Key Curriculum Area: Art, Music, Dance, Drama Involving our young people in the arts is a crucial part of our curriculum and their waking day. Up to 80% of young people are preverbal and the arts provision at the school offers a powerful means of communicating individual’s needs, expressions and feelings. Students are able to explore art, music, dance and drama, in an environment that is supportive and encouraging. All young people have an entitlement to a range of high quality experiences in all arts subjects in each year of school, whatever their background or ability. Creativity is not bound by language or social conventions but can be expressed in many alternative sensory and communicative forms. There are many opportunities throughout the year for students to indulge in arts related activities, for example: painting paper plates for Chinese New Year, musical performances for St Patrick's Day and theatrical performances by touring theatre company M&M Theatricals. Below are just a selection of the arts related events taking place throughout the school year: Music for Autism - April and December Arts and Culture Week - July and October Spud & Yam (part of St Patrick's Day celebrations) - March M&M Theatricals pantomime performances - 4 times throughout the year You can also visit our Celebrating Culture page to see more examples of students engaging with the arts for cultural festivals and events. Artsmark We are delighted that Prior's Court has been awarded Artsmark Gold. Artsmark is an award from the Arts Council of England, "inspiring learning through arts by giving every child the opportunity to create, compose, and perform, gain knowledge and understanding." Prior's Court Founding Patron, Dame Stephanie Shirley felt very strongly about the benefit of art to our young people and has enriched the environment with sculptures and paintings that provide multisensory experiences for all. Our focus for ‘The Arts’ this year is the introduction of a singing based programme, delivered by ‘The Voices Foundation’, developing musicianship across the education and therapy staff. The overall objective is for staff to feel more confident in planning and delivering music lessons, sharing this practice with the wider team in the long term, and consequently enabling our young people to express themselves through sound and music. Following a year long project with The Voices Foundation, we held a Summer Singing Celebration to celebrate and say thank you for generous donations to our music programme. We will also be supporting our students to embrace dance through our existing work with a Dance and Movement Therapist. The core principles of ‘Dance therapy’ including mirroring, attunement and embodiment are used to support students to develop a trusting therapeutic relationship within a safe environment.