Since receiving our Artsmark Silver award in February 2020, we have continued to build upon the prominence and consistency of rich Arts teaching and learning across the school. Before, during and since the Artsmark journey, we have been keen to build upon provision by forging new links with theatres, artists, musicians and professionals etc, exploring new opportunities, sharing our passions and experiences with like-minded schools, and ensuring that our desire to be a happy, creative and inspiring learning environment continues with no ceilings placed on where we can take our children. We recognise that a vibrant and broad curriculum is required to suit the strength and passions of all children and are keen to continually reflect and extend this.
'Deanshanger Primary School is to be commended for the commitment it has shown to developing arts and cultural experiences for pupils. You have taken positive steps to raise the profile of the Arts across the whole school community including staff, pupils and teachers. Providing opportunities for pupils to participate in a range of experiences such as the ‘This is Me’ arts event, Cluster Arts Festival, Remembrance Day and performances in the community, have all helped to improve pupil, and staff, motivation. You have also found innovative ways to fund projects by working with community partners including Santander, Heritage Society and the Co-op. Redesigning the curriculum has also provided a more flexible approach to the Arts to be explored and developed'.
We have ensured that our curriculum has developed to enhance the Arts and, in this way, teaching and learning in the Arts is not an add-on. Our use of the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) matches our aims and ethos whilst allowing the Arts to be embedded, prominent and authentic. As in all areas of the curriculum, we continually strive to improve even further and new ideas from the children, staff, parents and governors, are always warmly invited.
School concerts are very much part of the regular calendar and these include opportunities for children to attend concerts and perform in them eg, a whole school trip to see an ice skating show, Rocksteady concerts, Talent Shows, Zoons Dance perfromances, Drumming Club, Arts Club, Ukulele Club, the school choir etc in addition to class assemblies, Christmas concerts and end of year performances from Year 6.
Our music teacher, Mr. Webb, ensures that the music curriculum is covered and enhanced and that opportunities beyond this, are consistently available. Mr. Nik Larcombe, Y6 teacher, leads our very talented Arts group and looks for all opportunities to allow them to shine. A previous choir festival, Angels at the Abbey (December 2022), was one such opportunity. Despite the coldest temperatures of the season striking on this very day, the children performed brilliantly! A week later, they were thawed out and ready to perform again!
In July 2023, we brought multiple Arts groups together in school, and within the Grand Union Partnership, for a fabulous celebratory afternoon with two performances at a local theatre - Stantonbury. It was another very afternoon demonstrating real talent and passion for this area of the curriculum.