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!
"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
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.
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
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.
Music at Fir Tree
Please read the document below to find out more about our school choir.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
Well done to Lower School for a fantastic production! We were extremely proud of your professionalism throughout!
The winners of the Mixed Media Art competition......
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!
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
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.