Through the Expressive Arts schools and teachers can encourage children and young people to develop their creative appreciation and talent and their artistic and performance skills. The Expressive Arts provide opportunities to explore thinking, refine, and communicate ideas, engaging thinking, imagination and senses creatively. They also promote exploration of issues of personal and cultural identity. Engagement with the expressive arts requires application, perseverance and close attention to detail, capacities that have benefits across learning more widely.
The expressive arts provide inspiration and motivation as they bring children and young people into contact with the creative processes, performances and products of others and stimulate their own experimentation and creativity. They provide many opportunities for experiences such as visits to theatres and galleries and for bringing the specialist expertise of, for example, artists and musicians into the classroom. Achievement in the expressive arts also provides a basis for lifelong participation and can ultimately contribute to a thriving economy and cultural life for Wales.
The Expressive Arts support ambitious, capable learners encouraging them to explore new and challenging areas of experience and to strive to improve their performance. By developing their creativity in a range of forms of expression; providing rich contexts and challenges within which they can work collaboratively, learning from critical appraisal of their work, learners become enterprising, creative contributors. Learners become ethical, informed citizens by understanding their own cultural identity and those of societies in other places and at other times, and to explore complex and difficult issues. Learners become healthy, confident individuals as the Expressive Arts help them to develop resilience and feel more confident as they gain enjoyment and personal satisfaction from creative expression; contributing directly to enriching the quality of their lives
1. Engagement in the arts nurtures creativity
In the expressive arts, learners can explore and create. They compose, devise, choreograph and make new work. Being able to understand their own responses and those of others can enrich their lives. Developing original responses through exploration and discovery fosters learners’ skills. They learn to select and prioritise ideas and materials. By taking measured risks in the creative process, learners become independent and confident decision makers and start to own their ideas and artistic work.
2. Artistic communication connects creator, creation and audience.
The arts are a universal language. They enable learners to communicate the culture and diversity of Wales and the wider world, expressing their ideas and feelings, and developing empathy and an awareness of self. Learners communicate both through and about the arts. Through dance, drama, digital media, visual arts and music learners explore, experience, create and express. As active recipients, they respond, and reflect. Subject specific knowledge supports learners to make links across different art forms and enhances their critical evaluation and encourages engagement. As learners develop their analytical and critical skills, they are able to appreciate the arts with increasing sophistication.
3. Expressive Arts reflect, time, place and culture.
Learners study the expressive arts through culture and society, locally, nationally and internationally. Engaging with art forms born out of key events, political movements and changes in society, including contemporary events, allows learners to explore and experience how the arts reflect humanity. Responding and reflecting to these learning opportunities enriches their lives through developing empathy, tolerance and appreciation of all cultures. The acquisition of creative skills and knowledge fosters the learners’ mental, physical and emotional resilience, developing learners’ social confidence. Experiencing, creating and expressing allows learners to become reflective individuals, with a mind-set to embrace challenge. Engagement with the expressive arts provides opportunities to connect with others, nurture relationships and develop mutual respect. Subject specific, theoretical and academic knowledge gives learners the tools for considering and evaluating the expressive arts.
4. Acquiring and refining artistic knowledge, skills and techniques enhances creative works
In the expressive arts, learners develop technical skills, so that they can participate and contribute meaningfully. These form the core of each subject: some skills and techniques cross disciplines while others are specific. They are developed and refined through experience. Transferable skills, such as problem solving, communicating, collaborating and evaluating, enable learners to participate successfully outside the classroom and in the workplace.