Now that the arts have safely returned to the classroom, we need to ensure they are utilised as much as possible, across all subjects in the curriculum. From the positive results of a number of our arts engagement programmes, we have seen that using the arts in the classroom helps nurture children's communication and language skills, analysis and teamwork, furthering their understanding across the curriculum and raising their confidence and self-esteem.
We also know that the arts can help stimulate children's own creativity and their critical faculties, giving them a new way to express themselves and explore the world around them. This is significant for disadvantaged children, whose experience of home life may be of limitation or pressure.
The focus for inspiring children must begin with teachers, and it is essential that Arts training schemes are prioritised in school. Offering teachers support on how to use the arts in the classroom, from arts professionals, will not only give them a passion for the arts that will directly translate into the classroom to inspire future generations, but also give them innovative ideas on how to use the arts to meet other curriculum targets across all subjects.
A focus on teacher training continues to be a priority for Children & the Arts, which is why we have been working in collaboration with Artis to launch Impact. This is a professional development programme based on the Canadian "Learning Through The Arts" initiative which, over the past 15 years, has been proven to raise educational standards through the arts. The programme, currently being piloted in select UK schools, matches highly trained arts specialists including actors, musicians and dancers to selected schools to help them imaginatively teach core curriculum subjects. The programme is set to improve outcomes for children, teachers and headteachers, giving teachers the confidence to use the arts within the classroom on a more regular basis.
The earlier a child's engagement with the arts, the greater the chances of helping them to engage with mainstream learning and transforming their lives. If the arts can improve children's learning capabilities, whilst empowering their self-belief, children are driven to aim higher and break the cycle of deprivation. Programmes like Impact empower teachers throughout the UK, giving them crucial skills to demonstrate just how stimulating the arts can be for those who need to be inspired by them the most.