Royal Observatory, Greenwich, Trip
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
Lordswood is a member of the Griffin Schools Trust which is committed to ensuring all children experience an education with a balance of Wide Horizons, Proud Traditions and High Achievement. Experiencing the arts and culture is at the forefront for GST and is a key priority for Lordswood School in building on our Gold Artsmark award, offering all children a variety of exciting, stimulating opportunities to enhance their learning, both academically, socially and culturally. “Learning Without Limits” at Lordswood applies to every child, always striving to extend their learning and through our metacognition journey, to become independent, creative individuals, who can reflect on their achievements and support others.
Our curriculum is designed to provide our children from Early Years to year 6 with visual, tactile and sensory experiences and offers a special way of understanding and responding to the world. Our aim is to inspire, engage and challenge our children. We want children to communicate effectively what they see, feel and think, exposing them through their use of colour, texture, form and pattern at all stages. We recognise the stimulation that the arts offer to our children’s curiosity, imagination and the development of their communications skills.
Our aim is to embed a creative curriculum to allow every child to experience a diverse range of Arts to further develop independence and self-confidence, whilst aiming to uncover hidden talent. We believe that the arts provide children and staff inspiring opportunities to foster a deep sense of engagement, in addition to a sense of pride over the environment and the school ethos and values. Continuing the journey through the Artsmark, striving to achieve Platinum accreditation, will facilitate success in improving the education, mental health and life chances of our young children.
Our amazing environment continually reflects our school and Trust values and aims to showcase the artistic achievement of children. We maintain our current links with local artists including illustrators and caricaturists and endeavour to build further links with the Arts within our community. The Griffin Arts festival, a proud tradition across all Trust schools, gives every child a two-week cultural experience around the arts with a vision to value creativity, enriching the lives of our young people and the adults who work with them.
The Arts at Lordswood is seen as a journey of embedding and enhancing the quality of opportunities and branching out to share these opportunities with other settings. Art is interwoven throughout our ever-developing curriculum, linking with our creative English scheme and across all foundation subjects. Subject cross-curricular days have enriched our children’s learning whilst using pupil voice in the planning. We encourage children’s use of subject specific vocabulary so that they are able to articulate their ideas effectively.
We endeavour to spark curiosity in our children by engaging them in topics and the exploration of the work of influential artists from all backgrounds, genders and walks of life, to ensure that all children view themselves as artists and understand that they are able to make choices about their own artwork. Our teachers are dedicated to making sure that children feel their achievements and outcomes in the Arts are celebrated and held with value.
Lordswood is a diverse community of both children and staff and we strive to ensure that our curriculum is inclusive of all our children’s identities ensuring children are given equal opportunities for their voices to be heard.
Our Arts lessons allow children to fully immerse themselves in the topics that they are exploring. Our teachers use the immersive approach to plan activities in which children are encouraged to reflect upon their prior learning and build upon their skills in a sequential way. These skills are then revisited through cross-curricular links with other subjects to reinforce the initial learning. Our teachers are given the freedom to create lessons and contexts which allow children to explore open-ended and engaging tasks and offer them the choice on how they would like to develop their skills.
- Lessons are planned according to the key skills identified by the subject lead, which are embedded into learning objectives and progress both throughout each year.
- Our skills progression grids allow teachers to plan lessons, considering prior knowledge and skills covered in previous years.
- Metacognitive approaches are embedded into lessons to allow the children to organise their thinking and prior knowledge and reflect on their own learning.
- We plan for effective use of educational visits and visitors, to enrich and enhance the children’s learning experience. Children have opportunities to immerse themselves in Art.
- Prep-For-Learning tasks are set for pupils to obtain key knowledge ahead of lessons, so that more practical, skills-based activities can be planned.
- Teachers are provided with regular opportunities to develop their own subject knowledge through sharing good practice, CPD, peer observation and visiting experts.
- Children are given support when they need it to enable them to achieve the objectives of the lesson and are provided with purposeful challenge to encourage them to dive deeper with their learning and demonstrate their artistic talent.
- Work is presented in their sketch books and across our school environment and art gallery.
Assessment is integrated into everyday Art teaching to ensure that all teachers have an in-depth knowledge of their children’s prior learning and this is used to inform their next steps.
Our teachers encourage the children to be reflective and give them opportunities to discuss their learning and how they can improve moving forward. We encourage children to consider how their artwork affects those who experience it. This encourages children to understand the power that Art has and how they may use this to create change in their environment and the world beyond.
All children experience a two-week Griffin Arts Festival where they experience a wide range of opportunities across many Art forms including workshops based on dance, drama, theatre, poetry, screen printing, caricatures, body art, and wire art, to name a few. Throughout the year we offer a range of artistic opportunities including trips and visits, with children performing annually at the local school’s music festivals. Clubs and enrichment activities are available to all children including illustration, colouring, watercolours, origami and other crafts. Arts Award has become a proud tradition for our school with many children being awarded the Discover Arts award.
All of our children understand that being an artist does not mean having the ability to create technically perfect pieces of visual art but, instead, they will know that they have the ability to find inspiration from the world around them, they will be able to use their thoughts and opinions to build on their own ideas and that this range of skills is what makes them creative. Children are proud to see their achievements celebrated and displayed throughout the environment and on social media. They develop an artistic and cultural awareness from Early Years, which in turn, supports their imagination and creativity. As these skills develop, our planning ensures that children in every area of our school are presented with challenging opportunities, through the arts, to develop their ability to organise their thoughts, analyse and interpret artists work as well as to experiment, invent and produce design of their own.
Children from our school are able to express themselves effectively and have the confidence and tools necessary to pursue their passions. Every child has been taught the skills needed to use Art in a variety of ways and should continue to be inspired by the Arts. Every child leaves our school with the ability to talk about a wide range of influential artists, art movements and styles alongside the ability to experiment and express their own ideas through various art forms. They are able to apply critical thinking skills that they have developed in everything that they do.
The impact of this curriculum design, leads to outstanding progress over time across key stages, relative to a child’s individual starting point and their progression of skills. It allows children to flourish. Our provision successfully supports our ongoing Artsmark journey towards achieving Platinum.
Children elected as part of our Arts Ministry demonstrate leadership skills and play a key part in engaging the school and parents in local competitions and projects. The Arts Ministry play a key role in using their pupil voice to make decisions around the Arts in our school. Art, culture and creativity remains at the very heart of our curriculum and plays a significant part in supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing. Children leave Lordswood as artists.