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The Arts 

February 2020

Exciting news from Artsmark

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. 

Congratulations on your Artsmark Silver Award!   

We are proud of the opportunities that are provided for all children to grow through the Arts and this has now been recognised by Artsmark.

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.  From the moment you step into our school, you'll have the opportunity to see and share in our cross-curricula displays, both inside and outside of the classroom, that showcase the Arts in our everyday learning.  By visiting our school on any given day, you'll see that learning is brought to life through drama, role play, vibrant discussions, debates, computing, forest school, art, music...we could go on and on! These opportunities support  and enhance our journey for improvements in attainment and progress. 

Two recent additions to enhance learning and the Arts are the Diary Den, where children go to record 'sparkly book' video clips to send home and creating a unique entrance to the library via the wardrobe (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe). What better way to feel inspired, than to enter a whole new world of literature and imagination through an antique wardrobe brushing past a fabulous collection of fur coats (thank you so much for these donations)!

In January 2018, we started our official Artsmark journey. Since that point, we have worked hard to ensure that our provision for music, art, drama, DT, computing, performance, film making etc, is deeply embedded and well planned, and provides a creative, inclusive and child-centered and pupil-led curriculum.  Alongside this, we have continued to run and further develop, additional opportunities for our children; these include -  whole school Arts events,  weekly whole class dance sessions from an experienced and professional dancer teacher, choirs for special occasions (eg, termly OAP lunches at school), a theatre club, an ongoing film club, Digital Leaders, peripatetic music sessions including opportunities to be part of a rock band (Rocksteady), working alongside songwriters such as Al Start (she supported us to compose a new school song with the addition of sign language - we love singing and signing), hosting Arts events, showcasing an ever-changing display from the local Heritage Society, providing opportunities for designing and inventing (Dec 2019 - optional opportunity to design a new outdoor science garden and annual Invention Conventions), and playing an active role in local community events such as Remembrance Day and Deanshanger Feast. Believe it or not, this list still only provides a snapshot! School life at DPS is always very busy and fun!

These rich opportunities strongly link and support learning in English and science and provide a  forum for self-expression building confidence and language along the way. 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. We are currently building links with a school in Ghana to enhance our art and dance work in Y6 - what better way to understand West African culture than to work directly with children and adults in the setting! 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. 

Before and during 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.