BAS Monthly Blog – January

Blog – January 2024

Happy New Year everyone!

We hope you had a lovely break over the festive period. December was a very busy month for Birmingham Arts School. Firstly we have been building an activity calendar for 2024 with a range of events for artists, teachers, and arts organisations; from CPD programmes, teacher networks, arts partnership showcases, a summer celebration and the development of arts organisation led GCSE Dance and Drama courses. 2024 is the year we show you just how much Birmingham Arts School has to offer.

Our second reason for a busy December was our Digital Advent Calendar. Over the sixteen school days in December, sixteen different arts organisations hosted sixteen different giveaways. We ended up with seventeen schools winning free arts activities, below is a list of all our winners:

  • Colmers Secondary School and Sixth Form – Won 2 tickets to ‘Aston Live’ courtesy of Birmingham Museums Trust
  • Woodhouse Primary Academy – Won a drama workshop courtesy of Loudmouth Theatre and Education
  • St Benedict’s Primary School – Won an exclusive backstage tour of Symphony Hall
  • St Chads Primary School – Won 35 tickets to a CBSO concert
  • University of Birmingham School – Won the chance to host Sampad’s photographic exhibition in their school
  • Hodge Hill Girls School – Won a dance workshop courtesy of AWA Dance
  • Park Hill Primary School – Won a workshop courtesy of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts
  • Yardley Wood Primary School – Won two pairs of tickets at Birmingham Hippodrome
  • Ninestiles Academy – Won a dance workshop and a book by Autin Dance Theatre.
  • Four Dwellings Primary Academy – Won a workshop courtesy of National Trust: Birmingham Back to Backs.
  • St Edwards Catholic Primary School – Won a drama workshop and backstage tour at Birmingham Repertory Theatre
  • Braidwood School for the Deaf – Won a teacher CPD on composing with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
  • Montgomery Primary Academy – Won a singing bear and educational resources from Ex Cathedra Singing Schools
  • King Edwards VI Northfield School for Girls – Won an art workshop courtesy of Ikon Galley
  • Mayfield School – Won a dance workshop courtesy of ACE Dance and Music
  • Queensbridge School – Won 2 Family tickets to Services for Education’s Youth Proms Concert at Symphony Hall
  • Kitwell Primary School – Won a music workshop courtesy of Services for Education

What you can expect in 2024

BAS CPD Programme for teachers

BAS has organised six CPD events for teachers in 2024 which are available to book right now.


Learn lots of new songs and singing games for the primary school day and how to use them to support teaching and learning, classroom community, development of teamwork, vocal skills and musicianship. You will be given free logins to Ex Cathedra’s online resources for Singing Playgrounds, SingMaker and ChoirMaker. Whether you are unsure and new to using singing in your school day or confident and experienced there is something here for everyone

Lunch provided. Please provide dietary requirements when booking.

Book here:


Birmingham Arts School seeks to break down barriers of engagement between schools and arts organisations to ensure more young people have access to the arts. This is a CPD session specifically for practitioners, artists and creatives from arts organisations. 

Led by Reza Gholami, Linzi Stauvers and Jo Sadler Lovett

To include

  • An introduction to key themes and methodologies led by Reza
  • A 15 minute case study of the Ikon project from Linzi
  • A 15 minute case study of the Play House project from Jo
  • Q and A and possible small group discussions facilitated by Reza

This is a fantastic free opportunity to listen to case studies from arts organisations, hear about their work with schools and address questions around barriers you as artists/arts organisations may be facing. This CPD will provide opportunities to discover how you can collaborate with teachers to deliver arts programmes that inspire creativity whilst also supporting curriculum needs of schools.

Refreshments will be provided.

Book here:—rethinking-the-cultural-learning-curriculum/202402230000/


An artist-led introduction to printmaking with a range of activities and resources designed to engage teachers and their students. 

Responding to our exhibition Start the Press!,  teachers are invited to experiment with different techniques in a practical session which will promote the development of new skills and a contextual understanding of  printmaking. 

 At the centre of this exhibition sits an 18th Century printing press, which forms the starting point of our discussion. Activities are designed to suit school budgets and time constraints, making use of recycled materials and common classroom equipment where possible. From the industrial heritage of printmaking to its importance in publishing, protest, fashion and art, participants explore a range of opportunities to incorporate printmaking activities into their classrooms. 

Lunch provided. Please provide dietary requirements when booking.

Book here:


Introduction to Primary Dance. This CPD is the perfect preparation for anyone delivering dance in primary settings, whether you are new to teaching dance or an experienced dance teacher wanting to refresh your knowledge and ideas. Through exploring engaging activities linked to the development of key dance skills, you will develop your subject knowledge of dance and be provided with key tools to help you plan and deliver imaginative and progressive dance sessions. The session will embed theoretical learning through practical application and will include a combination of theoretical and practical activities.

Key topics explored during the session will be; the benefits of dance, building understanding of key dance terminology and the components of dance (action, space, dynamics, and relationships), and applying learnt knowledge to design and structure fun and engaging dance lessons.

By the end of the session, you will:

  • Feel more confident in planning, structuring, and delivering your own safe dance lessons
  • Have secured good knowledge of key dance terminology to develop your students’ understanding
  • Had the opportunity to ask any subject related questions throughout the session
  • Had opportunities to network and gain new contacts: building links with other dance teachers in the session
  • Take away strategies to develop students’ creativity

Location: Dance Hub, Thorp Street, Birmingham, B5 4TB. When arriving please use the stage door entrance on Thorp Street. You will then need to take the lift to Level 3.

Lunch provided. Please provide dietary requirements when booking.

Book here:


According to the self-determination theory, students are more likely to succeed, be motivated and be happier if they have autonomy over their work and learning. Dance lends itself to this through students having control over their choreography and through their own interpretations of dance works, with no ‘right or wrong’ responses. Creative work also develops awareness of the capabilities and strengths of their own bodies, allowing them to design movement to suit their own style.  Therefore, dance can be achieved by everyone. We are aiming to ensure that our approach is to enable teachers to lead student led learning in dance. This will utilise the students own creativity and move away from the rote learning where students just copy routines in which we are seeing in schools. This will be achieved through modelling of key dance education terminology that can be used as key words to help spark students dance creativity.

The biggest concern of non-dance specialist teachers when needing to teach dance in schools is not being confident dancers themselves, however, dance language and terminology can inspire and facilitate the students creativity, without the direct need for teachers to model physicality. As mentioned previously, dance within schools is usually built on the three elements of composing, performing and appreciating. Through this method teachers can apply this to any class topic and subject as a way to enhance their learning in the classroom so dance doesn’t become a stand alone subject. Any subject can be danced – from historical topics of the Romans to great fire of London, geography topics of climate change to continents and science topics such as electricity to body functions. Research in America found that kindergarten students who learned the curriculum through dance were more likely to retain the information over those who didn’t (Pottiger, M. (2019) Project Researches Impact Of Dance On Students). 

Please bring something you can move in, eg joggers, trainers, tshirt.

Lunch provided. Please provide dietary requirements when booking.

Book here:


Birmingham Arts Schools is delivering a FREE CPD for teachers on producing festivals and events with local school communities. 

This CPD is for teachers who are interested in organising festivals and events for, by and with their local communities. We will be looking at case studies and projects run by other schools to inspire ways in which your schools could deliver similar programmes.

These case studies will include:

  • Stronger Together Festival at Queensbridge School Harpinder Singh, Headteacher
  • Community Mela at Hillstone Primary School Keith Farr, Arts Co-ordinator
  • Elliot Foundation Schools Arts Festival at Billesley Primary School, Angie Watson, Headteacher

The event will also allow for small group discussions on how teachers can plan festivals and events in their own schools and ways in which you may be able to collaborate.

Refreshments will be provided.

Book here:—working-with-local-communities-to-produce-festivals-and-events/202406130000/


Stan’s Cafe are pleased to offer this opportunity for secondary drama teachers to explore the devising process. You’ll work with Artistic Director, James Yarker at the company’s base in Selly Oak. You’re invited to bring one of the prompts that you give your students to start a devising or improvisation process. Together you’ll choose one and work from that.

“Stan’s Cafe is a theatre company (and charity). We make our work collaboratively, following exciting ideas wherever they take us, sometimes into theatres. We love working in schools with students and teachers. We started in 1991 and we are more excited than ever before.”

James studied theatre at Lancaster University. He co-founded Stan’s Cafe in 1991 and has directed all the company’s significant productions since then. As a result of this work he has been invited to guest lecture at Universities across the country as well as to present papers at conferences and run many workshops at home and abroad. He is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham and co-author, with Dr. Mark Crossley, of Devising Theatre With Stan’s Cafe, published Bloomsbury Methuen. James was an attached writer at Birmingham Repertory Theatre once but failed to reconcile himself to the notion of sitting at home writing a play – he is now detached.

Lunch provided. Please provide dietary requirements when booking.

Book here:

Teacher Networks 2024:


Drama Network for Secondary Schools.

There will be 4 more meetings during this academic year. Some of these will be over zoom, some will be in person. They will all run from 4.30pm until 6pm.

  • Wednesday 31st January 2024 – Sharing Resources and Best Practice.

  • Wednesday 13th March 2024 – Agenda TBC by the Network.

  • Wednesday 8th May 2024 –  Skill Share Evening.

  • Wednesday 26th June 2024 – Agenda TBC by the Network.

The network seeks to build new connections, share best practice, advocate and develop expertise. If you are interested in being a part of this network please complete the form below.


Dance Network for Secondary Schools

Flexus Dance Collective in Partnership with Birmingham Art School lead on our Dance Network for Secondary Schools. If you would like to join this network or find out more e-mail

The network sessions are scheduled to take place in Birmingham City Centre from 5pm – 6:30pm on the following dates:

  • Monday 22nd January 2024.

  • Monday 11th March 2024.

  • Monday 22nd April 2024.

  • Monday 17th June 2024. 


Art Network for Secondary Schools

The Art Network for Secondary Schools is delivered by Jo Baptiste, Director of Arts and Community Arts at Bishop Challoner School in partnership with Birmingham Arts School.


The BAS Art network is a forum for secondary artist-teachers across Birmingham to connect, collaborate, create, share good practice and promote arts education. The group will meet regularly throughout the year and work together to devise a range of arts opportunities for secondary schools in the Midlands. It is a supportive forum to explore workshop opportunities, engage in discussion and facilitate the development of teaching and learning in Art and Design. The focus of the meetings is agreed by the participants but always includes a discussion of upcoming art exhibitions and events and some focused discussion on current local and national issues affecting subject leadership and the challenges of teaching Arts subjects at a time of ‘Creativity Crisis’ in Secondary Education.


Sessions will be held 4 – 6pm at Challoner House, Bishop Challoner School, 21 Institute Rd, Kings Heath, B14 7EG on the below dates. To book your place and add yourself to the mailing list please email

The dates for the Art Network are:

  • Thursday 18th January 2024.
  • Wednesday 28th February 2024.
  • Wednesday 10th April 2024.
  • Wednesday 12th June 2024.


Primary Artslink Network

The Primary Artslink Network will meet twice this year on the above dates and times. If you are interested in attending these network meetings please look out for events to book on the Birmingham Education Hub and ensure you have signed up to the BAS Mailing list:

The Music Service currently leads on provision for the Music Network for Secondary Schools. If you are interested please get in touch on the following emails: and


BAS Awards Celebration Event 

In late June 2024, we will be hosting an awards celebration event. This will be an opportunity to showcase the arts engagement taking place between Birmingham schools and cultural learning providers across the city and celebrate the impact of this work. Teachers work relentlessly to provide cultural experiences for their young people and this award ceremony will provide opportunities to recognise the work of teachers, cultural learning staff and young people. We are consulting with arts organisations to develop categories for awards and will have more information about this in the coming months.


How can we support your school in engaging with the arts

As part of our activity calendar we are also planning dates for Arts Partnership Showcases. These will be events whereby headteachers can see arts practice taking place in schools around the city. These will be free opportunities to observe the work of arts organisations and see the impact the arts practice can have on developing a creative curriculum. We will let you know about these via our mailing list and social media channels once they are confirmed.

To see a full list of cultural learning providers in the city be sure to visit the following pages:

We also invite all interested teachers and individual artists to attend the MAC and No11 Arts Community Arts Coffee Morning, which is on Tuesday 20 February 2023, 10am – 1pm at MAC on the theme of arts, health and wellbeing.

This event is a friendly meetup for everyone involved in community arts in Birmingham, including artists, producers and community organisations and arts leads in schools. Join us to make new connections, share learning and opportunities and hopefully spark new collaborations. Previous attendees and first timers very welcome!

Our February gathering will have the theme of arts, health and wellbeing – programme to follow.

We will have a ‘show and tell’ space and invite you to bring artwork, artefacts or information about your community arts projects to share, this could be related to the theme but is not limited to this.

If you have any queries, contact Jake Harding: 

The morning is free but places are limited, so please RSVP via this short form. Do share with others involved in community arts in your networks, particularly anyone who might not otherwise hear about it. This will be a great opportunity to speak to artists who may be interested in developing relationships with your school and the projects they may offer to support your curriculum needs.

Lastly the Birmingham Arts School team have spoken at various headteacher consortium meetings and are always keen to engage with more multi academy trust CEOs and headteachers across the city. If you would like us to present at one of your meetings please do not hesitate to get in touch by emailing Bhavik Parmar on

To join the mailing list please sign up here: (Primary and Secondary Schools) (Special Schools)


We look forward to engaging with you all this year!

The Birmingham Arts School Team

To stay up to date on all the opportunities we have coming up please make sure to sign up to the Birmingham Education Hub and follow us on all our social media platforms below.

Click here to read October’s blog.

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Click the link to read September’s blog.

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Click the link to read July’s blog.

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Click the link to read June’s blog.

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