Expressive Arts and Design
Creativity is fundamental to successful learning. Being creative enables children to make connections between one area of learning and another, to think ‘outside the box’ to solve problems and so extend their understanding. Thinking creatively enables new discovery in mathematics, science, IT and design. We provide opportunities for children to explore and share their thoughts, ideas and feelings, for example through experiencing a variety of art, music, movement, dance, imaginative and role-play activities, mathematics, design and technology. In the outdoor studio, children can see themselves dance, drum and use percussion instruments reflected in the mirrored wall.
Exploring and Using Media and Materials
We provide an enabling environment with self-service creative areas. Children can experience a wide range of media and materials, as well as the tools and ways of joining needed to make their creations. There is an emphasis on re-cycling materials, rather than purchasing them. Instruments, music and large wooden blocks are available outside. Natural materials are available for transient art and we use artists work as a stimulus. We invite amateur artists to work with and inspire the children.
We aim for children to feel secure enough to ‘have a go’, learn new things and be adventurous. We value what children can do and children’s own ideas rather than expecting them to reproduce someone else’s picture, dance or model. Adults model acting out known or made up narratives so that children can then do the same. They teach the children the skills they need to make their own props for their chosen role-play. By gradually exposing the children to a wide range of music, dance, art, modelling materials, painting and mark-making techniques children develop the confidence to have opinions, choose forms of expression and capture their experiences and responses in their own individual ways. By carefully observing and ‘planning in the moment’, adults demonstrate that they value children’s own ideas, plans, experimentation and fascinations. They support, challenge and enable children to follow and develop their ideas, resulting in shared sustained thinking and deeper learning. This produces higher levels of well-being and involvement which results in greater progress and higher achievement.