Best Practice

Case study: The arts across the curriculum

Balancing high-quality arts provision with meeting core academic measures is a challenge for primary schools. Jane Ryder discusses how this is tackled at Sidegate Primary School and offers some examples of their practice

The positive impact that the arts have on young people is no longer up for debate. They provide pupils with the opportunity to develop and exercise creative skills which promote independent thinking and a mindset that looks beyond learning facts. Studying the arts improves pupils’ communication and presentation skills and builds confidence for the challenges to come.

But how do you balance delivery of the arts with the ever-increasing pressure on meeting core academic targets? Time pressures can restrict teachers’ freedom to integrate the arts. Reaching attainment levels and properly preparing children for the more advanced curriculum they will face in secondary school is, of course, essential. But it really is possible to combine the two – to focus on SATs while maintaining high-quality arts provision, and for example, to combine learning about the solar system with teaching dance and drama.

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