Expressive Arts and Design is a specific area in the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.


The Sue Hedley Nursery School practises the HighScope Philosophy across all areas of learning incorporating the Birth to 5 Matters, this is how it looks within Expressive Arts and Design.


Our environment both indoors and outdoors provides a wide range of multi-sensory and open-ended experiences which children can choose to explore. We value curiosity, innovation and the use of imagination. This allows children to have individual expression.


Art begins with exploration, and this enables children to focus on processes rather than the final product. Giving children the freedom to make their own choices and test their ideas allows them to be confident and independent learners. Incorporating materials and resources that will evoke excitement and enthusiasm will provide children with deeper learning and motivation.


Through our daily routine, which is one of the key aspects of the HighScope Philosophy children feel safe and secure where artistic expression can then occur in a trusting, supportive and non-competitive environment. This also includes small group times and large group times where children can learn, explore and investigate through new and familiar experiences.


Using Expressive Arts and Design encompasses many other prime areas of learning such as manipulating art materials and tools enhances large and fine motor development. It also encourages social cooperation as children share materials, collaborate on a project or simply talk with one another.


As practitioners we support the children by encouraging them to use all of their senses to explore Expressive Arts and Design and be a partner in their play whilst scaffolding their learning. The use of sustained shared thinking and ongoing reflection enables the children’s interests to be included in planning of activities.


Role play and copying learned experiences are an important part of Expressive Arts and Design where children work with what they know. Cultural links are incorporated including special events i.e., Christmas, Eid, Chinese new year etc. Children also learn about people who help us and can act out their roles i.e., fireman and pretend hoses.


I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way- things I had no words for”.

Georgia O’Keeffe.


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