Improving pupil outcomes and wellbeing through a creative curriculum

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Ysgol Cefn Coch has planned a curriculum that encompasses art, drama, music, film and digital media in order to engage pupils and enable success. Regular opportunities are provided for learners to create weekly radio programmes, in addition to television programmes and films on the school’s channel. The school has ensured that the work is relevant to the needs of today and develops competencies that will enable pupils to face challenges confidently in their future lives.


Number of pupils: 179
Age range: 3-11
Date of inspection: June 2018

Context and background to the effective or innovative practice

Ysgol Cefn Coch has planned a curriculum that encompasses art, drama, music, film and digital media in order to improve pupils’ outcomes and wellbeing, by engaging their interest and enabling them to succeed.  The school has ensured that the work is relevant to the needs of today and develops competencies that will enable pupils to face challenges confidently in their future lives.  They are active in order to ensure that the work is ambitious and interesting, which promotes enjoyment of learning and satisfaction by mastering challenging content.

Description of nature of strategy or activity

In response to the Successful Futures report, the school’s teachers have worked together to provide rich artistic experiences to develop pupils’ information technology skills creatively, in order to equip them to be members of the qualified technical workforce of the future.

Regular opportunities are provided for learners to create weekly radio programmes, in addition to television programmes and films on the school’s channel.  The learners’ voice is at the heart of all activity, and pupils are responsible for planning the programmes, interviewing, scripting, recording, acting, directing, filming, creating effects and editing the final product.  This activity has been embedded in the school for a number of years, and pupils have been successful in digital competitions, for example by winning the Digital Project Award Wales.

In the collection of films that the pupils have created, a wide range of disciplines can be seen.  Pupils work together as a team to share the different responsibilities that are associated with creating a film.  In this context, the expressive arts provide opportunities for pupils to research, refine and convey ideas by using the mind, imagination and the senses creatively.  Pupils also show their technological ability to plan tasks in detail for specific purposes and audiences.

In the programme ‘Siot’, pupils have created a piece that promotes a growth mindset and focuses on two learning powers, namely commitment and perseverance.  As a result of hours of practice and perseverance, these pupils show their artistic skills effectively.  When broadcasting this programme to the rest of the school, pupils encourage their peers to implement the principles of a growth mindset in their day-to-day lives.

What impact has this work had on provision and learners’ standards?

The school believes that by engaging in the expressive arts, pupils must show commitment, perseverance and attention to detail, and these are abilities that are beneficial for overall learning.  The school’s pupils can be seen to be developing these aspects successfully in their work.  The use of technology also develops pupils’ communication skills, in addition to the ability to express their ideas and emotions through different digital media.

The rich experiences that the school’s expressive and creative curriculum provides encourage pupils to nurture their appreciation, talents and artistic and performing skills.  They also contribute towards achieving each of the four purposes of the new curriculum.  Pupils develop ambitiously by being encouraged to research new and extensive areas of experience.  Through the work, they strive to refine their skills and improve their work successfully.  They develop as enterprising and creative contributors, as they nurture their creativity in various forms.  This medium also develops pupils as principled and knowledgeable citizens, and enables them to understand their own cultural identity.  The creative and digital platform that is provided by the school helps pupils to foster stability and feel more confident while gaining personal satisfaction from creative expression.  This contributes directly towards improving their self-image and motivation, and enriches their quality of life.  The ‘Sphero’ videos that pupils have prepared to teach and mentor their fellow pupils develop them as enterprising contributors.  They nurture their skills and attributes to succeed in their work and take part in teamwork, and mentor and support others.  They do this highly successfully.

The effect of this work is that it inspires and stimulates pupils, as it exposes them to creative processes, performances and other people’s productions, and stimulates them to experiment and create themselves.  The expressive arts in the school are a starting point for lifelong participation, and this contributes towards pupils’ mental wellbeing by developing confidence, robustness, resilience and empathy.  

The school recognises the significance and potential of the expressive and creative arts, and believes that they have had a positive effect on the wellbeing and outcomes of pupils at Ysgol Cefn Coch.