‘Children and young people require rich, stimulating environments where they can explore and experiment with ideas and resources, collaborate actively with their peers and make dynamic connections with a clear sense of purpose to construct learning.’
The Donaldson Report
Written by a team of artists and teachers from across Wales, the Rich Activities contained in this Toolkit aim to provide fresh and exciting ideas for developing literacy and numeracy skills through arts-based activities.
The rich activities aren’t designed to be sequential. There’s no fixed starting point. Take a look at what each rich activity covers (the opening overview section in the Teachers’ Notes is a good place to start) and see which activities seem appropriate or likely to appeal to your class. Adapt where necessary. You can choose to complete all the tasks within a Rich Activity spread over a half term or select just a few to focus on over one or two lessons. Although the Rich activities are organised by Key Stage, you will find that many of the tasks, themes and approaches can be adapted for work across a range of different ages. Experiment with different ways of using the Rich Activities relevant to your own teaching context.
The starting point for all the activities is an artistic idea itself and ideas for linking to contemporary artists, musicians, dancers and theatre practitioners are threaded throughout the Rich Activities. Where you are able to collaborate and draw on artists’ expertise, it will enrich the activities but all tasks can be undertaken as standalone classroom exercises (without partner input) as well. Since the key driver for the activities is the art itself, the literacy and numeracy tasks should flow naturally from each exercise without feeling forced.
The sample activities support learning in and through creative writing, dance, drama, film, music and the visual and applied arts and show how the various tasks link to the LNF. The Rich Activities offer opportunities for pupils to use, demonstrate and progress a range of skills through cross curricular activities which encourage creative learning and thinking.
Common features of the Rich Activities include:
Questions also form an integral part of the activities and underpin the Rich Activity approach – encouraging and supporting progress in literacy and numeracy, as well as in the arts. The Rich Activities include questions which encourage metacognition, helping learners to think about their own thinking by using reflection (what they know) and ways of managing their learning. Pupils can be encouraged to devise their own success criteria by using the questions, whilst the tools can be used to support planning, as well as evaluation and reflection.