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Animals and New Life

Embedding Culture and Creativity in the Curriculum

22nd February 2010 - 26th March 2010

The Using Cultural Organisations to Raise Levels of Attainment (UCORLA) project based on the theme of Animals and New Life aimed to provide reception children with access to both cultural and creative opportunities, with the support of a range of cultural partners, that linked to their topic work. As part of the project, Bolton Library lent the school fiction and non-fiction texts based on the theme of “Animals and New Life” and Bolton Museum delivered a workshop based on exploring animals, birds and reptiles with fur, feathers and scales. In addition, Bolton Library delivered a story telling session linked to this theme and Rhythm FX delivered a workshop based on creating a sound board for the life cycle of a frog and a short story about a frog. Furthermore, Activ8 delivered a drama workshop focussing on story of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and The Phoenix supported the children in creating a shadow puppet show of the story.

The teachers expressed that the range of different creative activities excited and engaged the children. They added that the expectations of the children were very high and there were few barriers in place to limit the extent of learning. The teachers also stated that the children were able to discuss life cycles at a much higher level and, when they completed the ICT based activities, they were able to demonstrate the excellent learning that had taken place. The teachers added that the whole project developed the children’s knowledge of the cultural and creative experiences that are available in Bolton.

The teachers expressed that all the children had made some progress in all areas of the EYFS and the children accessed and developed high order skills (points 7 to 9) because of the project.

The teachers expressed that the project has developed their own confidence and they now feel more able to introduce creative activities to support the curriculum topics such as the use of dance and shadow puppets. The teachers also stated that the high quality of the activities will ensure that teaching will be set at a higher level in the future and will include creative and cultural opportunities to extend teaching and learning.