Cross-curricular learning: making the most of heritage trips
BY: Annabel Thomas
03 Jan 2019
Here at Arts Award we believe that the arts, culture and creativity can be incorporated into almost any area of learning and development for children and young people. Over the past 12 years or so we have worked not only with leading theatres, dance companies, music organisations and other performing arts organisations. We’ve also engaged with a huge range of museums and heritage sites, which is a great way to encourage creative learning across your school curriculum.
Visiting a museum or a heritage site might not be the most obvious link to the arts, but we have many excellent examples of Arts Awards completed at the most diverse settings – from Bursledon Brickworks to the National Coal Mining Museum for England, to Stirling Town Arts Award and more.
Not only do these organisations provide a wealth of inspiration for Arts Awards, they offer great opportunities to explore cross-curricular learning for schools. And this is the focus of our upcoming CPD session with Hampton Court and Historic Royal Palaces. We know that taking children out of school for educational trips and visits is becoming increasingly difficult, so maximising the impact of any visit is crucial. Last year we ran a hugely successful CPD session exploring Arts Award, Hampton Court and SEND and are thrilled to be returning to offer a brand new session for all teachers working in primary schools.
Hampton Court is one of the finest examples of Tudor architecture in the country. Largely built by Henry VIII’s adviser (or at least until he fell out of favour) Cardinal Wolsey, the Palace is a truly inspirational setting in which to teach history where it happened. But there is so much more to discover at Hampton Court above and beyond its fascinating historic past. There are stunning tapestries and works of art to inspire paining, self-portraits and textiles work; the furniture can provoke comparisons with the furniture we use today and design through the ages; the architecture lends itself to a range of maths lessons; and the experience overall provides a huge range of stimuli for creative writing. You can even explore KS2 geography in the Palace gardens, challenging children to find their way to certain points (such as the Great Vine) using a map and compass.
Something we are always keen to encourage is taking the experience of a school trip or visit back into the classroom, to add value to these opportunities and help demonstrate the learning outcomes to other members of staff. Arts Award is a great way to tie school trips together (as we've previously explored in another post), collating pupils’ thoughts and feelings about a visit as well as encouraging them to reflect on what they learnt. In our CPD session at Hampton Court we will explore just how to do this, as well as letting you have an exclusive, free opportunity to spot the arts and creative opportunities in the Palace itself!
We hope you will join us on the 28th March for what will be a really interesting and special CPD session. Above and beyond what we have already highlighted, the session will also include a group ideas-sharing workshop with feedback and discussion around: how to plan and prepare for a visit to a heritage site; how to build on the visit back in the classroom; and criteria, expectations and evidence-gathering relating to Arts Award.