Leamington Community Primary is an Artsmark status school. This means that due to the many arts and culture opportunities we provide for the children of our school, we are a Silver Artsmark school.
There are already so many arts activities that go on, on a day to day basis at Leamington, but as we believe so passionately that developing creativity is paramount to a child’s whole development, we are now striving to take this education to the next level. We want to provide our children with even more arts and culture opportunities as we move to achieve the Artsmark gold award and eventually platinum.
Meet our Leamington Arts Councillors
As part of our journey to Artsmark gold status at Leamington, we have set up an Arts Council, made up from representatives from each class in Key Stage 2. The council meet on a regular basis to discuss possible arts opportunities they could organise for the school. The children are actively involved in ideas for displays, competitions, mini projects and major school events which are influential in raising the profile of the arts across the school.
Our bespoke immersive curriculum provides opportunities for all our pupils to engage in quality texts and real-life experiences in a creative and memorable way. Art, dance, drama and music have become embedded into the curriculum and pupil’s use their interpretation to develop their own creativity and develop knowledge, skills and understanding of the world around them.
Our art curriculum is linked to our immersive curriculum and provides our pupils with the opportunities to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in the following areas:
- Digital media
We use artist studies to provide inspiration for our pupils and where possible we make links with local artists. For example, Year 2 used the works of Steph Dekker to inspire their own collages of iconic Liverpool landmarks. Steph wrote a letter to the children and sent them a signed print which is proudly hung outside their classroom.
One of the most exciting visitors that we had was Tim Quinn, the former Marvel comics illustrator, who came in with a creative writing team who worked with us on a project around superheroes. This was called Writing on the Wall.
We have an art installation in the entrance of our school, to which every child contributed, to show we value creativity at Leamington. We also have an Art Gallery where children’s work from across the school is selected to be displayed. Each term, all the children in the school visit the Art Gallery and vote on the piece of art that they like the best. We encourage children to think about colour, tone, techniques and emotional connection to the art. The winners and runners up are revealed in our whole school Celebration Assembly, which parents also attend, and they each take home their work of art, a certificate and some art supplies.
We encourage pupils to continue their creativity outside of school and often set homework tasks linked to our immersive curriculum that have a creative focus. Year 5 have recently completed some amazing Space themed pieces.
We run an after-school club in partnership with Bluecoat Chambers. The project aims to address the 5 creative habits of mind which are:
In the ‘Out of the Blue’ sessions Bettie, Elizabeth and her team deliver quality workshops and experiences for around 25 of our Year 4 and 5 pupils. They experiment with different mediums, respond to artists’ work and are encouraged to feedback their own thoughts and feelings. They also attend workshops and sessions during the school holidays and are invited to family days at Bluecoat Chambers to develop the partnership further.
At Leamington, we have excellent music provision for all our children. Each key phase has a weekly singing assembly where we sing hymns or learn new songs for our upcoming productions. Foundation stage and Key stage 1 have a weekly music lesson provided by our creative staff. Year 3 have weekly samba provision provided by Anfield Samba Kids and regularly perform for pupils and parents throughout the year. In years 4 to 6 they are learning to play guitar with Resonate Music Hub. This involves listening to, composing and performing a variety of songs.
We are also working hard to embed music within our bespoke immersive curriculum to enhance the learning of our pupils and motivate and inspire them to be creative thinkers. For example, Year 2 have recently used the lyrics from The Beatle’s song ‘Octopus’s Garden’ to inspire research and writing of information texts about sea creatures.
Each Key Phase is also learning about composers and songwriters through our ‘Composer of the Term’ project. Key Stage 1 take part in assemblies where they listen and respond to the music of a composer and learn about their life. In Stage 2, pupils have been learning about Sir Paul McCartney, and have created their own artwork in response to his music.
We held our first Music Week this year, where each year group learned to perform a song – this year it was songs from musicals – and performed them to each other in a large celebration assembly. The children also made their own musical instruments and learnt about different musical styles.
The Leamington Choir meets weekly to arrange songs and practice and then performs at a range of events including:
- Christmas Carols at Liverpool One
- Stonedale Nursing Home Christmas Sing-along
- Celebration assemblies
- X-Factor interval
- Summer/ Christmas Fair
- Liverpool Cathedral visits
- Choir Competition at St John Bosco
Dance and Drama
At Leamington we are extremely passionate about Dance. All year groups have a half term of dance provision provided by LSSP. We have 3 qualified dance teachers on our staff and we love to bring learning to life through this art form. Drama activities are embedded across the curriculum and are often used as a vehicle for learning. Our staff have had lots of training on how to use drama conventions effectively to ensure excitement, enthusiasm and engagement in all areas of the curriculum. Narrative Immersion, Mantle of the Expert and Talk for Writing are a few of the initiatives we use to enhance learning.
Throughout the year, the children have the opportunity to watch awe-inspiring plays held at school and at various locations around the city. We feel this is paramount to children’s cultural education. This year we enjoyed a fabulous performance of ‘Aladdin’ from M&M Productions.
At the end each Autumn and Summer term, we celebrate with a KS2 school performance which incorporates singing, music, dance and drama. In the past, these performances have included A Christmas Carol, Oliver, The Lion King, The Greatest Showman and the The Little Mermaid.
KS1 perform an annual all-singing all-dancing Christmas Nativity and EYFS have a sing-along where parents are encouraging to also get into the groove. Reception use music and dance as part of their morning routine. During ‘Wake up and Shake up’ the children jump, dance and sing to popular songs like YMCA to get them ready to learn.
We had a visit from CV Active Claire who taught all the children dances from different cultures.
Leamington Productions is our amazing after-school dance and drama club that is always very active. This year they have been involved in the following activities:
- Artsmark Assembly
- Scream it’s Halloween at the Empire Theatre
- Now Festival at the Epstein Theatre
- Jack and the Beanstalk
- Mental Health Workshops
Celebrating Cultural Diversity
We are very lucky to live in a city with so many cultural opportunities and we take full advantage of these by providing the pupils with as many culturally diverse experiences as possible. Here are the highlights from this year:
- Museum visits
Year 5 visited Spaceport to enhance their learning about the solar system.
Year 2 visited The Beatles Story to finish off their unit on the fab four.
Year 2 visited the Museum of Liverpool to study Ben Johnson’s ‘Liverpool Skyline’ painting and to partake in their own sketches and a collage workshop.
Year 5 visited The World Museum to enhance their learning about Ancient Egypt.
Year 3 enjoyed an exciting visit from John Hill who was an archaeologist from the university of Liverpool. He showcased some incredible Stone Age artefacts and told amazing stories about how they lived so long ago!
Year 4 have had an spectacular afternoon watching the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra. We learnt about British Values through music, looked at where composers lived, listened to music inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, sang as a choir and even had a little dance to the music.
- Historic Sites
Year 6 visited the atmospheric WW2 tunnels to really understand what life was like in the past.
Year 2 visited St. George’s Hall to find out where the Big Bad Wolf was awaiting trial for blowing down the pigs’ houses.
- Local Area
Year 3 visited the local park to find out how the area has changed.
Year 1 visited the local park and used their map-reading skills to find their way home.
- Themed activities in school
The whole school participated in arts and crafts activities during Anti-bullying week to raise awareness of the issues affecting young people.
Chinese New Year was celebrated with a special lunch menu, a dragon dance and lots of fortune cookies!
On 4th February Leamington School celebrated its 90th birthday and the children were transported back to the 1920s where they had to sit in rows, do drill on the yard and exist for a whole morning without technology!
We have worked hard to build partnerships with different organisations across our city and beyond. This helps us to continue to offer our pupils culturally diverse experiences. These include:
- Primary Schools Network
- Bluecoat Chambers
- Dot Art
- Barcelona School Links
- Anfield Samba Kids
- Primary Arts Network
- Resonate Music Hub
Annual Arts Events at Leamington
There is always something going on at Leamington. Our Facebook page is full of images celebrating success in the arts. We are so proud of our pupils and everything they achieve. Here are the highlights:
- Leamington’s Got Talent
- X- Factor
- Easter Art Competition
- East Bonnet/ Eggsessories Parade
- Year 6 Leavers Show
- Year 6 Fancy Dress
- Class Assemblies
- Transition Week
- Aspirations Week
- Enterprise Week
- Music Week
- Science Week
- Summer School
- Anti-Bullying Week