The Creative Arts
“We are all born as creative and inquisitive individuals. In a more complex society, we increasingly depend on the creative individual.”
Darcey Bussell, Ballerina and Strictly Come Dancing Judge
Arts provision throughout Damers First School is deeply embedded within everything that we do. It is a highly valued area of learning that supports the emotional, physical and general well being of every child. Our intent at Damers is for all creative arts subjects to be 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. We intend to equip the children with the skills, knowledge, motivation and passion to be lifelong performers, creators, designers and problem solvers regardless of their chosen pathway in life.
In recognition of our Arts provision we hold Artsmark Gold status. This is a national award that recognises our commitment, dedication and ongoing high standard of work produced by the children. Assessment by the Arts Council for this award occurs every two years and we have held the Gold award continuously from 2004. Our last assessment, where we awarded Gold again, was in September 2022.
Our Arts provision, implemented throughout the school, is taught mostly by class teachers with support and training from professionals across all fields. By working in partnership with creative 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, concerts, festivals, exhibitions, 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.
KS1 and Foundation children have the opportunity to take part in their own Christmas productions and begin to experience the discipline, preparation, team work and enjoyment that are a part of putting on a performance.
Our KS2 children develop the work started in KS1. This involves performing, in Year 3, during the spring term in the school hall, over two evenings and for Year 4, they perform at Thomas Hardye School theatre in the summer term. This annual event for both year groups 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. A story is broken down and each class takes a section of the story and interprets it in a way of their choice. This ensures that there are three main characters, one from each class and allows other characters to be developed therefore giving lots of children an opportunity to shine. It is a fully inclusive performance where all the children are motivated and enthusiastic about the show.
At Damers, we take the well being of our children very seriously. In line with many mental health initiatives happening across the country we have been, and are continuing to, ensure that our children have access to outdoor education. Our last arts focus project was centered around the book “ It’s Up to Us,” by Christopher Lloyd. The work from each year group was displayed in the local community during and as part of Dorset Art weeks. This work helps to deeply embed and support our whole school harmony curriculum.
At Damers we are fortunate to have a large and a small hall suitable for rehearsals and performances. Our music room is well resourced and we invested in a class set of Djembe drums and Ukeles as a result of professional staff training.