The Arts Project

At Claremont we believe that drama and Arts are integral to children being successful confident learners who enjoy writing. Throughout the year, every class works with a professional artist on a project relating to their Curriculum topic.

Year 1 - Sam and Frank

Year 1 are looking at “Sam and Frank”. This is a story of the sibling rivalry between the famous English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his older brother Frank when they were six and seven year-olds. Frank’s jealousy of Sam, his mother’s favourite, culminates in a fight, and Sam runs away and remains in hiding all night, while the distraught family and neighbours search for him; he is found, and the story ends happily. Text from Coleridge’s writings is used throughout the project, and the emphasis is on the recall of an event in memorable and evocative language.

Year 2 - The Fire of London: 1666

Year two will be studying the “Fire of London: 1666”. This project is more Theatre-in-Education style than the projects studied by other classes, and involves the class in vivid scenes of the devastating fire, and gives the lie to the myth of only a handful of fatalities; serious historians of the fire describe temperatures of 1500 centigrade, and the impossibility of knowing how many died, either during the fire or from wounds and disease afterwards.

Year 3 - Scavengers and Settlers

Year Three will be studying “Scavengers and Settlers”: this project follows the latest research into hunter-gatherer societies and cave-paintings from 30,000 years ago, with a particular emphasis on the huge significance of these works of art to early man’s survival, and the absence of hierarchy in their social groupings. The project culminates in the establishment of the first farming communities by the control of irrigation, the development of writing and the creation of a ruling class.

Year 4 - The Tudors

Year Four children will be looking at The Tudors: This is an important part of history as The Reformation involved England in a complete revolution of religious practice, which changed the lives of ordinary people drastically and which was precipitated but not caused by Henry’s divorce of his Catholic Queen, against the will of the Pope and the ruling dynasty of Europe to which she belonged, and his marriage to Anne Boleyn, an act of defiance that has come to characterise the independent English spirit ever since, but at the time caused misery, hardship and anguish for many of the population.

Year 5 - Les Saltimbanques

Year Five are studying Les Saltimbanques. This project follows the story of two Italian boys sold by their impoverished parents into the trade of street performers; they are taken to London, where they live in squalid conditions like those described by Dickens in Oliver Twist. They are eventually deported to France by the authorities, where we imagine them joining a troupe like those painted in Picasso’s acrobat and circus paintings.

Year 6 - MacBeth

Every year the Year 6 classes take part in the Arts Project. This year the topic is MacBeth by William Shakespeare. Through drama and art, children will study the plot and language of MacBeth. This initiative impacts significantly on children's writing.

Previous Year 6 Projects

2016 - The Tempest by William Shakespeare

This story by William Shakespeare is based on a distant island where a man waits. He has been robbed of his position, power and wealth, his enemies have left him in isolation. But this is no ordinary man, and this no ordinary island. Prospero is a magician, able to control the very elements and bend nature to his will. When a sail appears on the horizon, he reaches out across the ocean to the ship that carries the men who wronged him. Creating a vast magical storm he wrecks the ship and washes his enemies up on the shore. When they wake they find themselves lost on a fantastical island where nothing is as it seems. As part of this project the children researched William Shakespeare, read and discussed The Tempest, studied the script and explored the language. They studied art, dance, songs and drama from the time. The performance was held at Victoria Baths, which was a stunning setting for the play.

2015 – The War of the Roses

This story told a tale of deceit, revenge and treachery. It followed the events at the time of the War of the Roses (1400’s) and the battle for the throne between the Lancastrians and the Yorkists. At the start of the story Henvy VI (Lancastrian) was King of England. Eventually, Edward IV (Yorkist) claimed the throne from Henvy VI with the help of Warwick. Meanwhile Edward had already secretly married Elizabeth Woodville (one of his subjects). This led to Richard (III) taking the throne for himself.

2014 – The War in the Trenches

This major project explored life in the trenches on the western front; the process of recruitment and propaganda, and the draconian discipline inflicted on soldiers by the British Military. The project involved the children experiencing songs, art, dance and drama from the period. The final performance was held at Victoria Baths, which is a stunning example of Victorian architecture and an ideal setting for the play.

2013 - The Causes of WW1

This project was an exploration of the aspects of the first world war including rivalries between the great powers of the time. The project included experiencing art, dance and drama from this period. The final performance was held at Victoria Baths, which is a stunning example of Victorian architecture and an ideal setting for the play.