The Creative Arts Department includes lessons taught in the following subject areas: Art and Design, Design and Technology, Music, Drama, Food Technology and Textiles. Between the six subjects, pupils develop confidence and subject specific skills. We aim to deliver a combination of essential skills for life as well as nurturing any of the multiple forms of creative ability.
Art & Design
Art and Design at Riverston School is a dynamic and exciting department where children are allowed to express their creative skills to the best of their ability. As a department we encourage self-confidence and as a result their work is consistently of a high standard. Pupils are required to create comprehensive and developed sketchbooks as well as regular larger scale, refined work for display. They also have access to a wide variety of media including painting, printing, textiles, drawing, clay and wire sculpture work.
The Art & Design department has promoted the importance of effective and attractive displays around the school. The department have tried to lead by example, and have seen displays becoming even more interesting and eye-catching all around the school. Good displays are an essential part of a pupil’s education as they provide a source of recognition of achievements, and let children take pride in what they have done. They can also be used as an invaluable teaching aid, especially with younger pupils.
The Art & Design department has ensured that each year group goes on at least one educational visit this year to one of the excellent galleries in London. We are very fortunate to have such wonderful resources on our doorstep and endeavour to make the most of these with each project undertaken. These trips are particularly valuable to our GCSE and A Level Fine Art students.
Drama & Performing Arts
Drama is taught from Year 3 with pupils attending a weekly class in the drama studio. The department is well resourced with scripts and throughout the year props and costumes are added to the stock. For every year, each term is spent developing skills to create and perform a final piece in small groups at the end of the term, covering a variety of themes and genres of theatre from Shakespeare to Soap Opera, Horror movies to Greek Tragedy.
The department offers a BTEC Performing Arts for our Key Stage 4 and 5 pupils. This qualification is aimed at developing the pupil’s understanding of the relevant practical skills and associated knowledge needed to work in the performing arts industry; covering the skills required in both performing and non-performing roles.
At Riverston School, Music is studied by every pupil from reception to Year 9 with the option of studying BTEC Music at Key Stage 4. Singing, Performing, Composing and Listening form an integral part of each topic with lessons being as practical as possible.
Students study a variety of genres including Popular, World, Classical, Film and Television Music.
The Junior Choirs sing a variety of music ranging from Christmas Carols, Gospel and Pop Music, and have many opportunities to perform at special occasions, including Harvest Festival, Christmas Nativity Plays, Carol Service, Founders Day and just recently, The Royal Albert Hall.
Peripatetic Music lessons are available for a number of instruments including: Piano, Drums, Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone, Guitar and Singing.
The Food Technology lessons are much loved by our pupils. Learning how to prepare and create a wide range of dishes creates an enthusiasm amongst the school, proving an overwhelming success with pupils. Pupils are taught a balance of theory and practical skills, all tailored to develop their creative ability and technical skills. Pupils are required to record progress in individual portfolio wallets in which they evidence theory sheets, safety worksheets, recipes and photographs of food actually made.
A ‘Chef of the Term’ initiative creates great incentive amongst pupils to consistently work to the best of their ability and in a safe and sensible manner within the Food Technology room. We aim to deliver essential skills for life in these lessons as pupils are taught how to provide for themselves on an independent basis.
GCSE and BTEC Food Technology and Hospitality courses are available for our Key Stage 4 and 5 pupils and is one of our most popular learning pathways chosen by pupils in these years.
The Textiles department is included as a foundation subject within the Riverston Curriculum for years 1-9 and offered as a GCSE in year 10 and 11. The aims of Textiles are consistent with our school philosophy and take advice from examination boards and the Department for Education. The study of Textiles at Riverston provides the following:
- A broad range of practical skills, techniques and equipment, and how to use them to develop, plan and make garments
- Learn how to plan and carry out a broad range of practical making tasks safely
- Cover the characteristics of a broad range of sewing/garment making skills
- Foster the individual child’s creative ability and develop the technical skills necessary to bring them to their full potential
- Help children explore the world at first hand using all their senses and experimentation and so gain knowledge and understanding of the world in which they live
- Develop confidence, value and pleasure in Textiles
- Develop children’s aesthetic awareness and enable them to make informed judgements about Textiles
- Be used to expressing their own ideas and designs
- Develop children’s design capability
- Develop children’s ability to value the contribution made by other designers/garment makers and respond critically and imaginatively to ideas, images and designs of many kinds and from many cultures.
Design Technology and Construction
Design Technology is the most recent addition to the thriving Creative Arts department at Riverston School. Design Technology is a subject where children’s capability in designing and making is developed through combining their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding. We are so very excited that this subject will be taught as a separate entity, aside from Art and Design. As Food Technology and Textiles are taught as separate subjects, the focus of Design Technology will be the exploration of woodwork, carpentry and other design and construction skills. At Riverston School we view Design and Technology as a subject which allows children to apply their knowledge and understanding in a creative way to design and make products. At Key Stage 4 and 5 we offer BTEC Construction as one of our learning pathways.
“Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation” (National Curriculum Document 2014)
“Tell me and I forget- show me and I may remember- let me do it, and I learn.”
Learning through making works! (Prue Leith, Leith’s School of Food and Wine As quoted in National Curriculum Document 2001, page 14)