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The Seaside 1

Embedding Culture and Creativity in the Curriculum

1st April 2010 - 31st July 2010

The Using Cultural Organisations to Raise Levels of Attainment (UCORLA) project based on the theme of the seaside aimed to provide year 1 children with access to both cultural and creative opportunities, with the support of a range of cultural partners, that linked to their work during Literacy, Science, ICT, History, Geography, Art, DT and PSHE. As part of the project, Bolton Library lent the school fiction and non-fiction texts based on the theme of The Seaside and delivered a seaside storytelling session at the library. During this session, the facilitator read the story of “The Rainbow Fish” to the children. The children then created a scale to put on a large Rainbow Fish. In addition, Bolton Museum delivered a workshop on underwater life and the children visited the aquarium for fish feeding session. Furthermore, the Phoenix delivered a dance workshop based on the text “The Rainbow Fish” and Artists in Schools delivered a mark making on clay using shells and other seaside related objects. The Phoenix also delivered a Punch and Judy workshop. Moreover, Bolton Museum delivered a seaside workshop in the school and Artists in Schools delivered a rhyming poetry workshop based on the theme of the seaside. 

The teacher expressed that the project had a very positive impact on the children’s learning adding that it made them take a more active role in their learning and encouraged them to ask questions, thus increasing their abilities in speaking and listening. She also stated that the use of a variety of experiences ensured that every child’s learning style was catered for. Furthermore, she conveyed that the children enjoyed different people coming in to the classroom and the practical work often aided their memory.

In addition, the teacher expressed that observing the cultural and creative specialists deliver the workshop has had a positive impact on her own approach to teaching and, in some cases, raised her expectations of the children, for example during the poetry workshop delivered by Artists in Schools. She also stated that the project aided her planning, particularly for writing, as she perceived how many of the activities built up to the written work. For example, after the dance workshop, the children created their own music and dance for five new characters, about which they wrote a story.

Furthermore, the teacher expressed that an assembly based on the project was presented to the school and the parents. Thus, the teaching methods were demonstrated and it reinforced the need for creative activities such a dance and music to support imaginative thinking leading to effective story writing. Future staff meetings will include the project’s approach to planning and raising attainment in writing.