Creative Arts is a powerful and very individual communication tool for our pupils which stimulates creatively and imagination. Through creative media pupils can express their understanding and respond of the world around them. Our pupils learn about the place and role of art, music, dance and drama in life today, as well as in different times and cultures. Creative Arts combines the development of ideas and concepts with the exploration and education of feeling, thus helping to educate the 'whole' child, emotionally, aesthetically, spiritually, intellectually and socially.
At the Redway School planning is differentiated to give both EYFS, SLD, ASC and PMLD pupils relevant and appropriately challenging work. Our pupils and students are encouraged to explore and respond to activities with all of their senses and to engage in activities as fully as possible. Most of our students really enjoy and empathize with the different aspects involved in Creative Arts and can achieve some impressive results.
The importance of this subject begins in early years foundation stage as children explore and learn through playing with paint and other materials such as clay.
In the Primary department KS1 and KS2 pupils access creative arts through the topic based curriculum. In art they are introduced to a wider range of media as well as learning to use a variety of different art tools. They begin to learn about different artists and styles of artwork therefore extending their knowledge and experience in this subject.
Music is also taught through the topics. Students sing songs, listen to music and take part in musical activities which are linked to the current topic. The large gathering drum and resonance boards play a prominent part in music- making. Whilst taking part in these sessions children become familiar with new songs, props and rhythms and are able to tap, clap and bang to the different beats. Music is also used within sessions such as Tac Pac and Physiotherapy as a mean of helping the students to relax. It is also used as a signifier for those students who may not understand the meaning of symbols or pictures. Music helps to reinforce routines such as hello time, snack time, lunchtime and the end of the school day.
In the secondary department we continue to have a combined approach to the Art forms of Art and Design, Dance, Drama and Music. Students learn a variety of skills such as turn taking and communicating with each other. Students enjoy exploring different rhythms and beats on the large gathering drum. They also have opportunities to explore different genres of music relating to the current topic. Music is used in Literacy lessons to help to develop speaking and listening skills with students being encouraged to sing along and repeat sounds back to one another.
Secondary art sessions build on the work done within the primary department and expand pupils knowledge by introducing different art techniques and materials. Some of the students become involved in art projects both within school and through other openings such as the MK Gallery.
During the school year there are visiting artists, musicians, theatre and dance groups that come in to school. The Redway teachers also arrange trips to Milton Keynes Theatre and cinema who now provide special ‘relaxed performances’ designed for pupils with disabilities.
The importance of creativity continues into the Transitions department where students are able to take part in a variety of creative activities. They work towards achieving an ASDAN award by completing the Personal Progress module ‘engaging in new creative activities’. However, building from the work done within the secondary department most students prefer to follow a combined approach to The Arts, where Art and Design forms an essential part of the creative curriculum.
Sensory exploration continues to be an important part of the Creative Arts curriculum throughout all the Key Stages. We have recently introduced art in the outside environment through our Forest School sessions.
Creative Arts week is an established yearly event in the curriculum which involves all pupils in all the Key Stages and departments. This themed week provides opportunities to celebrate the Arts by inviting different artists to perform and share their knowledge and skills with our pupils.
The Redway students also participate in a Summer and Christmas performance which is held at Christ the Cornerstone Church at the City Centre and at St Marys Church at Woughton on the Green. Parents and friends of the school are invited to attend and contribute to giving them the experience of performing to a large audience. The Milton Keynes major has also given us support by attending our performances.
At The Redway School we strive towards raising the profile of the Creative Arts and support the pupils to embrace the experiences our curriculum provides.