Dance till your legs ache

4th July 2003 at 01:00 in the snow for an animal ...admire a rainbow. These are just some of the inspiring and unorthodox winning entries in our contest to set your own targets

Many thanks to everyone who entered the TES "set your own targets" competition. The entries had much in common. Pretty much everyone wanted to ensure children had a wide range of opportunities, not just for intellectual but personal and cultural development.

One difficulty was that quite a few entrants sent mission statements (for instance, "to promote a love of learning for learning's sake") rather than targets (such as "visit a gallery once a term"), which, however creative and enriching, are still things you can tick off.

For all the Government's insistence that it favours both "excellence" and "enjoyment", it is not clear that it understands that the two things can meld together. It is not excellence in the morning (literacy and numeracy) and then enjoyment in the afternoon (art, music, PE). Fortunately, our entrants don't share this confusion.

These are the five winners, not in any particular order. Their prize is their choice of an Arvon writing course or an art course at West Dean College.

Angela Pollard Support and maths teacher Crescent school, Rugby

My ideal targets for every child would be:

* Learn to run a small shop; play with sand and water; go on a jungle gym; cook and bake.

* Go on regular field study visits to different environments - including a residential visit - incorporating science, geography, history, art and craft, including literacy and numeracy skills as needed.

* Create and use a colourful addition to the outdoor environment: paint a wall; paint paving stones; build a rock garden; plant a small piece of garden; create a wildlife area.

* Produce a bound book, written and illustrated with own drawings, favourite pictures and photographs, using computer software and craft techniques. Work with all kinds of art and craft media in workshops. Learn how to draw upside down.

* Receive a card, booklet or simple craft token (eg a heart), containing affirmative statements from every child in the class and every adult with whom the child has contact every year.

* Speak or act before the whole school, commensurate with ability, at least once a term. Attend regular informal meetings to provide the chance to reflect on individual, class and school progress, brainstorming ideas for improvement.

Neil Meehan Year leader and literacy co-ordinator, Moor Lane junior school, Chessington, Surrey

* Regularly wear art shirts as part of their school uniform and possess paintbrushes in the way they do gel pens.

* Hear stories daily from real books purely for pleasure with no photocopied Sats questions attached. Meet poets and authors in school instead of just reading photocopied extracts of their work.

* Know how to mix the primary colours (and even be able to make brown!).

* Experience theatres, art galleries, museums, exhibitions and concerts more regularly than McDonald's, play stations, tired teachers and Sats tests;

* Have the opportunity to learn music from an enthusiastic music teacher who knows what heshe is talking about.

* Make and do history, not just write about it.

* Have access to drama as a regular, prominent part of the curriculum, promoted as a subject in its own right.

* Be valued for their creativity; not simply for fulfilling government targets or for meeting strategy objectives.

Corinne Green Headteacher Sutton, Surrey

I would like children to "reach for the stars" confidently. To do this they would need to have heard a hundred stories; talked till they were hoarse; created like Hockney; scored goals and got sweaty; and danced till their legs ached.

They would have made music to wake the dead; performed on a stage; experimented with light; observed the wonders of nature; understood another culture; laughed and cried with their friends; celebrated success and bounced back from failure; and grown at ease with adults. But above all they would need to walk tall and be happy.

Jacqui Cant Maths consultant, Suffolk

* Initiate, organise and participate in informal games, including beach cricket, rounders and football. Equipment may be improvised (including use of jumpers for goalposts).

* Have a broad appreciation of music, including pop music from different eras. Be able to listen to music chosen by carers or teachers without embarrassment or value judgments such as "sad".

* Sit and think, look or listen for several minutes each day, keeping still and quiet while the brain is active.

* Understand the nature of the climate in the region in which they live.

This includes spontaneous appreciation of snow, frost, rainbows etc. Also have sufficient awareness of atmospheric conditions to bring the right warmcool clothing and footwear to school.

* Visit an art gallery, live theatre and live music event at least once in each key stage. The success criterion here is that pupils would like to repeat these experiences in the future.

Christine Chalstrey Teacher, Wootton-by-Woodstock primary, Oxfordshire

Curriculum of the senses

1) To develop the sense of wonder, children will:

* Spend regular time outdoors to appreciate seasonal change.

* Plant and maintain a garden.

* Be allowed to play outdoors when it snows, on exceptionally warm, sunny days or when other fascinating meteorological events occur.

2) To develop a sense of beauty children will:

* Visit art galleries and create their own art gallery.

* Hear all varieties of live music and make their own music.

* Watch, read, write and perform poetry, stories and plays.

3) To develop a sense of compassion children will:

* Look after an animal.

* Take care of a younger child in school.

* Take part in charity fund-raising events.

* Befriend elderly members of the community and host coffee mornings.

4) To develop a sense of humour children and teachers will:

* Learn the art of clowning - together!

The art room that never shuts: Friday magazine, 8 Junk music: Teacher magazine, 9


Among the runners-up, who win an art pack from Hope Education for their school, is eight-year-old Alastair Johnston-Wilder, from The Hills Lower school, Bedford. He would like the targets to be:

* How the teachers handle difficulties with handwriting and other subjects.

* How well the children work in teams.

* How much the children care for each other.

* How well the school handles bullying.

The other runners-up are: Sue Dyke, Karen Bloomfield, Maggie Walker; Julie Wharton, Ruth Tromans, Alison Smith; Kevin Brown, Kim Harding, Amanda Cooper, Karen Doherty, Moira Conde, Debbie Bleasdale, Grainne Archbold, Trevor Atkins, Jennifer Guilliard, S. Fitzsimons, Clare Griffiths, Pam Daley and Paul Warnes.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today