Students at Warwick’s Heathcote Primary School presented an epic festival at their school this week. It brought students across all year groups together to learn new art skills and find out about different cultures.
Last year, students took part in arts workshops with Shout Out for the Arts and as a result, an arts idea was born – to host a week-long ‘Arts 4 All Festival’ that would engage the whole school.
“We believe that the arts can make someone really happy inside – the arts can bring lots of people together.”Heathcote Primary School students
Each year group has been working closely with local artists in specialist fields to experiment with new artforms.
Art themes included storytelling, dance, drama, sculpting, pottery, didgeridoo, Bhangra and so much more.
“The sessions with me have been about the children being part of a shared space, a collaboration and shared experience. Stories invite us to listen, there is no right or wrong and the space is safe to allow for exploration of feeling. I love the energy of young children, how eager they are to follow you on a journey and see from a perspective I have lost over time. It is exciting and every time I share stories with children I see myself and the artform in new ways.”Kate from Kate’s Storytree, working with pupils in Reception
After months of hard work and weeks of workshopping with external artists, the students invited their families into the school for a showcase day, to share their new passions and creations with the outside world.
Creativity is key
Gill Humphriss, Executive Head Teacher for Heathcote Primary School said:
“Giving children the opportunity to showcase their creativity is key to their development – it shows them that are many different industries out there, and that there are jobs out there in the arts industry. It is our school philosophy to show a child that there are many different things for them to do when they grow up, especially jobs that allow them to express themselves. It is part of our curriculum to not just support them to stretch their abilities but also think outside the box.”
Around the world
The festival week hasn’t just been about art but also immersing the students in different countries. Each year group looked at their artform with regards to a specific culture.
For example, alongside their Bhangra classes, years 5 and 6 also read famous stories from Indian culture, painted mehndi onto their hands, created a giant Taj Mahal for the classroom and learnt about Indian music and history.
Everything we do at Shout Out for the Arts is youth-led and this festival was no different, with the children’s input and ideas driving the entire thing forward.
“The best thing about this festival is that it has been the children’s idea. The whole festival has come from them, not me, not the teachers, not anyone else. And that’s what Shout Out for the Arts is all about – listening to what children have to say about the art they want in their schools. This fesitval is facilitating their leadership, which is the entire mission of this programme.”Amy, Programme Manager, Shout Out for the Arts
This week, Heathcote Primary was selected as BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire’s Star School, and pupils had a slot on the morning show every day in the lead up to their arts showcase. You can catch their first feature online at 2:43:17 and listen to the rest of the week too.
And if running a daily radio show wasn’t enough, students who were passionate about photography and filmography also played an important media role and helped film a trailer at the school this week. They learnt how to write a brief document for a videographer, talk to camera, hold equipment, film, capture sound and more.
The final showcase
Today, Friday 3rd March, as the hallways of Heathcote Primary were buzzing with the sound of students sharing their different art creations, it was clear that this festival had brought such an energy to the students, making an imprint that could last a lifetime.
Well done to everyone – never stop creating!
Related blogs about this school:
- Heathcote’s arts festival, made by students, for students!
- A youth-led board meeting with Heathcote
- Why the arts matters to Heathcote
Photos: Shout Out for the Arts