The Arts at St Francis
The Arts have always played a prominent role in our school and we actively promote children’s exposure to, and participation in, a wide range of Art forms, and hold regular ‘Arts Weeks’. We believe that every child’s life should be touched by great art, and that their education in these subjects should be inclusive, diverse and fun. We aim to embed access to opportunities and knowledge of arts and culture through our curriculum provision and the enrichment activities we offer. In addition, we have a wide range of dedicated Arts spaces within the school, such as the DT, Cookery and Music rooms, a large stage with a lighting and sound system and the Studio which was specifically designed for dance activities.
The value we place on the Arts can be seen throughout the school; visitors always comment on the high standard of the vibrant work on display, such as our large canvases which were created by all the children in response to the school’s collaboration with the ‘Into Opera’ – ‘A King’s Ransom’ project. Copies of children’s art are sometimes offered for sale in order to raise funds for ongoing Arts projects.
A well as making Arts education a main focus of our curriculum design and development, as a school we are currently working towards achieving Artsmark status. We continue to be part of the annual Norfolk and Norwich Festival Open Studios event, where our pupils’ artwork is exhibited, and we are also proud to be the only primary school in the Norwich 2040 Local Cultural Education Partnership, working to develop collaborative partnerships for schools with culture and education providers in the city, such as the National Centre for Writing and the Theatre Royal.
Recently, our Year 6 school band ‘Lyve5’ were filmed in school by the award-winning cinematographer Bud Gallimore, who has filmed tours, videos and documentaries for the Rolling Stones, Mumford and Sons, Rita Ora, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Blur and Ellie Goulding, amongst others. Sam, Caleb and James spent a morning with Bud filming in the school hall, and the resulting video of their improvisation session can be seen here.
On Monday 25th April, students from Norwich School came back to do a second Singing Workshop with Year 2. We learned more new songs and had lots of fun. We had to face each other and ‘throw and catch’ our singing like a ball! We sang in rounds and even learned a song about a volcano in Mexico! We thought that was funny because we have been learning all about Mexico and volcanoes this term in school.
— NorfolkMusicFestival (@NCMFestival) March 16, 2019
The KS2 choir walked to St Andrew’s Hall on Thursday 14th March and performed in the Norfolk County Music Festival. It was our first performance there and Mrs Furness’s first ever attempt at conducting a choir! We could not have been prouder of the children. They sang When I Grow Up from the musical Matilda by Tim Minchin and Viva La Vida by Coldplay. They enjoyed performing and listening to other choirs and received a Commended Plus Award.
On Tuesday 27th November, we were incredibly fortunate to have this quartet visit our year 5 children on Monday. These four musicians from Czech Republic offered to play to us free of charge as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Chamber Music outreach programme. Their music was exquisite and the Year 5 audience were praised for their attention and interest. We felt privileged.
On Thursday 5th December, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 had a wonderful time watching Julia Donaldson’s “The Snail and the Whale” at The Playhouse. The children loved the audience participation; with the catchy songs, slapstick humour and great storytelling. “I loved it when the girl hid under my coat” – Maria (RK) “It was so funny when the Dad squirted us with water. He thought we were the whale!” – Michael (RL) “I liked all of it! I’m going to miss it” – Mattei (RK) “I liked singing the songs” – Chloe (RL)
On Tuesday December 11th, all the children saw the hour-long production of this story. It was a wonderful production and entranced many of us.