St. Aidan’s sees the Arts as a vehicle to engage with self-expression through opportunities in music, dance, drama, art, creative writing and design and cultural experiences. St. Aidan’s see the Arts as a means of preparing a child for the skills and attitudes required for contemporary life by exploring creativity and imagination, to develop confidence and self-esteem and to experience joy, beauty, and wonder. This creative process involves verbal and non-verbal communication.
Music is taught by the class teacher from Reception to Year 6.
In addition to class teaching of the five key areas of music (listening/responding, singing, composing, rhythm and playing instruments) there are some additional ways music is taught around the school. These include:
- Whole class (Year 3) violin/cello tuition – weekly ( Croydon Sound Start Project)
- Whole class ( Year 4) toot tuition – weekly (by the class teacher)
- Whole class ( Year 2) recorder tuition – weekly (by the class teacher)
- St Aidan’s has a firm commitment to singing and takes part in local and national initiatives ( e.g. Young Voices at the O2)
- Annual music concert to celebrate pupils who play instruments either in or outside of school
- Cluster choice with the local schools in Coulsdon
- Carol service at Christmas which involves pupils from Years 2-6
- Musical theatre after school club
Art and Design are taught by class teachers and work is usually interwoven in the class curriculum.
At St Aidan’s, we appreciate that Art has a large part to play in the whole child ethos, that children are provided a wide range of abilities other than just academic opportunities for their social and emotional wellbeing. We implement the following:
- Children take part in regular weekly Art lessons, where children are exposed to a range of different media and can demonstrate their skills and ideas in both a free thinking but also guided activities.
- We are able to provide a whole school Art day in the Summer term to explore children’s skills further and expose them to different methods of working within Art through visiting different classes and teachers.
- Each classroom has their own Art supplies to work with on a daily or weekly basis. This offers opportunities for the children to apply their skills and ideas according to the current project in their classroom.
By the time children leave St Aidan’s we hope that they have both an appreciation and enjoyment of Art, as well as gaining extra skills or trying new ideas that they would not otherwise have had the opportunity to do. We hope this will have a positive impact on all areas of the curriculum in the children’s presentation skills and organisational skills.
Dance is taught through the Val Sabin scheme and as part of the P.E. Curriculum.
In addition to the class led dance sessions our pupils are also able to attend the ballet and tap/modern after school classes.
Every year, each year group has an opportunity to perform ‘on stage’ to a wider audience: children in Reception and Year 1 perform in a Nativity; Children in Year 2 and Year 3 in a mid-year production; Year 5 perform the Easter Passion Play; Year 6 an end of Year production.
Access for all
All pupils are timetabled to have access to and participate in the Arts regardless of level of Special Educational Need. Talent is nurtured through use of visiting specialists and opportunities for performance in key events and weekly assemblies. Student voice is enabled through ‘school council’ and through ‘open’ dialogue with staff. Children are awarded leadership opportunities in class i.e. ‘Art Monitor’ and other ‘backstage’ responsibilities to support school productions.
We aim to ensure children receive a rich curriculum by organising extra-curricular events such as school trips to the theatre and to a range of educational and interesting places, and by inviting visiting performers to the school. We collaborate with outside companies to develop our skills and display our creativity for others to enjoy in the wider community. Choirs have performed at the O2 and other Choral Festivals. We welcome theatre groups including Ten-Ten Theatre, Bigfoot Education and acclaimed artists including Brian Moses.
There is also a wide range of after-school clubs offering diverse approaches to the Arts.