The creative arts at Chad Vale comprise art (including digital forms), music, dance, drama and creative writing. We strive to provide an exciting, diverse arts curriculum which not only teaches core skills, but also stimulates children’s imagination, and provides opportunities for self-expression. By engaging in the arts, children develop their ability to think creatively - a skill which can be applied across subjects and which is increasingly valued by employers.
At Chad Vale, the arts are taught both as discrete subjects and as part of the wider curriculum.
The Foundation Stage:
In the Foundation stage, art, music, dance and drama form part of ‘expressive arts and design’, and are usually taught as part of a topic-based curriculum. Each week, children will participate in a teacher-led arts activity. They will also have daily access to the creative table and role play areas, developing their skills and imagination through child-initiated learning. Discrete music lessons are also taught every week, with dance and movement lessons planned in half-termly blocks.
Each year group from years 1 to 6 completes three art topics a year, where children build on their skills, explore the work of different artists, experiment with a variety of materials and create their own independent artworks. Each unit of work has a different focus, enabling the children to develop their skills in drawing, painting, printing, collage, textiles or 3D sculpture. Where possible, units are also linked to other curriculum areas such as history or geography.
We also run two art weeks a year, where every class produces artwork based on a particular theme, culminating in vibrant displays to showcase the children’s learning.
Music is taught throughout the school using the ‘Charanga’ music scheme, which supports all the requirements of the national curriculum and provides clear progression in skills. The lively, interactive resources enable children to listen to and appraise different styles of music, ranging from classical to pop.
In addition, all children in year 4 learn either keyboards or violin and are taught on a weekly basis by teachers from Birmingham’s Music Hub. We also have a Chad Vale choir which meets every week and is led by a professional singing coach.
Dance forms part of the PE curriculum, with each class completing at least one unit a year. Dance also forms an important part of our annual productions, with years 3 and 6 choreographing their own dances. Additionally, children in year 4 participate in our exciting ‘Dancing in Classrooms’ initiative, which not only teaches a form of ballroom dancing, but also fosters mutual respect and co-operation between genders.
Drama at Chad Vale is an integral part of other subjects such as English and history. It is often used to bring our ‘Talk for Writing’ topics to life, with children exploring plot and character through role play, hot seating and other drama techniques.
Our curriculum is supplemented by an annual drama week, culminating in an assembly to share the learning that has takes place in each year group. Our children’s drama skills are also showcased in three large-scale productions in Reception, Year 3 and 6!
We aim to supplement our curriculum with a range of visits to galleries and theatres, as well as providing workshops with professional artists wherever possible. Recent collaborations have included workshops at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, a concert with the Big Soul Sing Company, and an after-school pottery club run by one of our parents, professional ceramic artist, Wendy Tournay. We also offer a range of other extra-curricular initiatives such as keyboard and violin lessons, and regular art clubs run by professional artist and parent, Tereza Buskova, who has also led workshops in printing techniques as part of her developing role as our ‘artist in residence’.
Pupil Voice- meet our Creative Arts Council/Arts Ambassadors!
Our art, music, dance and drama ambassadors form our Creative Arts Council. This committee plays a crucial role in helping to shape our curriculum. The Council meets on a regular basis, making suggestions for improvements and deciding the themes for our art weeks. Ambassadors may also support younger children with their learning in class.
Here is what some of our children have to say about the arts at Chad Vale:
"I love art because you can rely on your imagination! I think children should do art because it is free, beautiful, abstract and inspiring!" - Sonia 5V (art ambassador)
"I have fun drawing. I like using my imagination and challenging myself to draw and create new things. If people create new pieces of art, their ideas can help them think of new ideas in writing." - Samir 5V (art ambassador)
"Drama helps me express my feelings and dance makes me feel happy." - Eleanor 5C (drama ambassador)
"Drama is important because you get more confident and it helps you with language." - Lily 6C
"I like music because you can express yourself using your voice and instruments; it’s so much fun!" - Jessica 4V (music ambassador)
"I like to be on stage performing in front of an audience." - Harley-Rae 2V (dance ambassador)
"Dance makes me feel free and I get to really express myself." - Aaron 6V (dance ambassador)
"I think that Dancing Classrooms is a great opportunity to bond with the other children and also to work as a team together. I also think that it is very challenging and exciting for me and everyone else." - Marium 6C
Arts Award is a nationally recognised qualification which encourages children to develop their interest in the creative arts. At Chad Vale, children work towards the first Arts Award, ‘Discover’, across years 3 and 4, engaging in arts activities, finding out about artists and sharing their discoveries. The children keep a log of their arts journey, and are awarded a certificate on successful completion.
Artsmark is a national initiative where schools work towards an award, accredited by Arts Council England. The Artsmark process enables settings to evaluate, develop and celebrate their commitment to the arts. Chad Vale has been an Artsmark school for over a decade, mostly achieving the silver award. We are now challenging ourselves, and currently working towards gold!
Check out some of the learning in the arts!