The Creative Arts
Damers First School has continuously been an Artsmark Gold School since 2004. We were also awarded the status of Artsmark Best Practice Centre for 2014/15 by Trinity College, London. We have embarked upon our latest Artsmark journey to demonstrate our current and future commitment to the arts in our school and show our dedication in retaining our Artsmark Gold status at the conclusion of this cycle. Damers First School continues to value the impact of the creative arts on learning and well-being and are looking to reach new heights by developing our provision even further with a view to aiming for the newly created higher Platinum Artsmark award.
At Damers, all creative arts subjects are taught as discrete subjects in their own right as well as being used as a tool to help engage the children in other areas of the curriculum. All children across the school have a weekly music lesson taught by a professional musician. In Key Stage 2 dance and art are taught by specialist teachers and drama by class teachers. In Key Stage 1 drama, dance and art are taught by class teachers. By working in partnership with creative professionals and experts we continue to raise standards in teaching and learning, motivate, set high expectations and inspire our staff and pupils. Working alongside professionals in any field is a very important and valued part of our curriculum.
An integral part of our arts provision focuses on the quality and significance of performance. We do this through key stage productions, showcasing projects, strand sharings, concerts, festivals, celebrations and community events. These opportunities are invaluable in developing a host of lifelong skills such as creativity, confidence, perseverance, problem-solving, collaboration and dedication. They are completely inclusive and enhance non-verbal communication. A prestigious occasion for our KS2 children involves performing in an authentic theatre after creating, writing and staging their own production. This annual event involves dance, drama, music and art skills of the highest quality. Parents and the local community consistently comment on the exceptional standard of performance that our children reach.
In celebration of our Creative Learning Project 2016, The Road to Rio, events showcased how the creative arts had been at the core of whole school learning. Our Salsa sharing had the audience dancing in their seats. Watching the parents dance out of the hall practising the steps the children had taught them with a smile on their face was uplifting and memorable. The Carnival procession and celebration that followed in the Summer term was a wonderful opportunity to display the children’s storytelling, drumming, dance and visual arts skills enhanced by professional artists. This academic year we are looking forward to sharing our skills in the creative arts through celebrating the history of the school through the decades.
At Damers we also provide the children in our school opportunities to see live arts work. We visit museums, galleries, take children to see shows in and around the local area including The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. On several occasions we have been able to offer the amazing opportunity for our Year 4 children to see performances by the Royal Ballet at The Royal Opera House in London. Most recently we have have taken all of Key Stage 2 to the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and for Christmas both Key Stages enjoyed a trip to the pantomime in Weymouth. This was particularly great as one of our Key Stage 2 children was dancing in it.