Eccleston CE Primary School is housed in a Grade II listed building in Eccleston, a village two miles south of Chester. The school is smaller than most primary schools. There are 101 pupils (46 girls and 55 boys) on roll, who all attend on a full-time basis.
There is good provision for pupils to develop their creative skills, especially in art and design and in music.
Ofsted school inspection - February 2004.
Overleigh Primary School has decided to join forces with Eccleston Primary School whose teachers are also interested in developing their visual arts expertise. Both schools would like to be more creative in their teaching and to lend variety to their provision for pupils. In addition, some teachers have had little or no in-service training in the arts and regard this opportunity as important.
It was useful for the Eccleston staff to visit a large primary school, and a good rapport was built with the staff from Overleigh. When Overleigh staff visited Eccleston there was lots of positive feedback which was really affirming for the Eccleston staff. The greatest value in the project was the shared experience. The variety of activities would not have been as wide if the project had been held at Eccleston as they do not have the resources (e.g. kiln) that are available at Overleigh. It was really helpful that the heads set the focus of the project.
The project has built up staff confidence in teaching art. Previously the art curriculum was quite safe, however teachers are now incorporating the use of different materials such as fabric, clay and are using a variety of techniques together. Teachers no longer feel restricted when planning for art. Both schools are developing a thematic curriculum, which they are now working on together, however had it not been for the art project they would not have realised that they were working towards the same aim.
The biggest impact has been the range of experiences that are now available to pupils. The school has been able to use resources that would not normally have been available to them (kiln) and the art co-ordinator from Overleigh has been continuing to work with the pupils and teachers at Eccleston.
The school environment is much more aesthetic. Techniques of displaying art has improved and pupils are noticing that their work is valued. Both staff and pupils are taking more care with display work and appreciating the environment. The tutor's presentation style was informal yet informative and enthusiastic. He was an excellent facilitator. 'Every member of staff has said how fantastic it has been'. There were no complaints from staff about staying late after school.
Representatives of Chester CPD viewed the exhibition of work in Overleigh Primary School at the end of the project and discussed the outcomes with staff.
Findings were that:
- the work was of a very good quality of thought, imagination, production and display
- the project displayed deeply rooted cross curricular implications
- the teachers were pleased with the pupils' artistic development and talked readily about the project as a whole
- the school had incorporated artistic essence into the curriculum.