This is a question asked by many schools, with the pressures to prioritise core academic subjects, leading to more schools spending less time on the Creative Arts.
But in a growing number of schools, the lasting damage of this approach is plain to see: plenty of English and maths displays lining the corridor walls, while the arts slip further and further out of frame.
How do the teachers and school leaders, who value the benefits of learning about and learning through the arts, continue to place emphasis on creative subjects in the curriculum? How do they make pupils’ creative achievements a source of inspiration?
"Wouldn’t it be boring if we were all the same?", my Mum used to say. Every child is different, every child has their own strengths and weaknesses, every person does. That is why it is important for children to have access to a wide range of educational experiences and learning during their primary years. Not one of us knows what we might be unlocking inside a child.
So how do we reach a broad, balanced, rich and deep curriculum at Brabyns? The answer to this is linked to our three main aims – Nurture, Engage and Achieve. Not only do we nurture the children in our care, enabling confidence and celebrating strengths, we enable children to achieve their very best in all they do. The key for me is to engage the children through every learning opportunity available, not just the English and Maths, but all subjects. We are very fortunate to have a wide range of specialist teachers. This means our curriculum is broad and extensive and allows children the very best opportunities.
The teachers at Brabyns work incredibly hard to develop a broad, engaging curriculum for all the children. For example, last half term, our Year 3 and 4 children ‘mummified’ their own objects linking in with their topic work on Egypt. They also used 'Talk for Writing' opportunities to create their own stories based on Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo.
This half term, our EYFS children have already had a fantastic visit from 'Dinosaurs' to kick off their Dinosaur topic. Further up the school, Year 5 and 6 are about to start preparations for the junior ‘Rock Bottom’ performance in May - what a superb way to bring the Arts into our curriculum.
The list is endless, day in day out, walking around school, from our youngest to our oldest classes it is clear to see the engagement in all subjects across the board is clear to see.
Deputy Head Teacher