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The Arts at Denby

Here at Denby we firmly believe that a curriculum rooted in the Arts has long-lasting impact upon the children in our care, inspiring a love of learning and discovery.
We celebrate the Arts in the lessons we teach, experiences we provide and the opportunities brought forward by the children's own interests.

Inkonjane - 'The Lightning Bird'

Lisa Difford of Fettle and Fable an award-winning children’s theatre company based in Yorkshire visited Class 2 and Class 3 on Friday 24th September.  In the morning the children were mesmerised by a pilot live performance of Inkonjane.

 Inkonjane – ‘The Lightning Bird’ is the tale of the swallow’s migration from South Africa to Yorkshire drawing on local folklore and using a diverse and international team of artists.  The artists included two fantastic South African artists, one a storyteller based in the Eastern Cape and the other an award-winning musician and poet based in London, both of whom play indigenous African instruments, created the soundtrack and contributed to the stories.

 The project explores migration in a positive and meaningful way. After a period over the last year of venturing very little, Lisa wanted to guide the children on a mindful and uplifting journey of exploration and hope.

 In the afternoon children took part in an interactive and at times very funny, workshop including singing and drama activities ‘people to people’ and using an object as an imaginary item.  The children fully immersed themselves in the activities and had super ideas.  Did you know a shoe could be a handbag?

 This project was developed with the support of partners including museums, libraries, theatres and local authorities including Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council and Arts Council funding.

 Denby children have supported Lisa in her project by providing feedback on the performance and the workshops.

Artist John Mayson Inspired Work

Here are some examples of children’s recent work across the federation inspired by work we have done with Artist John Mayson.  This includes work that has been produced in lessons planned by teachers after attending our Art inset.  The digital art based on David Hockney’s work is curriculum based and other photos shown are supporting children returning to school after lockdowns.

The photos also include a lovely piece of independent art produced at home by a child inspired after Class 3 had the opportunity to work alongside John Mayson.  Ava used techniques she learned with John and made her own individual piece of art.

100 Voices Update
Supriya Nagarajan and Duncan Chapman re-visited us to present our music to us.  The children thoroughly enjoyed seeing Duncan again and listening to the music they created.
To listen to our final piece of music for 100 voices follow the link (https://finale.ourbiennale.org/projects) to the new Our Biennale Finale website, 100 voices is in the projects section. See if you can hear your sounds, they are all in there, some are very obvious and some will take a bit of finding. 
There are also some super photographs of class 2 from the official photographer for the Biennale from when he and Duncan came into class. 
If you have any feedback or any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Ackroyd.

Staff Professional Development with Art John

Following the success of our children when working with Art John, Mrs Ackroyd arranged for the staff to follow in their footsteps to develop their own art skills. John was a great teacher and throughout the day inspired confidence in our staff to try out new techniques, be experimental and most importantly, give them the self-belief they needed to try things out with the children throughout our curriculum. Thank you to John for such an inspirational, creative development session. We feel sure that we will very soon start to see the impact of this fantastic session through the work the children produce. 

Plastic Bag Poster Competition

Thank you to all of the children who have entered our Plastic Bag poster competition. We were amazed by the fantastic art work and strong messages against using plastic bags and the effect on the environment.

Mrs Minogue had a really difficult time selecting the winner but finally she awarded the winning entry to……IDA. Congratulations to Ida! Ida’s entry will now be sent to be entered into the next round of the competition against other winning entries from our local schools.

Please take a few minutes to have a look at the fabulous posters that the children created. We are particularly impressed with the children’s passion towards looking after our environment – well done to all!

Artist/ Educator John Mayson

John Mayson, otherwise known as Art John came to work with Class 3 on Monday 17th May.  John worked alongside Miss Leijnse providing teaching expertise and offering the children the experience of working with a real artist to develop our techniques in painting. 

The children learned many techniques (Miss Leijnse may have learned a few too!) including the importance of preparation, perspective, wet on wet techniques, dry brush, torn paper technique for stencilling, gestural brush marks for emotion and drama, added texture using PVA glue and sand, splattering and using charcoal to create a vignette. 

Growth mindset was a vital part of the day too, letting the paint do its ‘thing’ and trying the techniques.

The children would like all their art displaying in the corridor and we have already had some children trying the painting techniques at home.

 After such a successful day with Class 3 we invited Art John back to work with teaching staff across the Federation. The skills and techniques used will be shared with the children in all year groups. 

100 Voices
Part of Our Biennale, a festival of arts and culture made with children and young people in Kirklees - www.ourbiennale.org

Between late May and early June we took part in the 100 voices project as part of the Kirklees Our Biennale. Sound Artist Duncan Chapman spent 3 days on the happiness project with children talking about sounds, making sound maps and recording sounds that mean something to them.  It was fascinating finding out more about what a sound artist does. 

 Next Duncan will put ours and other participating schools medley of sounds together in preparation for the Our Biennale Finale in Huddersfield where our new sound piece will be played.

 Duncan showed us how we could get involved in another project making our own sounds as part of the Covid 19 Soundmap.  The project is a collection of sounds people have noticed have changed due to restrictions we have been under.  The link below will take you to the project.  Just zoom into the UK on the link to google maps and access the sounds on the placemarks.  Feel free to add to the collection.



Kirklees Cuckoo 

Class 2 have taken part in the Kirklees Cuckoo as part of the Nature 2020 project and Kirklees Biennale.  Our children are interested in nature and found out that yellowhammer birds live in our area and their numbers are in decline.  As part of our local area topic work, children were keen to support the project.  Children experimented with watercolours and brush techniques to produce a backwash and paint a yellowhammer. They  looked closely at the birds colours and used a splatter effect.

Our paintings were included in an exhibition at Maker World at Huddersfield Piazza between 22nd and 30th May and some of the children enjoyed visiting with their parents to show them the work we had done in class.

The website with more information can be found at https://ourbiennale.org/event/kirklees-cuckoo-a-withnature2020-project/

Light Up the Woods

Denby took part in Clayton West's Light Up the Woods festival. Each class made lanterns based around their topics. Lots of us attended the festival after dark and loved seeing our work lit up so beautifully! Tilly said "Our lantern really looks like a firework now it's dark because it's lighting up the sky!"