Arts Policy



Written by: Jane Ryder and Danny Howden

Approved by Governing Body: 14th October 2014

Review date: October 2017


Mission Statement

‘Making memories that last a lifetime’.

The Arts At Sidegate

‘More than a wet Friday afternoon activity.’


  • Foster and nurture a passion and love for the arts that extends to all of our children, their families, staff and the wider school community. At Sidegate we place cultural experiences at the heart of our pupils lives for the duration of their time with us, providing opportunities that will inspire, inform, stimulate and challenge our pupils to be inquisitive, persistent, imaginative, disciplined and collaborative learners.

  • Provide an inclusive, rich, vibrant and exciting extra-curricular arts programme which is available to all children, ensuring they are given every opportunity to apply and practice skills in an extensive range of planned practical contexts such as; music ensemble groups, visual art clubs, dance clubs, photography, multimedia and drama. Their achievements are celebrated and accredited through schemes such as Arts Award and ABRSM Music Medals.

  • Ensure that children are physically, socially, emotionally and intellectually engaged through the creative curriculum so that their experience of the arts at Sidegate will transfer into memories for our children that will last a lifetime.

Our Vision For The Future

  • To have an arts based curriculum that permeates every aspect of learning.

  • To become a centre of excellence for arts including high quality facilities for all areas.

  • To become a leading school in arts education and a training centre in these specialist areas.

  • To become an extended school at the centre of the community.

Delivering The Vision

Arts at Sidegate is well supported and valued by governors, senior leadership and teaching staff. The arts are given priority in our school improvement plan and are central to action planning across the curriculum. Subject leaders, in sharing visions for their own subject areas, demonstrate their commitment to using creative arts as a tool for teaching and learning. For example, in history it is part of our culture to use drama to explore the past, children curate a history museum, they act as journalists to report events of the past and use digital media to present news broadcasts and documentaries.


Aims and Objectives



To ensure all pupils experience the richness of a broad and sustained arts curriculum

  • To provide a minimum of 12% of curriculum time dedicated to the arts including art and design, dance, drama and music at Key Stages 1 and 2.

To provide every student with opportunity to be inspired by the arts and achieve success through the arts

  • Offer opportunities for children/young people to take the Arts Award through the formal curriculum and extracurricular activities.

  • Provide a minimum of one extra-curricular arts activity for Year 2 children.

  • Provide a minimum of three extra-curricular arts activities for all children at Key Stage 2 .

To strengthen partnerships and build new partnership for collaborations which make a small difference but have a massive impact.

  • Establish and build on contacts/partnerships within commerce and industry in our local community.

  • Plan programmes and other events with partner schools to sustain and increase opportunities for all.

  • Provide opportunities for the wider community of the school (staff, governors, parents and other carers, local schools industry, etc) to have access to our school’s arts programme through performances, workshops, exhibitions, concerts and the internet offering at least one of these each term.

To nurture artistic talent and develop the creative use of imagination, risk taking, cooperation, tenacity, flexibility and responsibility, as well as leadership and entrepreneurial skills

  • Systematically apply all previously listed objectives.

  • Provide opportunities for our children to influence what is included in our provision in the arts (eg through the student council which meets each month).

  • Provide our students with access to opportunities that celebrate their achievements in the arts including through the Arts Award.

  • Provide opportunities for young people to create, develop and market performance events.

  • Ensure young people are exposed to partnerships with artists and arts organisations, Arts award, and events.

Musical Performance

All children are given the opportunity to perform in assemblies, productions and concerts throughout the academic year.

During a normal academic year:

Each class leads an assembly.

Reception children sing Christmas Songs to parents.

Years 1&2 perform a nativity-style musical.

Year 3 perform a musical.

Year 6 perform a musical.

A termly concert and/or assembly is held for all musicians.

The school choirs perform at musical events.

Music In The School

Music at Sidegate is led and taught by a music specialist. Teaching promotes a high degree of subject knowledge and practical performance is placed at the heart of lessons. The music curriculum is designed to ensure that pupils acquire skills in a systematic and progressive way, building on skills at each stage of their learning. Music lessons are structured to continuously develop performance, composition and listening skills so that children become confident and well rounded musicians. Pupils develop an appreciation of a wide range of musical styles, including the work of composers and performers past and present. Children explore their rich and diverse musical heritage and develop an appreciation of the significant contribution that music makes to cultures and religions across the whole world. Children listen to music critically and describe what they hear using accurate musical vocabulary. In music lessons at Sidegate all children are given the opportunity to compose, improvise, sing and play a wide variety of instruments. They are taught to plan, create and perform their work like a musician and communicate their musical ideas using standard musical notation.

The music department works in collaboration with the Suffolk Music Hub and all pupils in KS2 receive one full year of instrumental first access (whole class ensemble teaching). In addition to this the school provides opportunities for children to learn to play other instruments with professional peripatetic  music teachers.

Art and Design In The School

Art is coordinated by an art specialist. Staff are supported and encouraged to teach art skills through the use of a wide range of materials in order to develop skills and techniques.

Students build on skills acquired throughout EYFS, KS1 and KS2. Developing the elements of art and design are an integral part of each art lesson. Similarly, value is placed upon making links to art history and the students are encouraged to have a good knowledge of artists both past and present. Making cross-curricular links to support class work is also prioritised. We see that it is important for students to both be inspired by and enjoy the arts.

At Sidegate, the visual arts lesson aims to provide learning opportunities that will inspire, inform, stimulate and challenge our pupils. Activities are designed to help each child develop the ability to formulate and communicate their ideas and feelings. Pupils will become equipped to use thinking skills imaginatively and creatively and gain confidence in using them in areas across the curriculum.

Art and Design is an exciting experience that should ignite an interest in the exploration of the arts from the past and present, developing new skills and techniques, as well as generating new ideas through the use of a wide range of materials.

Whilst being a subject that supports all areas of the curriculum, at Sidegate we believe that Art and Design is an integral part of developing a student who is a creative problem solver, tenacious and a self-confident leader.

Artists In School

We value collaboration with arts organisations and artists highly at Sidegate in order to champion the development of creativity in our students. For example, authors, illustrators, visual artists, actors, dancers, musicians, poets.

Community Arts and Culture

Within and outside of the curriculum, we utilise resources within the community to enhance arts teaching within the school, for example, theatres, galleries, concerts, exhibitions and secondary school productions.

Celebration of Arts and Culture

The artwork of children (and staff) is celebrated by display in school, on the internet, in the community and through exhibitions.

Recognition and Accreditation of Arts Success

Arts Award

At Sidegate children are given the opportunity to participate in the Arts Award. We are a registered centre with staff trained as Arts Award Advisers.

Suffolk Music Grades and Music Medals are offered in partnership with our instrumental teachers in order that our young musicians’ talents are externally recognised and accredited.

Arts Mark

At the time of writing this policy the school is applying for artsmark accreditation.

How the Arts contribute to pupils’ Spiritual, Moral Social and Cultural Development.

  • Spiritual: To develop: a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them; a use of imagination and creativity in their learning; a willingness to reflect upon their experiences.

  • Moral: To develop the skills and language to be able to investigate and offer reasoned views about moral and ethical issues, and be able to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues.

  • Social: To develop: a range social skills in different contexts; an ability to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering and cooperating well with others.

Cultural: To develop: an understanding and appreciation of a wide range of cultural influences; a willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic and cultural opportunities; an interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for cultural diversity.
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