Artsmark

The arts are a source of pride and talking about them makes everyone smile. There is a strong belief that engaging in the arts leads to higher achievement and a high level of motivation, and this is borne out in attendance data, and assessment of children’s progress.

There are high expectations of what the children can do and a willingness to listen and adapt to children’s feedback and responses. Children spoke with enthusiasm about opportunities to perform, and to show their work, and also about how many of their arts activities build confidence and allow for individual expression.

‘Be brave within the arts’ a teacher told me. Ashfield enjoys ambitious projects and finds a number of ways to nurture children’s talents while providing them with stimulating challenges.

Lynne Brackley

ArtsMark validator. June 2014

The Arts Vision Statement:

At Ashfield our vision is to develop young people with active and creative minds; who are able to lead happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. We believe that through the Arts, our children will be able to do this. We also believe that they will learn to express themselves in artistic and creative ways. Our creative curriculum is designed to inspire them and give them a life-time love of the arts; an interesting, stimulating curriculum is fundamental to effective learning. Our teachers use many stimuli to spark children’s interest in the Arts and help them to find learning fascinating.

We recognise that the Arts encompass Music, Art & Design, Dance and Drama. These are areas of the curriculum which require an approach wherein:

  • open-mindedness is encouraged and expected;
  • objectivity is developed;
  • the ability to respond to art in all its forms is essential;
  • the end result can always be changed or improved.

At Ashfield, we aim to deliver these art forms within and beyond the curriculum. Opportunities in the Arts are provided through a range of extra curricular clubs and activities. Through these, the children develop skills and present their work.

 Music

  • Drumming  led by a teacher from Watford School of Music
  • Creative Afternoon workshops led by a subject specialist
  • Weekly choir rehearsals leading to performances
  • Weekly Singing club

 Art

  • Whole School Artist Study completed annually
  • Creative afternoon workshops led by subject specialists
  • Annual project provided by artist-in-residence from Watford Girls’ Grammar School
  • Weekly Craft club

 Dance

  • Annual Dance topic taught in each year group
  • Creative Afternoon workshops led by subject specialist
  • Year group productions in which choreographed movement is incorporated

 Drama

  • Whole School Project based on a set text
  • Creative Afternoon workshops led by subject specialist
  • Year group productions
  • Weekly Drama club

In line with our Equal Opportunities Policy we are committed to providing a teaching environment conducive to learning. Each child is valued, respected and challenged regardless of race, gender, religion, social background, culture or disability.

We encourage our pupils to share their thoughts and opinions in a constructive and reflective way. Through our School Council, children are given opportunities to discuss future Whole School Arts projects which inform staff decisions. Year Six Top Buddies are given the chance to improve their leadership skills by supporting the teaching of the Arts to younger pupils in Family assemblies.

At Ashfield, we enable all children to reach their full potential and develop confidence in their abilities. We also recognise the importance of nurturing and celebrating talent. Weekly Achievement Assemblies are held in which children are acknowledged for hard work and quality outcomes. Additionally, children are encouraged to share their talent through performances and presentations throughout the year.

We understand the benefits of using specialist teaching whenever possible to enhance our curriculum. As a staff, we learn from these experts and are able to implement new skills and techniques in our own teaching. We have strong links with Watford School of Music and Watford Girls’ Grammar School. In addition to these, we draw on every opportunity to bring in professionals to perform or share their skills and experiences.