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The Arts

Welcome to the Arts pages 2018-2019

We hope you enjoy sampling the range and variety of  the Arts on offer at our school. We have a dedicated team of young Arts Ambassadors who coordinate and organise events and activities in school and in the wider community. our  There is a busy schedule of events for the year ahead which we will endeavour to capture that on here!

Extravaganza Performances

Whole class music lessons at Fir Tree

Does your child want to play a woodwind instrument? Interested? Speak to Mrs Giles! Lessons offered by Oxfordshire County Music Service.

Our radio team presenting at the fete

Art competition to make a Christmas tree decoration

Choir performing at the Baptist Church to the Oasis group

A stunning drama performance remembering the importance and preparations of Christmas

Some of our choir members performing at Millcroft to residents, guests and the staff before the official turning on of the Christmas tree lights

For He's a Jolly Good Postman

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Some choir members performing Christmas carols to the 'Young at Heart' retirement group

The Christmas crafts made by each class for our fayre

Year 3 Observational Leaf Drawings

Winners of the Art competition with the Art reps who were judges

Winners of the Art competition with the Art reps who were judges 1

Some of the 'Spooky' art competition entries........

Fruit and vegetable monsters competition at the school fete

A glimpse of the Arts around school in May

Some of the amazing entries in the 'Under the Sea' Art competition

Our visit to the Sheldonian Theatre to watch the Oxfordshire County Youth Orchestra perform

"I thought the visit was amazing and a great opportunity!" - Amy

"I liked the piece 'Radetzky March' as it was very lively!" -Laura -

"My favourite was 'Star Wars' as it's an amazing orchestral piece" - Thomas

"It was an incredible experience....I wish everyone could have come!" - Tom

"I thought it was amazing to see and hear an orchestra live!" - Charley

 

Christmas table decoration winners (judged by the Arts representatives)

Christmas table decoration winners (judged by the Arts representatives) 1
Christmas table decoration winners (judged by the Arts representatives) 2

Year 4 brass assembly

Please  look on Cedar and Maple Class pages  to see a five minute video of their fantastic brass performance to parents and the rest of the school.

Big Sing at the Town Hall, Oxford

Our Christmas Craft Fayre Makes

Lower School Jungle Book rehearsals.......

Working on a project with Mr Knapp based on Islamic Art

Year 6 Shakespeare event

A quick peek at a singing lesson with Sandy

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Year 5 Andy Goldsworthy artwork

Year 4 brass assembly - please look at Ash Class pages for video and more photos!

Brass assembly parent feedback

Upper School's fantastic production of 'Toy Story'

Fiddle Club - June 2016

Have a listen to our fantastic fiddle club led by Alison Garnett playing the 'Theme from New World Symphony'.

Drunken Sailor Fiddle Club.MP3

And here they are again playing 'Drunken Sailor'.

Ash Class enjoyed the Samba Drumming

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Cedar Class Samba Drumming reflections

“...now I know some Brazilian instruments…”  Joe

“… everybody enjoyed it and we really want to see him again in year 4 to learn more new skills..” Poppy  

“I learnt that Samba  drumming will be at the Olympics this year!”  Henry

“ …I would like to do it again next year because I learnt  that instruments can be loud or quiet  when you play them with control …” Lily    

“I learnt how to hold a drum stick properly and what Brazilian music sounds like.” Aimee   

“I enjoyed the djembe  playing and I kept the rhythm going.” Emilia

“I liked drumming using my hands in the Samba music.” Emma

“Please can we have the Samba man again?  It was brilliant! I had to concentrate  hard to keep the beat of the music.” Reko

Garden on a Plate Competition

Thank you to all the entrants of our 'Garden on a Plate' competition.  All the entries were so different, creative and imaginative.  They attracted a lot of attention at the fete and so many people commented on your originality.  From edible items to live creatures,  natural to man made materials they were all so unique. The judge, as usual, had a tricky time deciding  who had won in each category.  The results were as follows;

Key stage one - Evelyn Taylor

Lower School - Stan Smith

Upper School - Daisy Rayner

 

Got an exciting idea for our next Art competition?   Speak to Mrs Giles or the Arts representatives.

Photos of our crafts made for the summer fete

A snap shot of the art curriculum in May

A snap shot of the art curriculum being covered in April......

Music at Fir Tree

School Choir

Please read the document below to find out more about our school choir.

In December, 27 members of our school choir performed at the 'Big Christmas Sing' event at the town hall, Oxford. We were one of twelve schools participating at this splendid venue, singing  our own solo item in addition to massed choir songs.  We sang a two part harmony arrangement of 'Jingle Bells as our feature.  As well as being a fantastic experience, it was a day  greatly enjoyed and will be remembered by all. The staff were very pleased with their  professional conduct and performance.
Picture 1 A quick breath of fresh air between rehearsals!
Picture 2 Singing the massed choir items.
Picture 3 Learning how to play kazoos!

Experiencing music from the past

We were delighted to be able to experience the sound of a phonograph, invented by Thomas Edison (the original ipod!) in classes and assembly time. Comparing the  music quality was very eye opening! Thank you to the Smith family who kindly let us borrow it. 

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School Orchestra

Please read the document below to find out more about our school orchestra.

Beginning the musical journey at Fir Tree

In year 3, we provide all pupils with a recorder  and class teachers deliver  a learning programme using a fun and interactive  computer programme called Charanga.  Lessons develop a sound understanding  and experience of all the interrelated dimensions of music. Pupils are taught to read musical notation and to use the correct terminology.

First Access Year 4

Our year 4 pupils learn a brass instrument throughout  the academic year. Ash Class are learning  to play cornets and Willow Class are learning to play tenor horns with  a fantastic teacher called Mark Probert who works for the Oxfordshire County Music Service.  A professional player himself, Mark inspires the children and staff on their learning journey each week.

Our children get to take their instruments home to further develop their skills through recommended daily practise of work covered in class. Additionally, they can attend the South Oxfordshire Music Centre (SOMC) on a Saturday morning, 9.30-12, for free this academic year, to  experience ensemble playing and to meet children from other schools who also learn instruments.  There are a wide range of ensembles available for every stage of learning.

More details about SOMC are available from Mrs Giles in school or Lorna Waters.  Email Lorna at  lorna.waters@oxfordshire.gov.uk
 

Play On Music Scheme

Having undertaken learning a brass instrument for  the last academic year as year 4's, the year 5's now get the opportunity to further experience  another instrument. Sycamore Class are learning the guitar with the amazing Joules Roberts and Cherry are learning the clarinet with fantastic Melody Brains, both of whom work for the Oxfordshire County Music Service and have a wealth of experience. Once again, our pupils are fortunate to be able to take their respective instruments home to practise and develop their skills further.

BBC Ten Pieces

Below is a link to the BBC Ten Pieces website.  This was an initiative last year to get more Classical music back into school. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01vs08w

At Fir Tree, each year we have nearly a week whereby each class studies a  piece of Classical music in depth to  understand about the composer and the times they lived in.  They analyse and  explore the sounds and effects in the music, create their  own sounds and response to the music, practise and perform it then evaluate the effectiveness of their work.   This can be achieved in many  cross curricular ways.

Offering musical opportunities

We pride ourselves in offering our pupils the opportunity to experience a wide range of musical instruments through assemblies, demonstrations and taster session.

Alison Garnett, our talented violin and viola teacher, came in on  two Thursday lunchtimes to offer children  a string taster session. She was admirably assisted by our current and previous leaners, including Jennie, Freddie, Lily, Amelie and Emma.

The children  who were trying  it out got to play different strings both plucked (pizzicato) and bowed.

If your child would like to start lessons or fiddle club (see attached flyer) please contact Alison directly.

Brass learning opportunity available now!

Mr Probert, a very talented and experienced brass player (and also our school  brass teacher), came into assembly to demonstrate the range of brass instruments he teaches.  In order of size from the smallest to the largest, he showed us the cornet, tenor horn, baritone and trombone. It is possible to learn all these instruments in school.   He has a dream to start our own Fir Tree brass band playing ‘Star Wars’ and much more!   We need you!

If you   would like to try out a brass instrument and felt inspired by his assembly and demonstration of the capabilities of each instrument, see Mrs Giles for  more  information as soon as possible.

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Dance at Fir Tree

We have a  fantastic specialist dance teacher, Rhonda Sparrey, who teaches dance across the year groups on a Thursday throughout the year. Pupils experience a wide range of  dance genres, topics and techniques  with her through a process which encourages exploration, planning, developing ideas, practise and performance. Evaluation is an important part of this process and teachers regularly record  the different stages to evaluate back in the classroom. Children work in various groupings and individually to develop their skills.

Dance is always a strong part of the Upper and Lower School productions each year.  Our school always participates in the Dance festival each year held at Wallingford School.

 

Picture 1 Isolating body parts
Picture 2 Leading your partner
Picture 3 Stretching out
Picture 4 Concetrating carefully....
Picture 5 Rolling in the snow!

Drama at Fir Tree

Drama is explored through many curriculum subjects as well as a subject within it's own right.  We believe that harnessing creativity through drama develops self confidence, imagination, empathy  and social skills.

Children explore  many techniques such as; mime, improvisation, hot seating, freeze frame, conscience alley, Professor-know-it-all, thought tracking, flash forward, and flash back,  to name but a few.

 

Our productions that we put on twice a year  are exceptional! Lower School traditionally put on a production in term 2 and Upper School in term 6. Children are involved with ticket and programme design, lighting, sound effects, special effects, costume design, scenery and prop making in addition  to acting and singing.

Each year we also hold 'museum' times for parents and friends to attend school to see what we have learned about particular projects.  This is an opportunity for our children to be expert museum curators and for them to talk and demonstrate about a particular  aspect of the subject that interests them.

 

Picture 1 In role as Caliban
Picture 2 Role play between Caliban and and Miranda
Picture 3 Prospero
Picture 4 Miranda
Picture 5 Acting out scenes

Drama club

Caroline Atkins  and Rosie Southern run an after school drama club on a Tuesday  which has recently been focussing on developing drama through stories.   She has made regular comments about the growth in self confidence among  individual children and  as a whole. Their imaginations know no boundaries!

Art, Craft and Design at Fir Tree

Art, craft and design is taught both discretely as well as through cross curricular topics. We have a specialist Art teacher, Jon Knapp, come to teach many of our art projects across the school on a Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. A professional artist himself, Jon teaches the essential skills about line and shape, form and space, tone, colour, pattern  and texture.  He also introduces the pupils to  famous artists from different eras and of course they experience using a wide range of medium too.

 

The Arts representatives organise regular art competitions throughout the year.

March 2016 Book Character competition for library

Picture 1 Winners of the 'Autumn Art' competition

Art Glossary

A snap shot of the Arts at Fir Tree 2014-2015

 

 

Travelling by Tuba concert

We are very grateful to Cholsey School for inviting  a group of year 4 children to watch a concert performed by a very talented duo who call themselves, 'Travelling by Tuba'. The concert took the children on a musical journey around the world  visiting lots of composers and introduced some lesser known instruments such as the sousaphone and Alpine horn. The concert contained lots of humour  and the lucky children who attended enjoyed it immensely and learnt a lot.

 

 

Results of the Animal Art Competition March 2015

It was another tough job to judge the entries to this competition as the standard was high!   The judges were particularly struck by a number of things in the artwork including:

  • the subjects chosen
  • the level of detail with the shading
  • the way the pictures told a story
  • expression and character coming through
  • how busy the picture looked

Thank you and well done to everyone who entered.

 

If you have an idea for the next competition please do speak to one of our Arts representatives.

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The winners were Laura, Charley, Holly, Sophia, Alicia and Jed. Well done to all of you!

 

 

Right at the end of term, Naz, an international Artist came to lead an assembly on her artwork and discussed her techniques and inspiration with the children.   Later, some children from each class were selected to take part in a special workshop with her exploring ideas and techniques around cubism.

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Term 3 has been another busy term across the school! Upper School have thrown themselves into learning all about China and explored it through drama, dance, music and art.

 

Pupils have made Chinese terracotta warriors from  clay after learning about Chinese emperors. Notice how each figure has a different expression and clothing!

 

Below is some of the impressive work that can be seen around school.

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Picture 5 A wonderful Chinese experience opportunity......
Picture 6 dressing up
Picture 7 Fun with Chinese fans....
Picture 8 Fun with Chinese fans....

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY

Well done to Lower School for a fantastic production! We were extremely proud of your professionalism throughout!

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The winners of the Mixed Media Art competition......

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BBC TEN PIECES

Term 2 started with all classes taking part in the BBC's Ten Pieces.

 

Ash Class have CONNECT IT by ANNA MERIDITH! It is a fantastic piece of music and we were able to watch clips of Anna taking about how she composed the piece without any instruments. After we listened to the piece we were able to make some of the sounds ourselves - instead of writing a graphic score we took photographs to show the notes!

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We were then able to use the notes we had learned to compose our own pieces! Soon to follow will be a link to recordings of us performing.

 

 

Fiddle club taster session with Mrs Garnett was great fun!

 

 

Take One Picture diplays from the different classes

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The talent show was a tremendous success. Acts ranged from comedy, music, martial arts, dancing, drama and more....... Have a look at  some of the photos below.

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Josef's drawing competition has had a huge response making it extremely difficult to judge! Over 65 entries in total!   The winners of upper school and lower school are pictured below with some of the examples of the high quality work produced.
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Easter art using pastels and gold paint.
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Below are 3 photographs  taken by children who made Mothers Day cards. Using the school cameras was an interesting activity as they really had to consider what makes a good photo.
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