Lytham Hall Park Primary School have recently achieved an OUTSTANDING rating with Ofsted, and cites their involvement with HMDT Music’s TIME project as part of their success.
“I honestly believe that without our participation in the TIME project our curriculum, and our teaching and learning, … would not be as strong as it is now. I feel this was a significant contribution to the standards reflected in our Outstanding OFSTED outcome.”
Sharon Bowker, Headteacher at Lytham Hall Park Primary School.
At Lytham Hall Park Primary School we have always been passionate about ensuring our team can access high quality professional development. When we wanted to improve our curriculum offer the TIME Project offered us exactly the support we needed. This was the opportunity to ensure that high quality teaching and learning in the arts.
The TIME project has awakened our school to the power of the arts and the importance of creativity within our curriculum. It has enabled our school to connect with inspiring artists, musicians and dramatists to support teachers in their approaches to planning and delivering high quality learning experiences. Incorporating the arts into our classes has seen an increase in our children’s motivation, engagement and self-esteem. The impact of this project is being felt across the school with renewed enthusiasm for the wider curriculum.
The difference for us was the access to high quality professional development from the skilled practitioners working closely with our teachers. It developed subject expertise in the wider curriculum with particular impact in music and art & design. Our school was judged to be outstanding in our most recent OFSTED inspection in October 2021. There was a ‘deep dive’ in Art & Design and also a focus on the curriculum in Music. There is no doubt that without our long term involvement with the TIME Project our curriculum would not have been judged to be outstanding.
“Teachers introduce new learning carefully, so that it builds systematically on what pupils have learned before.”
“[teachers] support pupils to remember what they have learned so that pupils can embed and use their knowledge fluently. All pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, achieve exceptionally well.”
OFSTED OCT 2021
Over three years all our teachers, and particularly our subject leaders, have learnt from the artists we have worked with through the TIME project and this has then led us to change our curriculum to ensure long term sustainability. An example of this is the introduction of a composition unit for music in all our year groups. This was as a direct result of the professional development we received from TIME, introducing us to techniques such as soundscapes. It truly has been transformational. In Art & Design we have previously struggled to introduce sketch books, ensuring all teachers had an understanding of how these benefit teaching and learning in art. The TIME project allowed us to provide training for all our team and model how these could be used effectively. The impact again has been transformational.
We have now moved to a point where we see the arts as a strength in our curriculum and in fact we invited the inspection team to Deep Dive Art & Design. TIME has filled our team with confidence.
This is directly referenced in the OFSTED inspection report,
“Leaders have constructed an ambitious and well-planned curriculum for all pupils, including children in the early years. Leaders and governors have ensured that staff are experts in the subjects that they lead. Subject leaders have been able to benefit from high-quality training to develop their curriculum expertise. They have carefully considered the important knowledge that pupils should learn and when. Throughout the school, subject leaders support teachers effectively to introduce new learning and vocabulary with precision.”
We know that one aspect of the inspection framework that schools struggle to evidence is
Leaders focus on improving teachers’ subject, pedagogical and pedagogical content knowledge in order to enhance the teaching of the curriculum and the appropriate use of assessment. The practice and subject knowledge of staff, including ECTs, build and improve over time. (OFSTED Handbook 322)
Schools may have this in place for core subjects but not for the wider curriculum including the arts. However, the work we had done as part of the TIME project, and the way this has then influenced our curriculum design, meant we could evidence this as a strength, supporting our outstanding judgement.
I honestly believe that without our participation in the TIME project our curriculum, and our teaching and learning, particularly in art and music would not be as strong as it is now. I feel this was a significant contribution to the standards reflected in our OFSTED outcome.
However, more importantly, I now am seeing the impact in terms of our pupils’ outcomes. For example they have built their art skills over a number of years and now they are producing art work of an incredibly high standard, but also with a love of learning in the arts. They see themselves as artists, musicians, performers. We see them focus on their art work for hours, engaged and enthralled, and this is facilitated by the confidence they now have as they have a toolkit of knowledge and skills.
In remote education, throughout both national lockdowns, our team prioritised the arts, I think this reflects the teachers’ confidence and valuing of the arts built through the TIME project. We continued with music, drama and art work as part of our curriculum delivered remotely and we saw the well-being impact of this for our pupils. TIME helped us all to love the arts and prioritised them and protect them in our learning and in our lives.
SHARON BOWKER, HEADTEACHER OF LYTHAM HALL PARK PRIMARY SCHOOL