Creative Arts – Awarded Artsmark Gold by Arts Council England

“I just take my pencil for a walk and see what it makes.”

Our gallery is at the heart of our school, because this is where we proudly display the masterpieces created by our artists from Nursery to Year Six. Our dedicated art studio, complete with adjacent woodland outdoor classroom, is the engine room where creativity is nurtured and flourishes! We focus on developing the children’s skills and experience in painting, printing, drawing, collage, textiles, sculpture and working with wood. The children learn about one of these strands each half term and then we display and track how their skills progress in this area as they travel through the school. They get to explore and use a range of high quality resources and look at and talk about artists’ work,  giving them an idea of the breadth of artistic possibility.

A child from each class is chosen as an ‘Arts Ambassador’ for the year and attends Arts meetings to discuss and organise everything involving art at Appledore School. The children all have the opportunity to gain Arts Award from the Arts Council, a ‘Discover’ award in Key Stage One and an ‘Explore’ award in Key Stage Two. The children can work on their awards during ‘Art Club’ after school. These are nationally recognised awards awarded by Trinity College. We have relationships with a number of organisations and schools who enhance, enrich and broaden the opportunities available to children at our school. Once such example is our children using the desugn and technology workshops at a local secondary school to make signs for our friends at Lilungu School in Tanzania.

We enjoy a successful relationship with Beaford Arts, England’s longest established rural arts organisation, and host arts workshops for children from other schools in the area who exhibit their art work with us. Our children’s art work is always displayed in the Burton Art Gallery’s annual schools exhibition and entered for local competitions such as the Grafta’s. We also work with Bideford College Art Department on various projects, some linked to Year 6 transition to secondary school, involving children visiting to take part in specialist workshops. An example of a specialist workshop has been on sketch book creation and use. We have visits from artists and people working in the creative industry to give the children an idea of what kind of job their artistic endeavors could turn into.

‘All children are Artists. The problem is how to remain an Artist once they grow up.’ Pablo Picasso.

We couldn’t agree more, so we give ceative arts a very high priority in the hope that our children’s love of all things arty continues when they leave us.

Music is very important to us and to reflect that we employ a specialist music teacher. At Appledore School we give the children opportunities to learn to play musical instruments as part of the school curriculum. This gives the children access to a range of instruments, including steel pans, drums, violins and ukele and involves learning the basic technique. At the end of the unit of work they perform to each other and to parents. If children they want to take the instrument further or learn a different instrument, we support the children and families with finding teachers.

We love to sing and during the Autumn Term, all classes contribute to a Harvest Festival; for the Foundation Stage children singing songs to parents in the school hall and for Key Stage 1 and 2 singing songs to parents in the village hall. At Christmas, children in the FSU and Key Stage 1 perform a Christmas play to the school and parents and Key Stage 2 have a Christmas Carol Concert in the village hall. All classes sing a couple of songs to each other during our own carol concert in the school hall at the end of term. We also have weekly key stage and whole school singing sessions where we sing a range of contemporary songs.  We have whole school singing every two weeks and every year we have a ‘sing off’ competition that involves everyone singing with their House and it is getting more and more theatrical!

Pupils in Key Stage 2 have the opportunity of joining the School Choir. The Choir performs each term either at events at school or at St Mary’s Church. They learn and sing a range of musical genres which, over recent years, has included Gilbert and Sullivan; Sea Shanties; songs from popular movies and Jazz to name but a few.

For a number of years, they have also taken part in the Annual Choir Festival arranged for local schools which takes place each Spring at The Devon Hall, Bideford College. At this event, each School presents one song of their own choice and they also sing three other songs collaboratively with hundreds of other young voices from other schools accompanied by a live orchestra. A truly tremendous sound!! Our Choir also competes in the GRAFTAs event. This is an biannual competition that encourages students to celebrate their local heritage and has classes including art, drama and music. For this event they perform to a panel of four judges and then hear their comments in true X Factor style. A nerve racking experience for all – including their leader!  The glitzy awards evening was certainly an evening to remember.


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