an outside wall beside one of our school entrances. In 2011, for the first time, our year 1 children created two mosaics to brighten up their playground. Using a simpler technique they made an Elmer mosaic and an Enchanted Fish mosaic. In 2014, our year 5 children designed and made two large Tudor life mosaics. These hang in our school reception area.
As part of their topic on Ancient Greece our Year 5 pupils spent time looking at ceramics and then worked with a local potter learning how to make Grecian style pots and tiles.
In 2010, our Year 4 children studied a variety of gargoyles before having the opportunity to design and make their own using clay.
In 2011, we developed our pottery skills further by inviting in a professional potter to help us make a Roman terracotta army in Year 3. The children had the opportunity to try using a potters’ wheel.
In 2013, The Flying Potter from Eastnor Castle visited us and spent the day with the children making Funny Bones tiles with skeletons. They used the children's book 'Funny Bones' by Janet and Allan Ahlberg as their inspiration.
In 2016, the children in Year 5 were learning about Macbeth. As part of this topic they wanted to make witch puppets. To start with they had a workshop were they learnt to draw characters in the style of Quentin Blake. Having mastered the technique, they then went on to draw their own witch character, each one being different. With their design complete the children used a special quick drying clay to model the heads.
In 2016, the children in Year 3 have been working with a potter to make large planters decorated with minibeasts. These will be planted up and put outside into one of our many gardens around the school.
The living willow sculptures produced by our Arts Development Officer and a company called ‘Living Willow’ were been designed to enhance the playing field and to provide some summer shade. The children really enjoyed learning a new skill and they love playing hide and seek in the tunnel and the den.
One of the topics in year 6 is The Rainforest. It is a really popular topic with the children who love learning about the different plants and animals that are found in a rainforest. Each year the children will complete an art project based upon the topic. In the past they have designed and made their own tropical birds using willow withies.
Our Arts Development Officer has used some of the skills learnt from the living willow project to teach our year 6 children to make brightly coloured tropical birds and insects using willow withies. The willow is first soaked to make it more pliable before being bent into shape to make a 'skeleton'. This skeleton is covered in clingfilm and then decorated with tissue papers and other materials. Many examples of the finished creatures can be found hanging from the ceiling throughout our school.
In 2015 the children in Year 3 spent time making butterflies, cocoons and a hungry caterpillar from willow to decorate the Hungry Caterpillar garden.
We have recently created a large Viking Longship for the children to play in when they are visiting Forest School. The main structure of the ship was made of wood but it has been covered with willow panels woven by the children. It is finished with a dragon figure head that has also been woven from willow withies. The dragons eyes are made from fused glass and they look amazing!
In 2011, we had a visit from a wire sculptress. She taught the children in year 6 to bend and shape wire to make a selection of rainforest creatures. We continued our wire work in 2013 with a day spent in Year 6 making rainforest animals. These are dotted around the school, hiding in trees.
Each year one of our year groups will learn to make felt. The designs they create will be determined by the topic they have been working on in class. They will create the design and then work together to produce a giant wall hanging that we can use to decorate our school. Felt making is a relatively simple process that produces some very colourful results quite quickly.
Year 2 children learnt about Mexico and our Arts Development Officer spent time with them to make some beautiful, colourful lizards based upon traditional Mexican art.
Year 5 designed and made their own Greek Olympic medals using copper and embossing tools.
The children have had the opportunity to use pastels to produce a picture of their favourite rainforest animal.
Children regularly take part in drawing workshops that are related to the topic they are learning about in school. In 2016 the children in Year 4 have been learning about The Vikings in class. They then took part in a workshop to improve their drawing skills prior to designing and making some Viking coins.
We are very proud of our achievements in this area and we celebrate our children’s work through assemblies, topic evenings and Creative Curriculum evenings. These events are attended by pupils, parents, Governors and members of the wider community. Topic books, artwork and design work are on display in addition to performances of dance, drama and music. Much of the work produced by our children is displayed throughout the school.
Every year we celebrate ‘World Awareness Week’ with a host of activities that allow children to experience art forms from many different cultures. In previous years this has included African art, Aboriginal art and music and Turkish architecture.
In 2012, we invested in a giant loom for our Forest School area. We also made some smaller 'homemade' looms. These are used every week by children who take part in Forest School to weave using both natural and man-made materials.
Mrs Parkes has been working with the children from the Year 3 Garden Club to design and make a variety of decorations for the Sensory Garden including butterflies made from recycled drinks bottles and pebble animals.
We firmly believe that we offer an unsurpassed Creative Arts curriculum that makes learning stimulating and fun for our children. Our school is full of examples of the work that our pupils have produced, making it a bright and lively place to both teach and learn.
Minibeast Pots for the Sensory Garden (26 images)
The Y3 children have been working with a local potter to design and make some giant clay pots for the sensory garden. Each pot is decorated with clay minibeasts made by the children.
Created: 16 May 16 10:48 | Last modified: 5 Sep 17 10:32
Viking Longship (44 images)
Using willow withies we have made a wonderful Viking longship for our Forest School area.
Created: 8 Feb 16 12:16 | Last modified: 5 Sep 17 10:26
Skull Sketching (10 images)
4J have spent some time studying and sketching a selection of animal skulls and teeth that were on loan to us from The Wilson Museum in Cheltenham. It was a very interesting afternoon.
Created: 22 Mar 17 10:29 | Last modified: 5 Sep 17 10:20
Art & Curriculum Evening 2017 (19 images)
We enjoyed another successful Art & Curriculum evening where every child had the opportunity to display a piece of their artwork in school and parents visited classrooms and took part in a variety of activities.
Created: 21 Feb 17 09:15 | Last modified: 21 Feb 17 09:20