“Creativity is seeing what others see and thinking what no one else ever thought.” – Albert Einstein.
“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” – Mary Lou Cook
At West Lea we aim to develop students critical and analytical thinking so that they can better understand the world around them. We want to equip students with the tools needed to express themselves fully, leading to increased self-esteem and mindful thinking. The curriculum we have designed allows for connections between the different subjects at school, and between school life and the wider world. We seek to provide students with a range of creative and cultural experiences to further develop their own cultural capital.
At West Lea we believe that music and drama play an integral role in helping student to feel part of a community, therefore our aim is that all student have opportunities to create, play and perform both in class and to an audience.
Our creative curriculum is carefully balanced to give students the opportunity to:
- Learn from past experiences and relate this learning to new situations. Have the confidence to air new ideas and develop them as far as possible.
- Use imagination and original thought to create something that is unique and original.
- Develop powers of observation and visual literacy so that they can better understand the world in which we live.
- Develop the ability to communicate their own ideas, opinions and feelings about their own work and that of others. To apply this to everyday situations e.g. discussing a film they have seen with friends and family, personalising their own living space
- Feel that their contributions are noticed and valued so that they build confidence and resilience
- Able to respond to the work of creative practitioners, knowing that people express themselves in different ways and for different purposes.
- Acquire a range of different skills and techniques using different media as they progress through the school.
We combine Art, Music and Drama into one creative curriculum which is taught across the key stages.
We work from the national curriculum for Art, Music and Drama as closely as possible and adapt to meet the needs and abilities of our students for each key stage.
Across all key stages we:
- Link our themes with other subjects, identifying patterns of information that will help to reinforce learning
- Establish a foundation of knowledge and skills across the creative disciplines, equipping student with a range of tools for self- expression
- Provide opportunities for student to share and showcase what they have learnt through in class activities, assemblies, key stage performances, exhibitions and community events
- Offer extra-curricular activities such as choir, drama and art clubs to enrich students’ wellbeing
- Promote individuality and innovation through competitions and events
- Use Charanga (online resource) to support the development of music theory, participation and making
we develop creativity by providing a creative environment, helping students to build up their skills through play, behaving creatively themselves and praising student’s creative efforts.
Students are taught to:
- Explore the five senses and build tolerance for different textures, temperatures, sounds, colours and tastes.
- Engage in an activity and work towards deliberate practise
- Begin to indicate likes and dislikes
- Engage in role play
- Hold a mark making tool e.g., pencil, paint brush
- Respond to music through dance
Key stage 1 and 2
We model and support students to develop a sense of what they like and dislike. Students are taught basic skills and techniques that they can use to record what they see, remember and feel.
Singing and dancing is incorporated into Creative lessons as a means to engage and reinforce learning of themes covered.
Partnerships with creative agencies such as ‘A Little Learning’ provide more opportunities to develop music and drama skills and knowledge.
Students are taught to:
- Make deliberate work
- State preferences
- Encouraged to reflect on experiences and develop an increase ability to express and communicate ideas.
- Use imagination and imaginative play
- Develop fine motors skills through cutting, sticking and drawing.
- Develop gross motor skills through dance and movement
- Explore media and materials – 2D and 3D representations.
- Create music and dance
- Become familiar with the names of some famous artists and artworks through ‘Artist focus’ units of work
Key stage 3
At key stage 3 students begin to learn to take ownership of their own creative practice with increasing ability to reflect on what they have learn and make informed choices. Students look at a wider range of creative practitioners and build upon existing skills and techniques.
Students are taught to:
- Analyse and respond to the work of others
- Explore ideas and record experiences
- Developing confidence in expressing their own options and making individual choices
- Build upon prior skills and knowledge
- Use creative means for relaxation and enjoyment
- Use computer technologies to record and communicate their ideas.
Key stage 4
At key stage 4 students refine their creative practises. Students take a more in depth look at the work of creative practitioners and choose aspects that they would like to include in their own work. Students develop their ability to state and justify preferences.
Drama and music is built in through Creative drop-down days provided by external Arts companies (Chickenshed).
Students are taught to:
- Increase and improve confidence in their own ability through the development of art-based skills in a variety of media including both traditional and new digital technologies.
- Stimulate creativity, imagination and individual self-expression.
- Develop an increased awareness and response to the visual environment.
- Reflect on the work that they produce, identifying what went well and what could be improved. Comparing the outcome against original project intentions and deciding on next steps.
- Learn about a range of artists, performers, musicians, designers and craft makers.
- Increase their proficiency in the handling of different materials
By the time our students leave West Lea school they will be able to:
- Explore their ideas and record their experiences through creative means, as well as exploring the work of others and evaluate different creative ideas.
- Become confident in using a variety of Art techniques including drawing, painting, sculpting, as well as other selected craft skills, e.g., collage, printing, weaving and patterns.
- Develop their knowledge of famous artists, performers, musicians, designers and craft makers.
- Develop an interest and curiosity about the Arts
- Use Creative means to express themselves, enhancing their personal, social and emotional development.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Student completed work
- Pupil discussions and interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
- Annual reporting and tracking of standards across the curriculum.
- Photo and video evidence of the pupils practical learning.
- Half termly creative planning days
- Creative leads meetings
- Uptake of Music, Drama and Art clubs
- Use of the assessment tools provided within the Charanga scheme.
- Parent feedback following creative events and social media communications
- Exhibitions and performances