As we are in our third and final year of being part of the Creativity Collaboratives project, we are very lucky to have a drama specialist working with us as our current resident artist. The drama specialist is working with all children in Y3 and Y4, teaching Egyptian history through various drama techniques. This has included the children using freeze frame techniques to portray Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, working in pairs to show Isis, the Goddess of healing, and Ka, representing the spirit of a person. The children are working collaboratively together, building confidence using various drama techniques as well as developing their knowledge of Egyptian history in a fun way. As one child has said, “it’s like when you go to a party, you remember it because it’s fun. It’s like our drama lessons, I remember all the history because it’s fun!”
‘Culture Day’ – children expressed that they wished to have a school ‘Culture Day’ where all children and staff in school could come dressed in clothing representing their own culture in some way. All children and staff took part and parents very kindly made a range of food dishes that were shared across the school from different countries around the world. A lovely way of celebrating the diverse and inclusive community of our school.
We are a multi-cultural school that celebrates many events across the school year that reflects various cultures and religions, promoting respect for all. Such events include Diwali, with parents leading Diwali assemblies, Remembrance Day led by our pupil leadership team ‘No Outsiders’, Bonfire Night, Crossteach visiting to teach children about Christianity, a visit to a local church for a Christingle service, and more recently Christmas Songs from around the World performed by all children in the school to parents and carers.
We believe it is important to give our children authentic experiences, making activities and events purposeful and meaningful for learning. This includes giving all children of all abilities the opportunity to perform at various events, being a fully inclusive school. This has included a school pantomime, where a school Governor sent a letter of thanks upon attending, noticing how all children from all ages and abilities across the school were included in some way. We have links with Nottingham Music Hub giving children the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and give live performances to parents. Children in Y4 have also taken part in performing Shakespeare at the Nottingham Playhouse. Not only do these events give the children authentic experiences in performing but also help to build children’s confidence and self-esteem.
In 2021 we became one of 12 schools in Nottingham taking part in ‘Creativity Collaboratives’. Our overarching focus question is:
How can we improve the way our schools nurture children’s innate creative capacity and sustain their curiosity about the world?
Work has included a two year residency with a digital designer, developing child-led learning and enquiry, where children in Y3 & Y4 learned to create digital images and animations. Now in our third year, we have a drama specialist working with us, leading history and geography sessions to children in Y3 and Y4 through drama, to help embed their learning in a fun and creative way.
This work has also included being involved in the ‘Schools of Tomorrow’ project, with the focus being: ‘being able to create thriving learning environments’.
Our school Art Ambassadors took lead roles in this, working with the Associate Artist from Nottingham Contemporary, creating a whole school Timeline. This fostered children’s understanding and purpose of a Timeline, generating discussion around,how it’s ‘open’ to being presented in various ways.
We believe it is important to offer our children authentic experiences that provide them with a rich Cultural Capital, giving them real experiences that will help to embed knowledge as well as enrichment opportunities to develop lifelong learning. This includes all classes having the opportunity to have weekly Forest Schools sessions across the year for all classes, as well as outside visitors such as Theatre In Education groups delivering sessions, and visits to various places each term for each class to further embed their learning in a fun and authentic way.
We believe it is important that all children in our school are actively involved in their learning and around wider, current issues in the world. We have strong pupil leadership groups across school that include our ‘Green Team’, ‘No Outsiders’, ‘Community Rangers’, ‘Mental Health Ambassadors’, ‘Reading Rangers’, ‘Digileaders’, ‘Behaviour Leads’ and ‘Art Ambassadors’. Every term children meet to decide the focus for our school and work together with a member of staff to plan and lead sessions to children across the school to make all children aware of current issues, such as waste and recycling, and what we can do to help make a difference to our world, helping to create citizens of the furture.
We believe in providing all children, no matter what their background or culture, being a fully inclusive school, should be giving the opportunity to be aspirational. We are involved in the ‘Inspiring Futures’ programme where employees of Capital regularly visit the school and speak to the children about the skills needed for their job, such as how they use maths everyday. We also have an extra-curriculur ‘Mini-Police’ club, where trained police officers work with our children about the role of police officers. Our previous resident artist, as part of our Creativity Collaboratives project, spoke to the children about the digital work he does and the graphic designer who helped to create our digital school Timeline image spoke with the children about what his work involves. We also have strong links with Nottingham University where children visit and are provided with aspirational learning activities.
We have strong links with our community and parents and carers are encouraged to be actively involved with their children’s learning. At the end of each term parents and carers are invited in to join in with end of term exhibitions of the children’s work. These are often designed to be very creative so that all parents can be actively involved with their child, with no language barriers to being able to take part. Parents are often invited into school to join with various events, such as reading sessions, celebrating the Coronation of King Charles III and our annual sports day. These events are always well attended. We also have strong links with our local MP, who runs an annual Christmas card competition. For two years running our children have won prizes from this. Our school choir has sung at the Kennington Lights Christmas switch on and our ‘Community Rangers’ often get involved in a community litter pick.