Creativity captures pupils' imaginations on World Book Day

Published on: 
4 Mar 2020

To celebrate #WorldBookDay we’ve spoken to three recently awarded Artsmark schools to find out how they infuse their English curriculum with creativity. So, grab a brew and find out how Artsmark can inspire you this #WorldBookDay.

 

Drama brings English to life

Belmont Castle Academy, in Thurrock, have recently received their Artsmark Gold Award. Headteacher, Mark Jones, shared with us the impact using arts and culture has had on pupil’s literacy and English skills.

“Our English curriculum has been developed to incorporate drama to fully immerse pupils in their learning. Throughout our Artsmark journey we have had the opportunity to give pupil’s experiences from a wide variety of different cultural organisations. We’ve had workshops from Artsmark Partners such as the Royal Shakespeare Company exploring Romeo and Juliet and ballet classes exploring the book Horrid Henry, which had a real impact, particularly on boys, evidenced in their work completed in class. We also engaged in a storytelling workshop from Punchdrunk which was a great success with our Year 2 pupils, who used their creativity and imagination to build upon their writing skills.

Across our school, we have endeavoured to adopt a creative ethos to enhance our curriculum. To develop resilience, behaviour, confidence, excitement, creativity and self-evaluation in our pupils.”

 

Performance poetry packs a punch

Based in Preston, Lostock Hall Community Primary School, were recently awarded their Artsmark Gold Award. Artsmark Lead, Joanne Cookson, talked to us about their exciting performance poetry initiative.

“A key focus on our Artsmark journey was to develop performance poetry in school. We enlisted the work of poet, Paul Cookson, who worked with Year 3 pupils over the course of a year, supporting them to ‘perform’ poems and to equip them with skills and inspiration to write their own poetry. Based on the pupils’ own interests and topics, students were inspired and took ownership of their own work. The levels of enthusiasm from both the children and staff was phenomenal. Children were writing extra poems at home and could be seen singing and performing their poems on the playground. We decided to hold a celebration for Year 3 parents and carers to attend. Every child in the year group took part in the performance and many did their own ‘solo’ performance which was wonderful to watch.

As a school we could see the fantastic impact Paul’s workshops were having on pupils, so we arranged a staff INSET day, along with teachers from other local schools, to equip our staff with new ideas and skills. After analysing Year 3’s literacy progress, it was evident that their quality of writing, vocabulary and ideas had improved enormously. Due to its success, every year group now engages in performance poetry and regularly perform in whole school assemblies.”

 

Creativity helps pupil’s literacy skills flourish

Field End Infant School, based in Ruislip, recently achieved their Artsmark Gold Award. We spoke to English Coordinator, Jennie Stone, who shared how they use music and dance to inspire and improve pupil’s literacy skills.

“Creativity is key to our daily English lessons. Our Year 2 classes have a special lesson each half term which introduces a new English topic through music, drama, ICT and craft. We recently explored the work of Roald Dahl where pupils engaged in a carousel of drumming to Charlie and the Chocolate factory inspired music. They also used drama to explore characters in the BFG, and later used their ICT skills to build a digital picture of their character. Our Year 1 pupils also use music to aid their learning, most recently, they used songs to read Jack and the Beanstalk, where they discovered how a story is structured and sequenced. 

On World Book Day, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes will be exploring a key text through dance workshops run by West End in Schools, where a trained dancer, who has performed on a West End stage, will encourage the children to interpret the story through whole body movements and facial expressions. Each class will perform their dance in a show case assembly. We can’t wait to see what the pupils create!”

 

#WorldBookDay is the perfect opportunity to showcase the brilliant, creative teaching our Artsmark schools engage in every day so make sure to share your activities with us on social media using #CelebrateArtsmark. Want to know more about Artsmark? Find out how your school can get involved today. Make sure you follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with the latest Artsmark news! 

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Cultural education gives children and young people the opportunity to develop their creativity, both individually and collectively, and that's why our goal is for every child and young person to have the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts.

Darren Henley
Chief Executive
Arts Council England

It's vital that children have the opportunity to learn and enjoy arts and culture from an early age. It develops their creativity, inspires future careers and enriches their childhood.

Artsmark Award does brilliant work in schools and education to ensure young people access a broad and balanced curriculum that includes high-quality arts and culture.

Michael Ellis MP
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism
Department of Culture, Media and Sport