A variety of research into primary school timetables over recent years shows that schools continue to position subjects like literacy and maths before lunchtime, in an effort to maximise academic progress. It has long been believed that in the morning our brains are fresher, making us best at doing tasks that require more speed, attention and focus. In the afternoon when this process slows down we’re apparently more suited to creative work.
However, there is evidence to suggest that children can be encouraged to be more creative in the morning but in reality, the pattern of maths and literacy in the morning followed by arts, humanities and topic lessons after lunch, has become the foundation of the primary school day for many.
What’s interesting about Arts Award is that as a qualification, it pans across the curriculum and doesn’t have to be confined to afternoons. We provide inspiration for introducing arts and expressive activities on both sides of lunchtime. We believe that arts and creativity can wake up and shake up any part of the school day and bring a burst of energy, renewed enthusiasm and commitment for learning for pupils in all subject areas, including English and maths.
Our new Key Stage 2 (KS2) Literacy resource is designed as a framework to support delivery of Arts Award Explore, linking directly to the KS2 English and Literacy programmes of study. It’s ideal for primary, middle school and SEN settings and packed full of advice on how to link areas of the reading and writing curriculum in KS2 to each of the four parts required for Arts Award Explore.
For Example, the resource includes ideas such as using fiction, non-fiction, script writing and poetry for Part A; making a visit to the library as a local arts organisation as well as researching authors and illustrators for Part B; incorporating a drama performance for Part C and taking advantage of boosting pupil’s confidence in their use of spoken language and presentation for Part D.
Latest guidance from Ofsted champions a broad, rich and deep curriculum, measuring the quality of education on a balanced offer, particularly in Years 5 and 6. Arts Award can be a great tool in supporting teachers who are looking to improve outcomes across such a broad curriculum and range of academic subjects - especially those feeling the squeeze on creativity. Arts Award Explore is ideal for measuring impact and progress for pupils in KS2, as it provides an Entry Level 3 Award in the arts as well as a log of work demonstrating development of skills and signposting key areas of understanding for each child. All that before lunchtime!
Check out the resource for yourself and let us know how you get on with sparking pre-lunchtime creativity!