“Art craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high quality art and design education should engage inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art craft and design. As pupils progress they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history and contribute to the culture creativity and wealth of our nation.”
Art and Design, The National Curriculum Purpose of Study
At Dame Dorothy we believe the arts to be a fundamental part of education in the primary sector. At primary level children should be offered a wide range of experience and offered opportunities for self expression and the development of their ideas, knowledge and skills in as many areas of the arts as possible.
The arts at Dame Dorothy include art craft and design, including the study of great artists, craft makers, designers and architects, the development of skills in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art and craft techniques, the exploration and recording of experiences and ideas and the evaluation and analysis of creative works made by the children themselves as well as other artists.
Art also encompasses music, drama, creative writing and dance.
In music we aim to offer opportunities for the children to perform, listen to, review and evaluate a wide range of music from a variety of genres, styles and traditions, as well as learn to sing and use their voices to create and compose music, developing an understanding of pitch dimensions duration dynamics tempo timbre texture structure and notation. Children are given the opportunity for lessons with the recorder in years 3 and 4 and talents are nurtured with the opportunity for gifted and talented pupils to continue this in out of school provision in clarinet and saxophone with a specialist woodwind teacher who works with identified children in years 5 and 6.
Dance is also an important means of human expression and creativity and offers opportunities for children who do not excel academically to express their ideas and feelings. We aim to enable pupils to master basic moves in dance in Key Stage 1, to develop their agility and coordination and begin to apply these to dance in order that they may develop this further in Key Stage 2 to develop flexibility and control and use a range of movements and patterns in dance, both individually and as part of a team.
Drama and creative writing are closely linked at Dame Dorothy, we use drama to develop the children’s abilities to adopt, create and sustain a range of roles and therefore understand the points of view, choices and lifestyles of a wide range of people, leading to greater tolerance of others and their life styles. Drama in turn offers children the opportunity to understand and participate in spoken language which underpins the development of reading and writing, enhancing children’s vocabulary and understanding of grammar, reading and writing.
All these areas of the arts combine to offer the children of Dame Dorothy the widest possible range of experience from which they begin to develop their understanding of what it is to be human, to express themselves and to value and respect the self expression of others’.
At Dame Dorothy we ensure that we have an inclusive approach to the arts, we encourage all pupils to participate regardless of gender, religion or background. We offer study of a wide range of cultures, traditions and religions in the arts and, through termly monitoring, pupil questionaires and school council meetings, we encourage our children to take an active role in the planning of the art curriculum, including out of school hours provision.
Our school has a high proportion of children entitled to free school meals (41%), 12% of children have English as a second language and 16% of children come from minority ethnic groups, we also have a higher percentage of social deprivation than 60% of other schools in England, despite this, all our children participate fully in all areas of our arts curriculum. Arts based and other visits outside school, as well as visits to school from artists and authors, are heavily subsidised, or paid for entirely, by the school to ensure all children are included regardless of family income.
Over the years we have worked with a variety of arts professionals and organisations in order to enhance our provision of the arts wherever possible. We continue to do this and will be working on further developing our links with outside agencies who can best meet our needs in the coming year. Other agencies are chosen for their abilities to offer high quality provision which enhances, develops and enriches our own arts provision as well as developing the skills and confidence of staff in their own daily provision of the arts.
Since 2016 we have worked closely with local artist Mike Clay on a number of exciting community based projects. The most notable of these projects was the creation of the ‘Barbary Coast’ ship on the school field which was officially launched by the Mayor of Sunderland in September 2017.