Report by Derfel Thomas, Ysgol Tudno to Ensemble Cymru

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As education providers, we recognize the importance of the creative arts and their place in pupil development and working alongside other stakeholders, we aim to enhance the opportunities we provide as a school. Through varied, rewarding experiences, we hope to develop the citizens of the future. Through creative opportunities children learn to express themselves and understand their place in the world. These activities also provide ample opportunity to develop curricular areas in an interesting and creative way. The arts are also valued as a vehicle to ensure that each child reaches his or her individual potential as it breaks down the barriers created by additional learning needs and is central to increasing engagement and improving wellbeing.

The opportunities that the pupils have received through this project are invaluable! The pupils were inspired by fun but challenging engagement with music, building their confidence in listening and performing and exploring their innovative possibilities. Listening to the various performances enabled children to experience a multitude of media, develop independent thinking skills and expressive language skills. Stimulating people’s lives through the arts has given pupils and
the wider school community the opportunity to see and listen to artwork and share new perspectives. This has engendered enthusiasm in pupils which has often led to further class work. Pupils’ desire is evident as they convey messages about their experiences back to parents and carers at home.

The latest part of the project, radio Ensemble Cymru, has been a great asset to the project as a whole. The children have really enjoyed the opportunity to create and record material for it and although it was a bit difficult to organize in the middle of the lockdown it meant that not only did they have the opportunity to develop creative skills but also digital skills. Parents have also had the opportunity to be involved by listening to the daily broadcasts, with some listening several times a day. Mrs. Iona Hughes, Head teacher at Ysgol Tudno said “The collaboration and previous work has had a positive impact on pupils’ confidence and has shown their willingness to participate and make use of their technological skills. The project has given those pupils with different interests a chance to shine as we’re ‘learning to shine together’. ‘”

The project as a whole has been an integral part of our development of the ‘Curriculum for Wales’ and has developed our learners into ambitious, capable, lifelong learners, enterprising, creative contributors willing to play their full part in their life and work, principled, informed citizens and healthy, confident individuals who are ready to live life fulfilling their aspirations as valued members of society.