At our school we value the importance of a rich and varied curriculum. Our provision for the arts, humanities and creative learning is outstanding and we are hugely proud of all the activities the children take part in linked to the whole curriculum.
The Arts: Music, Art, Dance and Drama
The Arts are fundamental to cultural engagement and personal development. They foster transferable skills, provide space for personal judgement; help problem-posing and thinking outside the box; promote diversity, respect and intercultural understanding; show that making mistakes can be liberating and open up new opportunities; encourage looking at details and thinking in depth; allow the creation of a personal reality; provide therapeutic benefits and support emotional literacy and make us feel alive.
We are delighted that we have been recognised by Artsmark and awarded our Artsmark Gold Award for commitment to the Arts within the curriculum:
‘Arts Council England celebrates your ongoing commitment to arts and cultural education at a leadership level, and the opportunities established across your whole setting. Your children and young people are offered equal opportunity to plan, experience, participate in, and evaluate a broad range of high-quality arts and cultural activities, and you recognise the importance of development opportunities delivered by specialists for your staff that have measurable effects in these areas. You engage with a range of arts and cultural organisations and other settings, and can evidence the positive impact of these partnerships. Your children and young people have an opportunity to further develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of arts and culture, and you are working to share the good practice you have established.’
Senior Officer, Artsmark, May 2019
Children receive high quality, age appropriate whole class music lessons which not only provides opportunities for learning traditional notation and music reading but allows the children to use their creativity to compose. Children sing as a class regularly which brings a sense of community and makes them feel good. Professional musicians are invited in to perform for the children on a regular basis and children relish these experiences. We take part in ‘participate’ concerts with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. We have also been involved in a project with our local orchestra, North Devon Sinfonia. We offer a range of individual musical instrument lessons and children within receipt of pupil premium are funded to learn an instrument of their choice. Individual instrument lessons currently on offer are drumming, piano, fife, flute, clarinet, saxophone and guitar.
We are recognised by Music Mark which represents and supports the highest quality music education for all children and young people.
Art and Design
We want our children to value art – both appreciating and creating it. We teach art skills explicitly and link our final art pieces to the curriculum topic. Our curriculum allows children to explore a range of artists, styles and genres. We use working artists for projects in school and the have also been involved in community art projects. Our aim is for children to understand that art is made by all sorts of people, in a variety of ways.
We teach traditional dance and contemporary dance. We use a contemporary dance specialist who works with the children around a theme which is then incorporated into performances. Dance is also linked to the topic, for example the children might learn historical and cultural dances.
When children first come to us, dramatic activity is already a natural part of children’s lives in the form of make-believe play, enabling them to make sense of their own identity by exploring meaningful fictional situations that have parallels in the real world. This is utilised at school through structured play and drama to encourage pupils to learn actively and interactively throughout the primary years and across the curriculum. Each class performs formally twice a year; once at Christmas and once at the end of the summer term. The children love performing to each other and the wider community; our older children performed to a local care home this year. Drama is also used to enrich learning across the curriculum through techniques such as ‘mantle of the expert’, hot seating and role play. We take opportunities to go out of school to engage the children in live theatre performances and musicals and also invite actors and actresses in to school to enhance the children’s learning.
Humanities: Geography, History and Religious Education
We want to equip our children with knowledge of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. We want our children to be inspired and curious about the world and its people. We want our children to become champions for their wonderful planet.
We are committed to providing children with opportunities to investigate and make enquiries about their local area of North Devon and the wider community so that they can develop of real sense of who they are, their heritage and what makes our local area unique and special.
We want the children to apply geographical skills and be able to analyse and interpret primary and secondary sources. We want our children to master key geographical concepts and be able to generalise and discuss abstract ideas.
We seek to promote the children’s interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
The curriculum is designed to develop a progression of knowledge and skills and educational visits are used within our topics to enhance the geography curriculum.
History helps children to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time. We want the children at our school to be inspired and curious to find out more about the past, to develop their knowledge and understanding so that they are equipped to think critically, consider evidence and develop perceptive questioning and judgement.
We follow the Devon Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education (RE) and link RE in to our topic based learning where appropriate. We learn about different festivals from different cultures and religions so that the children can experience them for themselves. Children have the opportunity to visit different places of worship to experience the awe and wonder and have the opportunity to meet different people.
Design and technology gives our children the skills and abilities to engage positively with the designed and made world and to harness the benefits of technology. They learn how products are designed and manufactured, how to be innovative and to make creative use of a variety of resources to improve the world around them. Children are taught the knowledge and skills required to investigate, explore, design, make and evaluate products. Their finished product is linked to the class topic.
We embrace age-appropriate use of all types of technology. It works with the enormous enthusiasm many young people have for change, innovation and all that is new. Computers, iPads, programmable robots, digital and video cameras are just some of the tools that can be used to acquire, organise, store, manipulate, interpret, communicate and present information. As teachers, parents and carers, it is our job to help young people to negotiate the obstacles and avoid the hazards that come alongside the use of technology. E-safety underpins all of our teaching of computing.
For more information around our approach to E-safety, please see our page dedicated to it.
We provide a wealth of activities and experiences which encourage our children to sustain a healthy and active lifestyle. We play lots of sports: football, tag rugby, netball, gymnastics, swimming, cricket, rounders, volleyball, hockey, basketball and tennis. We have active after school clubs and our running club carries on nearly all year round. We use specialist sports coaches and go offsite for our gymnastics and swimming lessons.
Our older children are play leaders, helping us to look after our youngest children.
We have our gold standard sports award for our sports provision and commitment to the development of competition across our school and into the community.
Children in key stage 2 learn French as it is a requirement for state schools to choose one language to learn, however we do take opportunities to immerse children in other languages if it is relevant to their learning.
Physical, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education
“My daughter gets a lot out of school and always tells us about the amazing things she’s been doing. “