Hawkinge Primary - A sense of self

Hawkinge Primary School- Reception- A sense of self

At the beginning of the term the children at Hawkinge Primary School were asked ‘What is Art?’ to find out how much they knew. Fair to say the children didn’t know about all the different aspects of the Arts. Here are a few of the children’s responses:

The children were asked the same question at the end of Term 4 and their responses were very different. The children understood that the Arts included more than just drawing a picture, as a class they could think of a range of different Art activities that they had taken part in over the last couple of terms.  The children were then asked to draw a picture of something in the Arts that they enjoyed taking part in.


In term 3 the children in Reception at Hawkinge Primary School were learning all about Chinese New Year. The children took part in many different Art activities throughout the term, here are a few of the Art activities the children explored:

  • Making their own Chinese dragon out of junk modelling,
  • Chinese dragon dancing. The children had a visiting dance teacher to teach them Chinese dancing.
  • Making Chinese lanterns using sponge printing,
  • The Great Race role-play. After listening to the story about The Great Race children re-enacted the story using props and masks they had made.
  • Puppets to re-enact The Great Race,
  • The class read the Willow Pattern story, they talked about the meaning of the story and made their own Paper Mache plates with a willow pattern on.
  • The children had a travel agents role-play set up in the classroom.

The children thoroughly enjoyed learning about Chinese New Year, they compared many different aspects of Chinese New Year with our own celebrations.

“I liked it because I loved the music”


“We danced along to the music”.


“I liked the dragon dance because it was fun and it scares evil spirits away”.


“I enjoyed the lantern parade”.



What impact has the Arts had?

We looked and compared the data from the two Reception classes in the middle of the Spring term. The class carrying out the Discover Art Award had made 85 points progress for Being Imaginative and 77 for Exploring and using media and materials. The class not carrying out the Arts Award had made less progress in the Arts.

The table below shows the data on entry and the exit data in the middle of the Spring term.


Exploring and using media and materials

Entry data Number of children Exit data
22-36D 3
22-36S 3
30-50B 28
30-50D 15 1
30-50 S 1
40-60B 0
40-60D 39
40-60S 12



Being imaginative

Entry data Number of children Exit data
22-36D 1
22-36S 5
30-50B 42
30-50D 11 0
30-50 S 1
40-60B 8
40-60D 22
40-60S 25


We will continue to make the Arts a focus point in our school next year. I would like to continue with the Discover award in Reception and move onto Explore.

Greatstone Primary - A Sense of Self

Arts Award 2015/16 Case Study – Greatstone Primary

As a class teacher with 29 children in my class, I have an open plan classroom alongside my colleague who has 21 Reception Class children and 8 years ones. When we join any type of project, it is always a case of all or nothing, therefore, our project started with 50 Reception children and 8 Year Ones. When we began this project, our aim was to introduce the children to different types of art and encourage them to have a go for themselves, actually in the belief that as an Early Years team, we already access a great deal of art and that this project would, therefore, in some ways support our current practice. As a team, we decided that due to the fact that the theme was to be, “A Sense of Self,” we wanted, wherever possible to use adults who were already involved in some form of art, who were, also, in some way related/known to the children. This just seemed to then bring the whole project home for our very small children.
We began the project by asking the children what they new about the term ‘art’ and were given responses mainly surrounding painting and drawing. Through conversation we then employed a tattoo artist (parent), a cake decorator (professional but also a teacher), a tap dancer (again a current teacher), a salsa dancer (teacher) and a set designer (Site Manager of the school). We also looked at chromatography alongside a science TA, as well as ocarina players from Year 4, throughout all of which the children were able to have a go and take part.
One little boy aged five at the moment, joined our school last September having been fostered by a local family after a really rather disrupted start in life. He came to us with a number of issues, including Autism and ADHD, which can of course, both make new and unfamiliar situations events really rather uncomfortable for him. He also suffers from a sensory processing disorder which makes holding pencils difficult (he uses Ipads mostly at school to write at present) and has huge food related issues which limit the things he will both eat and touch.
In his time with us, child D has made amazing progress, writing with the use of an Ipad, joining in activities which we initially would think he would shy away from and accepting the adults within the room as safe, which have all impacted greatly on his behaviour, relationships and progress.
The Arts Award project has given Child D the opportunity to explore dance (with adults and children that are familiar but not present in our day to day life), set design in a workshop who is unfamiliar, although familiar through the life of the school and is not a daily appearance in his life and meeting and drawing with a tattoo artist, one who is actually very unfamiliar indeed. Child D coped with all this exciting experiences and took part in them all with enthusiasm, although perhaps a little reluctant with the dancing, but then a lot of the boys were initially. He was able to work as a group to complete a line dance which was amazing too.

D spending time dancing with the dance teacher.
However, the aspect which really stood out for his teacher and supporting adults was the session in which the children watched a cake being professionally decorated and were then able to do one of their own. This involved icing tubes, royal icing and an area which was absolutely covered in icing sugar to prevent everything from sticking to the tables so was very messy. Child D watched the demonstration on how to do this and then got stuck in! He was testing the icing by licking his fingers and had no fear of getting messy at all and joined in and completed the task. This was a real leap forward for us and all the adults who know him well had a sneaky little observe of him getting quite so messy, it was that fabulous to watch.

D helping to make the rocket boosters.
When planning activities in the classroom, we are always aware of the needs and concerns of children and whether without the project we would have done such a task without something differentiated for him especially (although there are others), is something I do look back and wonder, but I am ever so glad now the project lent itself to such a fun task and such a rewarding one too.

D joining in and listening to the artist talk about his work and while the others examine a rubber hand used for tattoo practice.
In a letter written on the 3rd March, Mum says, “He has since shown an interest in cookery and has wanted to make and taste cookies which he has made, wow what a breakthrough!”
The whole project has been a huge success and we look forward to beginning it again, this time with Year 5.

Palmarsh Primary - Exit Art Survey

Exit  Art Survey – Palmarsh Primary School

December 2015 (after arts day on 30th November and half a term of homework linked to art)

Results Year on Year


  1. Do you like art?
I love it 18
It is good 2
It is OK 2
It is boring  
I don’t like it  


  1. How many different art forms can you write down
Building Mosaic
Sculpture Painting
Drawing Music


  1. What artists do you know? Write them down


  1. How do you feel about the art you do?
I am proud of it 19
I enjoy creating it but it could be better 2
I find art difficult 1
I am not good at art  


Year 1&2

  1. Do you like art?
I love it 23
It is good 1
It is OK 2
It is boring  
I don’t like it  


  1. How many different art forms can you write down
Self portraits Drawing – charcoal


  1. What artists do you know? Write them down
Melissa McCracken Henry Matisse
Van Gogh  


  1. How do you feel about the art you do?
I am proud of it 14
I enjoy creating it but it could be better 2
I find art difficult 1
I am not good at art 5


Year 3

  1. Do you like art?
I love it 21
It is good  
It is OK 2
It is boring  
I don’t like it  


  1. How many different art forms can you write down


  1. What artists do you know? Write them down
Leonardo Di Vinci Ansel Adams
Vincent Van Gogh Henri Matisse
Melissa McCracken  


  1. How do you feel about the art you do?
I am proud of it 12
I enjoy creating it but it could be better 11
I find art difficult  
I am not good at art  

Year 4

  1. Do you like art?
I love it 12
It is good  
It is OK 2
It is boring  
I don’t like it  


  1. How many different art forms can you write down
Drawing with pencil, charcoal  
Dance Graffiti
Origami Printing
Photography Sculpture


  1. What artists do you know? Write them down
Georgia O’Keefe Ansel Adams
Henry Matisse Mellissa McCracken
Mr Maker Giuseppe Arcimboldo


  1. How do you feel about the art you do?
I am proud of it 10
I enjoy creating it but it could be better 2
I find art difficult  
I am not good at art 2


Year 5 and 6

  1. Do you like art?
I love it 20
It is good 4
It is OK 2
It is boring  
I don’t like it  


  1. How many different art forms can you write down
sculptures Painting
Printing Pastels
Sketching Drawing – charcoal
Mosaics Photography
Wood, ice or stone carving Graffiti


  1. What artists do you know? Write them down
Anthony Gormley Henri Matisse
Guiseppe Arcimboldo Melissa McCracken
Walt Disney Vincent Van Gogh
Pablo Picasso Leonardo Di Vinci
Andy Warhol  


  1. How do you feel about the art you do?
I am proud of it 16
I enjoy creating it but it could be better 8
I find art difficult 2
I am not good at art  


Overall across the school

  1. Do you like art?
  Baseline After Arts Day
I love it 77 – 69%                        90 – 84%
It is good 21 – 19% 7 –  7%
It is OK 9 – 8% 10 – 9%
It is boring 2 – 2% 0
I don’t like it 2 – 2% 0


 How many different art forms can you write down

Painting Cutting
Drawing Chalking
Making Acting
Gluing and sticking  
After Arts Day
Painting Sculpture
Drawing – pencil, charcoal Singing
Printing Origami
Dance Music
Printing Photography
Cooking Carving
Paper Mache Graffiti
Wax Acting
Digital art  


            What artists do you know? Write them down

Andy Warhol – 11% Leonardo Di Vinci –9%
Vincent Van Gogh 17% Pablo Picasso –  4%
Henry Matisse – 4% Georgia O’Keefe – 5%
Don’t know/blank – 50% Walt Disney –  1%
After Arts Day
Andy Warhol – 3% Leonardo Di Vinci – 5%
Vincent Van Gogh – 13% Pablo Picasso – 2%
Henry Matisse – 10% Georgia O’Keefe –5%
Don’t know/blank – 2% Melissa McCracken – 40%
Giuseppe Arcimboldi  Ansel Adams – 4%
Walt Disney – 1% Mr Maker – 10%
Antony Gormley – 2%  



How do you feel about the art you do?

  Baseline After Arts Day
I am proud of it 58 – 67% 71 – 67%
I enjoy creating it but it could be better 17 – 20% 25 – 23%
I find art difficult 5 – 6% 4 – 4%
I am not good at art 6 – 7% 7 – 6%


Seabrook Primary - A Sense of Self

Seabrook CE Primary School

A Sense of Self Case Study

A Reception and Year 1/2 class took part in a series of art activities focussing on the questions ‘What is art?’ and ‘What is an artist?’ with the underlying focus to develop a child’s sense of self through a range of art-forms.  As part of their project they explored a variety of Arts, either firsthand or online.  They were shown clips of musical theatre, pantomime, ballet, street dance, sculpture, performance poetry and artwork.  The children explored the similarities and differences and discussed what they thought made them all ‘art’.  Interesting answers ensued and prompted a discussion about professional artist and those who enjoy art and whether they are both ‘artists’.

Following on from these discussions, we visited local artist Shane Record who showed the children his studio gallery and shared with them what motivated him to paint, why he paints and how he paints.  Following on from this, the children also explored the collage work of Henri Matisse and of nature print artist Laura Bethmann.  The children then took part in open-ended collage and nature printing workshops, inspired by these artists.  They played with colour, texture and shape without the constraints of producing a finished product.

After the workshop morning, the two classes took part in a couple of circle time sessions.  The first session centred around discussing the children’s ideas around art, artists and their response to the art activities they had taken part in.  Having looked at three very different artists, the children gave their opinions on what artists’ work they preferred.  They talked about the style and subject of each artists’ work.  Finally they discussed the artwork they created during the workshop sessions- they discussed whether they enjoyed it, what they thought of their work and where they might go next with it (if at all- there was no obligation to return to it at all).

In the second session, the children were asked to bring in from home three things which showed who they are.  The items brought in ranged from family photos, favourite teddies and toys to pebbles from a favourite beach and a favourite music CD.  The children got a chance to share their items, talk about why they chose them and how they show who they are.  They then took part in a visualisation exercise.  Each child was asked to describe what they could see out of their bedroom window.  As expected there were a great range of different views from their windows.  We discussed that because we live in different places, each window showed a different view.  Finally the children put their items behind curtains and revealed them by opening the curtains.  The children talked about similarities and differences and reflected on their ‘window’ and the view into their lives and who they are.

Finally each child produced a self portrait on canvas board using acrylic paint.  They looked carefully at their appearance and selected colours appropriately.  The self portraits were used to create individual panes in a ‘Window’ art installation which was displayed in school.  Behind each pane was a photo of each childs’ personal items they had brought in and a quote from them about how each item show who they are.  The children shared their work to the school in a special assembly and invited parents to view the installation too.

Over the course of the project four children were closely observed.  Each child was asked the same questions before the commencement of the project and at the end, after sharing their work with the school:  What is art?  What is an artist?  What is art for?  Do you like art?  Their answers are recorded verbatim.  During the workshop activities they were closely observed and their levels of wellbeing and involvement were measured using the Leuven scale.

Child A


“Art is something creative that you make.”

“An artist is someone who makes things…  people buy their pictures.”

“Art is for… I don’t know…  you look at art and, kind of, I don’t know!”

“I like drawing but I’m not very good and I… yeah I like art.”


Child A was slow to begin her work and spent time watching what others were doing first.  She then was quite careful in her approach to both activities although she appeared less enthusiastic during the nature printing as she didn’t want to get messy.  She demonstrated more energy during the collage activity and talked about her work confidently- her work was more defined and she actually created a picture which she seemed pleased with, whereas her nature printing was far more experimental with no defined outcome.  Her level of wellbeing and involvement varied between the two activities- scoring highly in both for the collage activity and slightly less so for the nature printing.


“Art is something you create.  It can be anything really but it is creative and special.”

“An artist is someone who makes pieces of art, not everyone likes the art they make but they make it because they like it.”

“Art is for people to enjoy.  Sometimes people do art because they enjoy it, not just because they sell their art.”

“Yes (I like art).  I liked doing my self portrait and I liked making the collage. I don’t always like it because sometimes it’s too hard and I get a bit, a bit ‘arrgh’!”

Child B


“Art is what you make when you’re painting or drawing.”

“An artist is someone who… Um… three things: they train really hard to be good at art; they sell their work and put it in… um, special places to show their art.”

“Art is for… I’m not sure.  People buy art and sometimes go and see paintings in a, in a gallery.”

“I don’t like art.  But I like drawing sometimes.”


Child B enjoyed getting stuck in to the workshop activities.  He enjoyed the nature printing and explored a range of shapes, colours and textures.  He appeared to enjoy the process more than the outcome as his work quickly became over-crowded and layered.  He exclaimed frequently about the shapes and patterns the different objects were creating and paid little attention to what other children were doing.  Similarly with the collage, he enjoyed tearing and cutting the paper.  He seemed less keen on this process but enjoyed seeing what shapes he could tear and describing what his work looked like.  He scored highly in wellbeing and involvement levels on the Leuven scale.


“Art is something people create.  They have an idea and they show it by drawing or painting or, or, or, sometimes, sometimes art is dancing or acting.”

“An artist is somebody who makes art.”

“Art is for… looking at.  People look at it and they think about the picture or whatever they’ve made.  It makes them think sometimes.”

“Um, I like art.  I really like art.  I like making things and getting messy and sometimes I like it when we get to show our work like we did with our window.”

Child C


“Art is… when you do painting.”

“An artist is somebody who makes pictures and paints things.”

“Art is for… I don’t know.”

“Yes (I like art).  I like painting.”


Child C seemed unsure about both workshop activities, approaching both by observing what others do first.  He was very careful and methodical in both the nature printing and collage.  He did not wish to get messy and asked to wash his hands in the middle of both activities.  He didn’t identify a picture or finished product in either pieces of work but seemed to enjoy the process.   He showed moderate levels of both involvement and wellbeing on the Leuven scales.


“Art is… drawing pictures, making paintings, sometimes you can do collage.”

“An artist makes pictures and paintings and they paint stuff like the seaside and people.”

“Art is for making things- you can make pictures and paintings but sometimes you can look at somebody else’s paintings.  You can go to a gallery.”

“I like art.  I like it when you get mix colours in the paint and then you stir it round and it makes another colour.”

Child D


“Art is something creative.  You can be creative in lots of different ways, you can sing, paint, dance.  Anything really can be art.”

“An artist can be anyone who makes something- you can be an artist or me.  I might paint a picture and then I’m being an artist…. Sometimes people are artists who make a living being artists.  They sell their work or people pay them to make a piece of art.”

“Art is for enjoying.  You can enjoy doing art or looking at art.  Sometimes art is for telling a story like in a play or the ballet.”

“Yes I like art.  I like being creative, I can imagine something in my mind and then I try and make it.”


Child D enjoyed both workshop activities.  She enjoyed the process and quickly developed an idea after a few experimental attempts.  She was keen for her work to look like something and this shaped her experience as she became a little frustrated when the nature printing smudged and her picture was ‘spoiled’.  She talked in detail about her pictures and how and what she had done to create her art work.  She showed high levels of involvement and wellbeing.


“Art is being creative, it can be anything and you use your imagination to do it.  Art is about lots of different ways to do things or say things.  Like, I won’t draw the same picture of a house as you, because I’m different.  But our pictures are still art.”

“An artist is somebody who creates something- they could be a musician and play a piece of music or dance to some music, or, or, paint a picture, a collage.   We can all be artists because we can all be creative.  But I’m not a proper artist because they are really talented and get paid for their art.”

“Art is for showing different things in different ways.  Like, Shane Record shows he loves Folkestone by painting it and he paints things he likes.  Like the painting of his breakfast.  I liked that one.  Art can also be for other people to enjoy.  Like, I enjoyed going to the gallery and seeing his paintings, or maybe somebody else enjoys going to the pantomime or singing or dancing.”

“I really like art.  I think it’s important because you get to be creative and there are no rules- like, you can make anything.  It doesn’t matter if you think you’re not very good or whatever, it just matters that you enjoy what you’re doing and it’s special to you.”

Child A, B, C and D all took part in sharing their Window installation.  Their sense of ownership of the project was apparent and they talked happily and confidently about the project.  They shared their favourite parts of the project and could explain what the window of self portraits represents.  It is clear that throughout the project, the children’s understanding of what art is and the role of an artist has deepened.  They have begun to make links between their life experience and other artists’ work.  They have developed their sense of what types of art they enjoy and their awareness of themselves as unique individuals with differing opinions, perspectives, tastes and abilities.  Art is notoriously hard to define and these children have begun a journey to understanding the subjective nature of art and, simultaneously, are developing and strengthening their sense of ‘self’ through opportunities that enable them to express themselves in a wide range of artistic mediums.



Cheriton Primary School: A Sense of Self

Cheriton Primary School:
A Sense of Self

Cheriton Primary School is situated on the western edge of the seaside town of Folkestone, Kent with over 400 children on roll. It is currently 3-form intake in Year R and Year 1, and 2-form intake throughout the rest of the school.
There is an above national average percentage of children with EAL, with over 30 languages spoken within the school. A high number of EAL children are Nepali and are based at the local barracks.
The school does not currently have an Artsmark Award but are going through the process of applying for Gold level with the aim to work towards Platinum.
When starting the initial application for Artsmark, we looked towards the Silver bracket, but the more we thought about the provision we provided across the range of arts, we soon began to realise that we already work within the Gold bracket with elements of Platinum. In our Statement of Commitment, we explain how we plan to improve our arts provision and secure a Platinum standard.
After having taken part in this project, A Sense of Self, the children in Year R will have each achieved an Arts Award at ‘Discover’ level.

Step 1: What is art?

The children were asked this question before starting the project, ‘A Sense of Self’. We then asked the children the same question after they had taken part in art workshops and had a go at creating their own art pieces. There are a total of 80 children in Year R. The graph below shows the data collected when questioning the children.


Series 1: Before project data Series 2: After project data
As you can see, a wider range of arts were given as answers in the second round of questioning. The children were more aware of the concept of the arts being a much broader subject and not purely confined to art lessons. The children enjoyed partaking in a range of art activities from drawing, painting and making to dancing, singing and drama.

What is an artist?


Before the project, when asked what an artist is, the children gave these answers:
After the project, when asked the same questions, the children gave these additional answers:

Confidence in Art


As part of the project we wanted to measure the children’s confidence in art. Once children realised that art was not just about drawing, many children felt much more confident in their abilities as an artist. They have become more confident in their own artistic abilities and expressing their own opinions about art.

Series 1: Before project data Series 2: After project data

Confidence in Learning

As part of the project we also wanted to see if there was a change in children’s confidence in their general learning. Learning new things and seeing the trial and error approach artists use in creating great art, the children saw that it is ok to make mistakes and try again and that learning new things can be fun!


Step 2, 3 & 4: Discovering an Artist

The children enjoyed a visit from ‘The Mighty Zulu Nation,’ an African dance troupe. They spoke to the children about their culture and heritage and the art forms of their tribes, especially dancing, singing and music. The Zulus shared their art with the children and encouraged them to join in. The children were able to talk to the Zulus and ask them questions.
The week in which the Zulus came to visit, the children took part in ‘MADD Week’ – Music, Art, Dance and Drama. The children went to a variety of teacher-led workshops where they took part in a range of arts. The children were able to attend a total of 5 different workshops. Their work was displayed in the hall and the children were given the opportunity to present what they had learnt from the experience.


Step 5: Present and Evaluate
Children were given the opportunity to present and evaluate their work. They talked about their work with their peers and other children and adults within the school. The children wrote and gave letters to the Zulus thanking them for all they had taught the children about the arts.
The Overall Outcome of the Project
Data was collected from Year R for the creative arts goals in the Foundation Stage. We collected the data from this time this year and the same time last year in a hope to look for any trends. Looking at the charts below you can see that, on average, in this year’s data the children have achieved higher than children at the same time last year.