Home / Curriculum / The Arts

The Arts

The school has achieved Artsmark Gold on six occasions: 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2019 (this award is presented to only 7% of schools nationally, those who demonstrate a passion and dedication to art, music, dance and drama) - This is a fantastic achievement as we are one of only 14 school nationwide to have held the award since its inception.

'Creativity is contagious, pass it on!' (Albert Einstein)

The visual and performing arts are integral to the creative ethos adopted at Nicholas Hawksmoor. We are passionate about the expressive contribution engagement in the arts makes to pupils' learning both academically and holistically. Across the Arts, skill development, creative thinking and independent learning inform a broad and stimulating curriculum.

Our aim is to encourage pupils to use the Arts to express their own voice. At Nicholas Hawksmoor our provision for the arts is outstanding; our continued Artsmark Gold success recognises this. With specialist practitioners for the Arts we strive to challenge artistic boundaries thus offering pupils the opportunity to recognise themselves as artists too. Art, Drama and Music are taught by specialists from Reception through to Year Six. Art and Design is integrated into the whole curriculum in the Foundation Stage and Year One, with pupils then receiving specialist input from Year Two onwards. Specialist input and close liaison with classroom based staff ensures continuity and progression throughout projects across the curriculum.

Experiencing and engaging with artistic practitioners first hand is an important part of learning here. Pupils are regularly invited to participate in dance festivals, musical showcases, art exhibitions and drama performances. We have well established links with The Northern Ballet, The Young Shakespeare Company, The Royal Academy of Arts, Birmingham Royal Ballet and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Many arts trips and events are organised to support and inform pupils' critical and creative development.

Art & Design

'All children are artists.' (Pablo Picasso)

Art and Design at Nicholas Hawksmoor provides students with a wide range of opportunities in a highly creative environment. Imaginative and attractive displays throughout the school highlight the importance and value of individuals' work and the learning experiences adopted to achieve such results. Pupils explore a range of media, processes and methods to foster their individual creativity. This includes work in the realms of digital media, fashion, textiles and sculpture. Artistic skills, techniques and the ability to problem solve are developed through engagement with innovative projects. Pupils explore Art and Culture from antiquity to the modern day and engage with artists and works of art through first hand experiences. An extensive array of gallery visits, workshops, artists in residence and industry links are used to support the vibrant visual arts experience we offer.


'I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.' (Mikhail Baryshnikov)

Dance and movement play a vital part in the development of young children into confident, coordinated and well adjusted individuals. At Nicholas Hawksmoor we believe it is an essential element in providing a broad and balanced programme for all children. Dance is viewed as an integrating activity that combines thinking, feeling and doing. We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our lessons. There are opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills. We believe dance enhances social awareness, flexibility, grace and the ability to work as part of a team, supporting each other's ideas.


'What is drama but life with the dull bits cut out.' (Alfred Hitchcock)

At Nicholas Hawksmoor, drama activities are planned to help children to develop social skills, memory and imagination. This also provides an opportunity to build vocabulary, confidence and trust whilst learning cooperation, communication and aesthetic appreciation skills. All children, from Reception to Year 6, take part in drama and we believe that these kinds of activities help the pupils to express themselves in ways which would not be possible in other lessons.


“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” (Victor Hugo)

At Nicholas Hawksmoor music provides a creative outlet for all children to explore and make sounds, both individually and together. From the very youngest to the very oldest, children learn about instruments, composers, song, rhythm, timing, pitch and control through high quality teaching in singing and playing instruments. We have a number of choirs and musical clubs while many children also learn to play instruments across the full range of musical families – brass, woodwind, percussion, strings, guitar, keyboards and singing. For the last few years we have participated in a Wider Opportunities programme provided by the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Service where a whole year group become brass instrument players for 10 weeks. Over a year, pupils take part in seasonal performances, musical assemblies, the Northamptonshire Arts Festival and our school gala evening as well as having many rich opportunities to visit places like Birmingham Symphony Hall and to welcome visiting musicians into school who bring music from other cultures to life. Music is seen as the most natural thing in the world and makes our school a vibrant, happy place while creating children who can express themselves with maturity and confidence.