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The importance of arts in the curriculum


Read Ms Lodrick's article in the Times of Tunbridge Wells on how important is it for your school to ensure that the arts are well represented in the curriculum.  What key benefits do these subjects give students in addition to the traditional academic ones?

As a musician, you would expect me, as Head to be a strong advocate for ensuring the arts take a central role in the curriculum.  I could be criticised for giving more weight to my subject specialism than is deserved, or needed.  However, I would argue that with the impact of technology, the pace and scale of change in society at the moment feels like something quite new.  The way forward is not entirely clear and if young people are to have the skills and confidence to make positive decisions about their own lives and the kind of world they want to see, then they are going to need to think and respond in wholly new and innovative ways.  They need to think creatively and the recent Durham Commission report on creativity in education made it clear that the arts make an invaluable contribution to the development of creativity in young people.

The government’s recent reforms, in particular the introduction of the EBacc (the performance measure showing the proportion of children in a secondary school who achieve a Grade 4 or more in the core academic subjects of English, maths, science, history or geography and a language) has possibly reduced the status of subjects such as music, art, dance and drama.

Creativity is the driver of economic growth and innovation.  We can only guarantee success if we ensure that young people are given the opportunity to develop these skills.  Of course, creativity can be taught through other mediums in school, but it is the creative subjects which provide the foundations for developing the conditions to nurture creativity. Participation in the arts  encourage discipline, practice and rigour, as well as opportunities for students to problem-solve, experiment, take risks and make mistakes, and provides the space for self-directed learning.  I know for certain that this set of skills has stood me in good stead in my role as Head.  I make no apologies for placing the arts firmly at the heart of our curriculum, and the whole school community greatly values all that there is on offer from the creative and performing arts.  Everyone, including staff, is encouraged to participate – and they do!

With an education that has a firm grounding in creativity, we can be sure that this generation of young people will thrive throughout adulthood, enjoy and achieve in their lives and be able to shape a better future for generations to come. 




Posted: 17/03/2020 at 15:52
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