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Visual Arts in the Foundation Stage in Bolton

Embedding Culture and Creativity in the Curriculum

11th January 2010 - 14th May 2010

The Using Cultural Organisations to Raise Levels of Attainment (UCORLA) projects based on the themes of “Celebrating our Differences” (Alexandra Nursery) and “Traditional Tales and Fairy Tales” (Haslam Park C.P. School) aimed to provide foundation stage children with access to both cultural and creative opportunities, with the support of a range of cultural partners, that linked to their topic work across all areas of learning from the Early Years Foundation Stage framework (EYFS).

As part of the projects, Artists in Schools delivered two half day workshops in both schools. The first workshop provided the children with the opportunity to explore how to make marks on clay using a wide variety of tools and household objects and the second workshop provided the children with the opportunity to continue to make marks on clay by adding colour to their tiles. These workshops linked closely to the Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED), Physical Development (PD) and Creative Development (CD) areas of the EYFS framework.


The teacher at Alexandra Nursery stated that the workshops provided a fabulous opportunity for the children to explore malleable materials and engage in activities that developed their hand-eye co-ordination and their creative and imaginative skills.

One child at the Alexandra Nursery was so engrossed in the workshop that he crafted his own undersea environment from the clay and created a story about it as he continued to manipulate the clay.

The teacher at Haslam Park expressed that the artist provided the children with a variety of excellent mark making tools and, even though the workshops were led by the children, the artist offered great guidance to the children. Thus, the children produced fantastic individual pieces which were mounted onto a whole class plaque.

Of the 180 children that took part in the workshops, 98% made progress in PSED, 96% made progress in PD and 87% made progress in CD.