”Bless you.”

“Bless you.”

“For what?” I asked the dark.


This excerpt is from ‘The Harmonica’, a poignant story inspired by the life of a Holocaust survivor. Beauty amidst ugliness was a concept that 6KH wrestled with as we read about the horror that took place in the concentration camps. Our learning coincided with ‘Holocaust Memorial Day’. Because of this, on Friday afternoon the café became a place of conversation and sharing as ‘Shabbat’ was explained with the lighting of a candle, a simple blessing and the eating of bread.

Our colourful prints and collaborative paintings were inspired by Schubert’s music- a composer loved by the Jewish family and the commandant in the story. Our music appreciation resulted in colours, shapes and line that captured our interpretation of the piece. 

Thank you 6KH for literally immersing yourself in the arts- for the first time at Allerton CE, there was an art and dance collaboration with paint!

Below are some of the comments shared after 6KH’s Art Celebration:

”Love that the children have the opportunity to take time to appreciate art, music, dance and understanding and expressing emotions.”

”It was really good to see how my kid has learned the art. She really enjoyed the time and kept talking about this at home.”

”It was very enjoyable. Watching my grandson do things other than his tablet was great. Well done to all the children and adults taking part.” Mrs S Gardner

”Seeing children so happy and proud to show off their work. It was good to be a part of it.”

”Really enjoyed my afternoon with 6KH. The dance was amazing and the work in the art studio very creative. I wasn’t expecting to dance, but it was a lot of fun!”

”I enjoyed watching the performance and it was worth coming.”

”Really enjoyed today. The children are so proud of their work. Many thanks.”

The calm before the storm…

What a fortnight of learning we have had in the art studio. Never Eat Shredded Wheat as well as Naughty Elephants Squirt Water was the mnemonics for sharing the points on the compass. Well done 2HL for using this knowledge to find clues about Captain James Cook in and around school.

His desire to explore the world, took him on many expeditions across the oceans. As a result, much of our art attempted to capture the calm and often stormy waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Our paintings shared our colour mixing skills, included our own drawings of ‘The Endeavour’ as well wrapping material, magazine and wool of the ocean colours to create a colour wrap.

Tie dye encouraged us to use our fine motor skills as we pinched and wrapped, twisted and tied cotton with elastic bands.  A subtle pattern was the result on to which we printed our inked string shell reliefs.

Sewing was a great hit with 2HL. Running stitch and even cross stitch successfully sewn onto binca. Sequins added the shimmer and glisten of the waters.

To understand the meaning of vocabulary, drama and percussion was used, material wafted and freeze frames created. These words and phrases supported our letters to Elizabeth Cook.

Well done 2HL for a wonderful performance on Friday. Hopefully you enjoyed sharing your learning with your interested adult. They certainly did as the comments below testify!

“A really enjoyable afternoon packed full of a lot of great interactive activities. Really enjoyed the dancing and the cafe.”

“Enjoyed the whole afternoon with different things. The children are learning detailed work, how to incorporate into dance and early art and craft, learning to stitch work.”

“I enjoyed the celebration and joining in with what they have learnt.”

“Amazing work by 2HL. They all have worked really well. Some really good art work and writing, and the dancing was brilliant. Well done.”

“Leah has really enjoyed her two weeks in the art studio. She has been very excited each day telling me about her day.”

“Very good learning experience. It was good to see the many steps taken to achieve a learning objective.”

“Great to be able to see the work that has been done first hand and to be able to take part ourselves.”

“It was great to see their work and dance. Lewan has told me every thing about Captain Cook so I think they learnt very well. Thank you.”

“I have found it to be a very interesting experience, it has brought learning to life.”

“Lovely to see what the class have been learning about. Really enjoyed seeing creative methods they have used to explore this topic!”

“Think the methods used were fun and exciting. I think Amari has really enjoyed it. Better to see them all having fun and learning at same time.”

“Mason’s journey was really fun and exciting. He’s enjoyed drawing and dancing with his friends. I’m so proud of him.”

“I have really enjoyed the Arts celebration afternoon. I think it is a wonderful way of involving parents.”

And so it was…

What a creative team class 5RA are. Inclusive, encouraging and focused, they embraced all the different areas of learning -drama, oral storytelling, speech demarcation,dance, art and cooking. It has been a joy and privilege to work with them. 

Pie Corbett’s version of Daedalus and Icarus, along with Mr Ash’s poem, was the hook for the art, dance and rap. Through observational drawings, watercolour and collage we illustrated the tragedy of this myth. 

Further feather drawings were then created independently and then combined to make a collaborative piece which would become the ‘stained glass window’. One of the many challenges was to enlarge the drawing onto the acetate, another was agreeing as a group on the composition. Chalk and blackboard jigsaw pieces supported the class in drawing on a larger scale- the glitter providing the complementary colour to the outlines. Applying the lead effect required a steady hand and concentration as did brushing on the glass paints. The end result was effective and one parent in their feedback commented, “I loved the stain glass windows-very colourful and beautiful.”

Once again, Mrs Lynch choreographed a dramatic contemporary piece, incorporating the choreography created by 5RA in their groups. Trust was integral to this piece as well as timing. The final performance was an emotional one because of their inclusiveness, focus and commitment to the piece. 

Writing their own myth drew on the heroes already experienced during their learning on Ancient Greece. Labyrinths and caves, beasts and slaying all featured along with a tragic ending. Drama and different experiences- including being blindfolded on the trim trail or placing a hand into a feely bag of fish- all contributed to understanding the vocabulary we could insert into our myths. 

The following comments collected after the carousel of activities during the afternoon of celebration are below. A big thank you goes to Miss Nwaesei for standing in for Mrs Walker in the cafe- the Tzatziki dip was a great hit as was your enthusiasm. 

Great to see such a broad range of activities that the children do covering one topic. Great to see parents/grandparents encouraged to join in and share the children’s learning.”

I had a wonderful time with my son and his friends. I felt happy and inspired to watch their great activities. I’d like to thank you all teachers. Merry Christmas!”

Amazing! I thought I was going to cry but held back-a very proud parent. Zakrya has thoroughly enjoyed his Art Fortnight. Thank you to Mrs Johnston for helping Zakrya in class.”

I am pleased to be part of this years 5RA’s Art Celebration. The dance was quite interesting, the writing was good story, cooking at the cafe was good. Overall, it is great to see different part of life incorporated into the pupils’ learning. Well done.

The dance was brilliant and all the children did amazing.” 

It was a really amazing performance.”

It was great to see Fatimah’s progression in her creativity, writing and dancing.

I enjoyed looking at the wonderful and hard work of the children’s art and all the detail they have added to their art. Very impressive.” Aaliyah’s mum

Glue, paper, plaster and paint…

Through drama, dance, art and writing opportunities, the Ancient Greek Myth ‘Theseus and the Minotaur‘ was brought to life. Action, energy, structures and words drove the creativity. Well done 5MJ for completing a learning journey that definitely made you think, engage and persevere.

Do you know the difference between a labyrinth and a maze? After their time in the art studio creating and making, building and painting one, Y5MJ now do.

Their relief labyrinths were made using newspaper, glue and acrylics. The intricate passageways becoming ‘tedious’ to make as they didn’t just materialise but required focus and concentration as the newspaper was folded and then manipulated to follow their designs. The labyrinths demonstrated the skill of creating tints and tones as well as learning the complementary colour to the primary colour. Together they looked beautiful. Hopefully there was a sense of pride at what had been achieved over a number of hours!

In addition, 5MJ made their own Ancient Greek vases. Creating the vessel was quite therapeutic as the plaster was massaged in. If not wet enough, the Modroc would fail to bind and the pot collapse when dry. A few ‘lips’ and ‘feet’ were lost because of this. Black silhouette scenes from the myth Theseus and the Minotaur were painted on- a thin brush giving the detail required.

Friday’s celebration was a platform for 5MJ to share their learning journeys with an interested adult. The ‘Take Over Day Mrs J’s’, introduced the afternoon and shared some of the learning before Year 5 performed their dance and gave their honest reflections about the successes and challenges faced. A carousel of taster workshops then provided an opportunity for parents to see and experience some of the learning that took place over the fortnight.

The feedback was complimentary-except for the music playing repeatedly in the art studio. The theme tune from ‘The Crystal Maze’ was suggested as an alternative! Here are just a few:

Impressive work. Well done everyone.’

‘Good pieces of art. the children really worked so hard and it was brilliant. The Tzatziki was fantastic and will definitely try it at home.’

Very well organised. Enjoyed taking part and watching what the children had practiced. Lots of learning has been done! Thank you for sharing it with us.’

It was great to see how much Mayako had learned and enjoyed this interesting project. Thank you for the opportunity to see how she gets on at school.’

Blitz…Abram Games…evacuees…

The opening chapters of Emily Carroll’s book ‘Letters from the Lighthouse’, inspired the art, dance, baking and writing opportunities for 6SK’s Arts fortnight.

The exploration of materials and papers informed pupils on what they would use in order to capture St Paul’s Cathedral during the Blitz. As a result, collage, acrylic, pastel, pen and graphite were used in different ways on different paper size and colour. Pupil choice encouraged independence and ownership of their art even though the brief and stimulus was the same.

Searchlights, Luftwaffe, bombs, shattering glass, buildings collapsing and fire devouring were the words and phrases given as prompts for the gestural section in the dance piece. Seeing the collaboration within each group to portray the Blitz was really powerful. Thank you 6SK for the energy and commitment each of you put into your piece. As one parent shared, Friday’s performance ‘showed the experience of war-embodied’.

Inspired by Abram Games and other war artists who produced posters during WW2, we had a go at creating our own slogans. There were a number of challenges including creating a legible font and having the scissor skill in order to cut out the letters. Perseverance and patience was required. However, as the screen printing on the posters show, we got there in the end-with some prints created on the Friday afternoon in the art studio.

Below are some of the lovely comments shared by parents:

‘Really enjoyed the time with kids and teachers. We are excited to see the different dimensions they are exposed to-art, dance, cooking, history. Thanks to all of you.’ Rohan’s Dad.

‘An absolutely amazing performance. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Great writing as well’ Areena’s Mum.

‘Thank you for another wonderful experience. Such high quality learning and the standard of writing and art was amazing.’

‘It was excellent learning around my kid Rayyan. An excellent way of teaching.’

‘Children have been engaged in amazing activities from which they have learnt a lot about WW2 and beyond. Thank you very much.’

‘Dancing showed the experience of war-embodied. Doing dancing helped us understand all the work that had gone into the performance. Art amazing and inspiring as always.’

Letters from the Lighthouse

Celebration of learning captured on camera

This fortnight it was the story ‘The Spider Weaver’ that inspired the artwork, dance and writing as well as the spider web buns. 

Thank you to John Sherbourne-one of our school governors- who gave up his Friday afternoon to capture 2ES’ Arts Celebration. His photographs beautifully captured the dance performance as well as the smiles and conversations of the carousel of activities. Below is a taster of our wonderful afternoon.

Thank you to parents, interested adults, members of the nurture team and Mrs Stott, for providing an audience for the dance performance. It is always a treat to see how Mrs Lynch choreographs a piece that incorporates pupils’ ideas, improvisation as well as her own routine. Spiders and webs were definitely portrayed.

Celebrating the art created over the fortnight and sharing some of the skills developed always brings a smile to faces. Well done 2ES for your beautiful webs, fabric printing and weaving. The studio endeavours to share the learning and the hooks that inspired.

 Below is some of the lovely feedback from parents, grandparents and interested adults:

‘We had a wonderful afternoon, it’s lovely to see everything the kids have been doing at school, it’s especially lovely that we get to take part in activities with them too. I enjoyed it all. I got out of my comfort zone with the dancing but it was really enjoyable! Tom loved showing me his work too, thanks for laying the afternoon on.’

‘I enjoyed watching the different groups dancing then how they all came together at the end. It’s nice to see the children’s individual work. I like watching the video of the children creating their art. I learnt a lot about spiders!’

‘We enjoyed doing the different activities together. It is so amazing to see the huge enthusiasm the children have for their work.’

‘Dance was fantastic and very complex. Good idea to split into smaller groups-breathing space! Lovely cakes! Fantastic art!’

Glowing like moonbeams…

Because of Black History month, a story from Ghana called ‘The Spider Weaver’ became the hook and inspired the arts, dance, writing and baking. It was the web of a spider that inspired a new intricate weave known as the ‘Kente Cloth’.  

Over the fortnight, we have created our own ‘masterpieces’ that appear to ‘glow like moonbeams’ in the art studio.  Oil pastel cobwebs washed with watercolour and then printed with banana plasticine leaves were sewn into and finally glittered.  Running stitch and cross stitch were the skills we attempted to use. Concentration and patience was definitely required, and as our ‘binca’ strips testify most of us mastered one or both of these stitches.

Through dance, we became acquainted with different types of spider including the Giant House spider, Hunting spider, Goliath tarantula and Web spinning spider. Creating webs required listening to each other’s ideas and then together choreographing the idea into movements. Being a spider involved quick movements (scurrying and crawling, spinning and rolling) as well as moments of stillness before pouncing on prey. In reflecting on our dance journey, we recognised how we had to follow and own a sequence of instructions and in the dance switch mode from an ‘us to me’ and a ‘me to us’.

Our research on spiders also introduced us to the Jumping spider; Mexican Red kneed tarantula and the Orb- Web spider. Great perseverance was required in attempting to create our own sock puppet spider that had eight legs, six to eight eyes as well as two fangs. These became a character in our own imaginative Spider Stories.

Working with a partner, 2CC also created their own webs gluing pipe cleaners, string, wool and lace onto cardboard-easier said than done! Sticky fingers were a frustration for many of us. These were then inked up and printed.

Thank you to those parents and interested adults that joined in 2CC’s Art Celebration on Friday afternoon. Your presence gives the audience for performance as well as that special someone to share in the successes and challenges experienced.

‘Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under’t.’

The early scenes of Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ provided the hook for 5SW’s Arts Fortnight. Through dance and drama, we began to look at the character of Macbeth and his wife Lady Macbeth. His ‘deepest thought’ (to be King) prophesised by the witches started the turmoil within him, and ignited the desire for wealth and power even if it meant treason within his wife. Could she manipulate/persuade her husband to commit murder?

During week one, the eerie light, and mist and magic of Macbeth and Banquo’s encounter with the witches was portrayed using pastel, watercolour, charcoal and collage. Autumn definitely found herself in a state of ‘flow’ during this session and the result was stunning. In addition, an observational drawing of a flower was sketched and a self-portrait in paint created on A1 sheets of sugar paper. These portraits, with an emphasis on mixing skin tone colours, would support the relief work in Mod roc.

On a number of levels, working with Mod roc required perseverance. It was definitely a slow and uncertain process, messy and at times frustrating. However, 5SW demonstrated resilience. They began to appreciate how the medium worked and the importance of smoothing the plaster over the facial features with the water. Well done Charlotte for owning the frustration but being prepared to go again and succeed!

Thank you to those parents and interested adults who were able to juggle their work, lives and afternoons in order to join in 5SW’s Arts Celebration. Having an audience definitely brings the adrenaline of performance and provides the purpose in sharing the collaborative piece as well as sharing the successes and challenges in the art, baking and written work.

Watch a video of our work

Here are just some of the lovely comments written in response to the afternoon:

“It has been wonderful to share in this celebration. The children are so proud of their work and it is lovely to share that with them.”

“It was fun! I really enjoyed the dance and the artwork which was amazing!”

“It was really good as it allows us to see our child’s progress as well as participate alongside the children.”

“Wonderful art works by the kids and I can see the hard work by both kids and staff here.”

“As always a lovely afternoon not only learning about what our son has been learning, but also helping them celebrate their achievement.”

“Enjoyed the canapes very much, will be trying these at home!”

We are the voice for the trees…

After a year of working on ‘The Lorax’ in the art studio, there is definitely an appreciation for trees at Allerton CE Primary. Together, we have discovered that they are the superheroes for our environment and ‘unless we care then nothing is going to get better.’

The daily dedication of ‘The Forest Man’ -who over the past forty years has single handedly, planted a forest-inspired 5RA that we can make a difference. Succinct and powerful they certainly conveyed why trees are essential for all living things in their 5 word slogans.

Colourful prints, sewing, sequins, buttons and Pom Poms created Truffula Tree art. Perseverance was definitely required when:

  • threading the eye of a needle
  • sewing (running stitch)
  • wrapping wool around card templates for Pom Poms!


Learning to follow and listen to instruction as well as collaborate, were the main ingredients for 5RA’s dance and baking sessions. Like all good learning journeys 5RA were definitely in the pit during their arts fortnight, but as Friday’s celebration shared their challenges were overcome-the performance was AMAZING!

Thank you to the parents who were able to make the celebration and share in the learning of 5RA. Below are some smiling faces and lovely comments that capture Friday afternoon.

‘The dance was wonderful! I’m so impressed with the whole class. The artwork was fantastic and the statements on trees were powerful. Thank you all!’

‘As usual, a totally amazing afternoon and so fantastic to see all the different work that Year 5 have created-thank you teachers.’

‘I absolutely enjoyed learning with the kids and it was an amazing experience as always. Thank you.’

Lille 2019

A dream became a reality this year, when the Artistic Education Project between Lille and Leeds happened. Because of this partnership, nine pupils were able to visit Lille and join their French peers in dance workshops that culminated in an exciting collaborative performance at a hip hop centre called Flow to an audience of over a hundred.

Under the tuition of Mustafa and his colleague, our boys -along with pupils from Year 6 and Year 7 cohorts in Lille schools -created two ambitious dances. The choreography was impressive, and all our nine students learnt so much. This included the history of hip hop, translated by Titus –the International Relations Officer for Leeds City Council- new dance steps as well as counting in French…cinq, six, sept, huit!

The final performance incorporated the dances worked on and choreographed by Gee (an amazing dance teacher who works week on week with a group of our boys in Key Stage 2) as well as our very own talented dance teacher Mrs Lynch.

New friendships were made, precious memories created  and aspirations raised. A new city, a different language and an exciting dance venue and stage has certainly impacted the lives of nine hardworking students. Well done boys for being brilliant and embracing your learning in France.

Hopefully, we will be hosting our French friends next year with an itinerary that will inspire and educate all the young people involved.