THE QCA's Arts in the Curriculum project is investigating how the contribution of the arts to pupils' education can be maximised. Findings from the first year of this project included an analysis of the arts curriculum in other countries and the report by the National Foundation for Education Research is available on www.inca.org.uk Current work includes the development of a set of aims and objectives for arts education. These could provide a common starting point for all arts experiences and help to support the development of coherent arts programmes involving work in the classroom, special events and after-school activities.
Work has built on the advice given by the QCA Arts Advisory Group and suggestions made at a joint QCAArts Council of England seminar, and a draft set of aims and objectives is being developed. The current draft highlights the need for arts education to motivate all pupils to be actively involved in arts experiences by helping them engage with a variety of art forms, develop artistic skills, knowledge and understanding and recognise the role of the arts in society.
It also recognises the impact that these experiences can have on the pupil, in terms of their roader personal development, and on the whole school. QCA is looking to identify effective practice that enables these aims and objectives to be met and would welcome information from schools that are exploring models of provision. Examples are where the arts are taught in discrete subjects and where the arts are linked, where the arts are being developed through classroom work integrated with extended curricular experiences and where the timetable is used creatively to provide ongoing and extended time for the arts.
Alongside this exploration of models of practice, the QCA will be developing some practical ways to collect evidence to show that the aims are being met. This will include finding ways to identify what pupils think about their arts experiences and collecting views from headteachers, parents and governors on the impact of the arts on the school and the community. The QCA welcomes interest from schools wishing to be involved in collecting information.
Contact Tony Knight or Lucy Walters at the QCA.
Tony Knight is principal subject officer for music, the arts and culture at QCA 83 Piccadilly, London W1J 8QA. Tel: 0207 509 5408. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org