At Allens Croft, the arts are taught both as explicit skills sets in their own right and to support learning across the curriculum. Each discipline is taught with three core principles in mind, whether it comes under the umbrella of performing arts, visual arts or digital arts. The core principles are:
Across each of the arts disciplines, children have opportunities to create something that expresses their ideas, feelings or thoughts. This is then presented either formally through showcase performances or exhibitions. The children have opportunities to respond to excellent examples of art, music and performance and also experience evaluating their own creations as well as that of their peers as part of a cycle to develop and improve the quality of their work.
In order to develop creative skills, play is a core part of our arts provision. Children need to explore trying out different materials, ways of working or play with ideas before being expected to make informed choices about their creations. Each unit of work incorporates opportunities for children to just "have a go" in a safe environment where "mistakes" are welcomed as learning opportunities.
Children's learning is tracked longitudinally through their school career with us to ensure a smooth learning path. Ongoing formative assessment takes place each lesson in order to tailor subsequent lessons to match the needs of the groups of children in each class. This can include - but is not limited to - observational notes, digital recordings of performances and records of self and peer evaluation through our "Showcase" system.
In order to give our children a voice in decision making and suggesting ideas, we have established an Arts Council, who meet each week to discuss relevant matters arising from each class. Each Key Stage 2 class has one representative, whose job is to gather the opinions and ideas of the children in their class and feedback at council meetings. They are also asked to perform various other responsibilities throughout the year, such as sitting on "judge" panels to respond to the quality of singing or drama work during our termly showcase opportunities.
Testimony From Our Arts Council
Our Arts Council explain some of the things we do at Allens Croft in their own words. Take a look at the video or click the links and scroll down the window below....
Take a look at the video
Ukulele Classes and performances
Children in Year 4 take part in Ukulele classes as part of the music provision for Allens Croft. They can then opt to continue their tutoring in Years 5 and 6. This year we adding Steel Pan tuition as part of our core offer in Year 5.
The children get opportunities to present their learning in regular concert showcases and can build on their expertise within core music lessons.
We were awarded the GOLD Artsmark award by Arts Council England in October 2017. This demonstrates our commitment to putting arts and cultural provision at the heart of our school life and was also recognised in our recent Ofsted inspection report (January 2019). We resubmitted our evidence in January 2020 and hope to be re-awarded very soon! Watch this space...