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Embedding Culture and Creativity in the Curriculum

2nd November 2009 - 6th November 2009

The Using Cultural Organisations to Raise Levels of Attainment (UCORLA) project based on Celebrations 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 work in Communication, Language and Literacy Development, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Knowledge and Understanding of the World, Physical Development and Creative Development. As part of the project, Bolton Library lent the school fiction and non-fiction books based on the theme of “Festivals and Celebrations” and Activ8 delivered three early years drama sessions to both the reception and the nursery children based on different celebrations. In addition, the Phoenix supported the children in exploring four different celebrations further and created and filmed a shadow puppet show based on the different celebrations and Bolton Library delivered a story telling session based on light and dark.

  • The teacher expressed that the children thrived on the different activities throughout the project. She observed the children applying some of the things they had done and seen in independent learning opportunities, for example, the children used the boxes and scarves provided by Activ8. In addition, the teacher commented that the children used related vocabulary both in conversation with staff members and with each other. She also expressed that the shadow puppet theatre workshop prompted children to make their own puppets in the craft workshop which they linked to Christmas and Diwali. She noted throughout the week that some of the less confident and quieter children joined in with the activities far more readily than she had previously seen and were keen to talk about what they had done. The teacher also commented that the celebration at the end of the week’s events was well attended by families and the children were very keen to show their parents what they had done throughout the week.

  • The teacher added that the photographs and puppet show film footage were used as part of an assessment task a few weeks later, during which the children became very animated and could recall lots of detail from the activities including factual information from the different festivals that were covered. Some children were able to recall which festival they were involved in and what they did during the filming. Furthermore, the teacher stated that she aims to plan in more drama related activities similar to those conducted by Activ8 in her delivery of future topics.