Staff at Isle of Ely Primary School enjoyed putting on an action-packed week of enriching activities for pupils during the return of the school’s annual Arts Week.  

Arts week is a popular tradition at Isle of Ely Primary School, used to inspire pupils and encourage them to experience a wide range of creative arts. This year, the school saw this event as a great opportunity to promote one of its key values by focusing on the theme ‘empower’.

Natalie Lewis, the Art Lead at the school, organised more than ten local companies to come into the school and carry out pop-up events, workshops and presentations, on a range of arts such as dance, music, acting, painting, printing and weaving.

In addition to these workshops, the school welcomed representatives from Babylon Arts, Ely Museum, Ely Cathedral and The Stained Glass Museum in a cultural pop-up event organised by Babylon Arts and supported by the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation and East Cambridgeshire District Council. More than 150 children and their families had a brilliant time browsing the stalls, participating in art activities and feeling inspired to visit these local cultural places of interest.

Sarah Parker, Director of Lane Academy, who taught pupils an empowering dance which they then all performed together, said: “It was amazing to be part of Arts Week at Isle of Ely Primary School. The children were enthusiastic and energetic, and to see the whole school dancing together and having fun shows how inclusive and wonderful dance can be for everyone!”

Peggy Mends, who completed a printing workshop with the children, said: “I feel incredibly honoured to have been part of the Isle of Ely Primary School Arts Week 2022. The children I taught the print workshop to were so enthusiastic and made such beautiful artwork. The Arts Week has been a great opportunity for all the children to try out and learn about different art forms, to have fun and to get very messy in the process!”

Bryony Surtees, Head Teacher of Isle of Ely Primary School, said: “It was wonderful to see our pupils develop their artistic and creative skills. All of the activities were engaging and fun and the children thoroughly enjoyed the week. A big thank you to all the artists and local organisations for taking the time to support our pupils, as well as Miss Lewis for her time and effort towards organising the whole event.”

Craig D'Cunha, Acting Chief Executive Officer of The Active Learning Trust, said: “At The Active Learning Trust we believe all types of art and creativity are a key part of children’s early education. It is fantastic to see Isle of Ely Primary School’s enriching curriculum being used to empower its pupils and build on their creativity, confidence and talent. I’m pleased that this year's Arts Week was another huge success.”