Arts & Culture

The Arts and Humanities

Foundation subjects have less lesson time than the core learning in English, Mathematics and Science. Therefore pitch, expectations and progress are planned for over three phases: 

Planning over two years, children experience a rise in pitch and expectation in years 1, 3 and 5 and have opportunities to master thinking, skills and understanding in years 2, 4 and 6. 

You can read more about all these subjects here and in our curriculum document.

The Art and Culture Team

The Art and Culture team work together and  to maintain provision and plan improvements in opportunities for children's artistic and cultural development. 

The Arts

'Music and art are so important in education because they make people happy. Give people something they'll love for their whole lives.'

Jools Holland

The Arts are an essential, necessary part of the curriculum if children are to enjoy and achieve in their learning, thrive and make a positive contribution now and in their futures. 

'For every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist.'

Pablo Picasso

We value the Arts as unique forms of expression through which we share interest, knowledge, understanding and feelings about the world, its people and ideas. Arts nurture our imagination, the capacity to imagine being an important part of understanding others, the world and yourself. While not traditionally thought of as 'academic,' the Arts require deep thinking, but thinking that is expressed practically and often in alongside and with others. The Creative Arts have value in their own right as well as making a positive contribution to developing intellect and improving achievement more generally.

'Arts education is central to personal development and academic success.'

Akala - author of Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire

Reception children study art and culture in the Foundation Stage Curriculum through Expressive Art and Design and Understanding the World. From year 1 children move into the National Curriculum where they are taught key content and skills from the different subjects as outlined in the National Curriculum, this is planned within thematic units or topics.

The Arts include children's studies in other curriculum subjects. In English lessons pupils engage in drama, poetry and creative writing. In Geography, History and RE they may use role play and drama and in Physical Education children will study dance.  

We opened our online gallery in The Cave in January 2022.

Visit KMPS gallery to see the wonderful work made and performed by pupils in class, music ensembles and Art Club.
Whether making costumes, acting or singing, a live performance makes lasting memories.
Hans Holbein was the source for a work communicating how we care for ourselves using images as symbols.
A map can be a work of Art when inspired by Hundertwasser.
Paintings by children in years 4 and 5 inspired by the work of artist Emmanuel Jegede.
A large piece about bullying, using Picasso's Guernica as inspiration. Using transparencies and motifs from sketchbooks children considered how bullying makes people feel as Picasso's masterpiece conveyed the suffering in war.
Drawing inspiration from nature for an icon and ephemeral piece of art after Andy Goldsworthy
Through drawing children understand the world and their studies more deeply. While architect artist Hundetwasser never visited Northwich, children imagined what it could look like if he had.

To paraphrase German philosopher, Ernst Fisher writing in 1971:

Art can raise us up ... Art enables humankind to comprehend reality, and not only helps them to bear it but increases their determination to make it more human and more worthy of humankind. 

Art, Craft and Design

In Year 1-6 children study the National Curriculum for Art and Design. They learn to use an wide range of media and develop their mark making through drawings, paintings and modelling in 3D work.  Studies include Artists from history and the world today with children having opportunities to apply what they have learned to their own work. 

Through art practice, children might develop greater ability to focus, to work over a sustained period of time (important for high achievement in every  subject).  In this, art and design nurtures general ability and intellect as well as creativity and the development of technical skills.

Art and Design learning is mostly in class and links to children's topics in Humanities, Science and English. By linking their art and design to their wider learning and understanding children are, like artists, expressing their knowledge and understanding of the world through making work that is beautiful. Art Club enables those children with a particular interest to develop their gifts and talents in the visual arts.

'If you could say it in words there'd be no reason to paint.'

Edward Hopper

Our content, progression, pitch and expectations document sets out long term plan for skills, knowledge and understanding in Art and Design.

This image illustrates what it is to work in Art and Design. To be artists we need all of ourselves: the mind or heart, the hand and the eye. Far from being ‘non-academic,’ Art, Craft and Design is very much a cognitive, intellectual subject, if one learned practically. Making art is valued in school as a unique form of expression. It’s about thinking deeply, being and making. Making work enables us to express our inner world and the outer world; it develops our ability to think critically, beyond simple right/wrong, and to mark our response. 
Art+Design-progression, pitch and expectations_2022.docx.pdf

“It’s easy to think that art is an extra, an add on, only  pursued by those with the money and idleness to pursue it. But ... it’s best to think of it the other way round. That it’s art that makes us. Through doing it, seeing it, participating in it, in some way we become fully ourselves.”

 Antony Gormley ~ Sculptor

Creative Writing and Poetry

Creative writing and poetry are taught and learned within the English curriculum, using high quality texts. They also feature in the SMSC (social moral, spiritual and cultural) curriculum in class assemblies. Words on Wednesday explores language and ideas, often through poetry; a Friday Fable in a final virtual assembly of the week.

Dance and Drama

While part of the Arts curriculum, dance is taught largely within PE. However, as a language of expression and communication, dance has links to other subjects. Teachers and children develop dance sequences to communicate their learning and understanding in other subjects as well as develop physical skills including core strength and control. For example in a dance about life children may express their Scientific understanding of cell division and biodiversity through shapes and movements through a dance.

Drama has strong links to the English curriculum as well as being a key element of children learning through a Inquiry approach (see our curriculum document page 7 for more on this). Children will learn through role play, hot seating and other drama techniques as well as learning to read, write and perform in plays. In Upper Key Stage 2 we are visited by the Young Shakespeare Company each year and on moving to High School every child has learned about and experienced two Shakespeare plays. 


Ancient Greek philosopher Plato got it in one ~

'Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.'

An intent, pitch and expectations document sets out long term plan for skills, knowledge and understanding in Music.

Music-Intent-progression, pitch and expectations_2022.docx

Music is a big part of life at Kingsmead. In addition to class and group lessons, a Tune on Tuesday class assembly connects music to ideas and thinking being explored in school. In Key Stage 1 the emphasis is on singing and playing untuned and some tuned percussion. Lower Key Stage 2 is when children are introduced to learning orchestral instruments and to read music, starting with recorder in year 3. This is our first access with the instrument, book and lessons all provided at no cost to families. From Year 4 we offer instrumental lessons in brass , woodwind and strings. Lessons are in school with specialist teachers and children are taught in pairs or small groups. There is a charge for these lessons though families may apply for a bursary if on a low income. In Lower Key Stage 2 children have the opportunity to hear a live orchestra e.g. the Liverpool Philharmonic Key Stage 2 concert. Upper Key Stage 2 is an opportunity to develop musicianship and join ensembles including our own Wind Band or Recorder and String Orchestra. Some pupils join Vale Royal ensembles such as Super Strings or the Training and Mezzo Band. Our older pupils play in public performances: with Vale Royal ensembles in Showcase concerts as well as at the Kingfisher in December and Cheshire Show. Most pupils who learn instruments go on to take accredited examinations. 

Children learning instruments, and their families are expected to read and agree to our agreement for instrument lessons, outlining a contract of expectations for the child, school and parents or carers. 

'Music is amazing. It's challenging, creative, empathetic. It's away to access the brain in completely different ways.'

Sheku Kanneh-Mason


We aim for our curriculum to lead children’s interests and curiosity out into the world. Therefore the Humanities are vital areas of study. Each subject has its specific knowledge and skills and, while factual recall alone is insufficient to develop deep knowledge and understanding, some factual learning, including specific terms and vocabulary are needed for children to achieve mastery in Geography and History.   

In Reception Humanities are included in Understanding the World, helping children understand the physical world, their community and cultural world. The National Curriculum underpins the termly schemes of work in Key Stage 1, Lower and Upper Key Stage 2. History and Geography are taught alongside each other although in different terms, different subjects are emphasised e.g. History in Ancient Greece and Through the Ages and Geography in Rainforests and Water.

'What is our knowledge worth if we know nothing of the world that sustains us, nothing about natural systems and climate, nothing about other countries and cultures?'

Jonathan Porritt


Geography skills_Pitch and expectations.docx.pdf
Geography - Curriculum Intent.pdf


History - Curriculum Intent.pdf
History_Pitch and Expectations.pdf

Religious Education

Our policy towards Religious Education has meant that all children have been happily included since 2004 when the school first opened. Children are asked to reflect on ethical or moral themes in lessons and in assemblies and we have a secular 'creed' that children from families from all religious beliefs and none may use as a prayer or reflection as they wish. 

The locally agreed syllabus is set down locally by a group called SACRE (Standing Advisory Committee for teaching of RE). The SACRE sets out the RE curriculum for Community Schools and the emphasis is on Christianity. Nevertheless, an overarching aim is that children learn about a range of beliefs, secular and religious, in their community and the wider world. The curriculum aims that through knowledge, children can better understand and so respect the beliefs of others. RE fosters the understanding and interest necessary for children to be respectful of other people. We include humanist perspectives alongside teaching about religion. For example when learning about rules and laws in the Koran or Bible, we will include the humanist perspective of respecting for the rules and laws of the land. 

RE units include humanist and secular thinking alongside the religious content taught. Staff in school have a range of religious and secular beliefs. If asked about their personal beliefs, adults answer honestly but we never recommend or promote any belief over any other. 

'There are worlds known and worlds unknown and in between are the doors.'

William Blake

Community schools must follow a locally agreed syllabus for RE, designed by the SACRE (standing advisory committee for the teaching of RE) as outlined below.

RE long-term-plan-for-religious-and-non-religious-world-views.docx.pdf
RE-Essential knowledge for CWAC Primary Schools.docx.pdf

At Kingsmead we welcome families of all types including heterosexual and same sex couples, single parents, foster parents and guardians. If, when teaching in RE, lessons about the importance of family, we include the breadth of families in modern Britain. In this respect RE in school is not different from content in PHSE and Relationships and Sex Education. We welcome families from different secular and religious world views present in the UK. RE lessons teach about faith, belief and humanism. We do not expect children to ‘worship’ or 'pray' in any way or promote one religion or belief over any other or none. 

Parents and carers do have the right to withdraw their child from RE lessons and should speak to the headteacher should they wish to do so.

Year 3/4 floor book recording learning in RE for Hen Harriers
Work from Year 5/6 celebrating the festivals of light in Christianity, Islam, Judaism showing how these religions have, in the words of Jo Cox 'far more in common' than we might first think.