Southborough Church of England Primary School

Southborough Church of England Primary School

Arts Ambassadors

What are the arts?

The arts include art and craft, music, dance, drama and literacy. Our aim is for all of our children to be involved in as many exciting cultural experiences as possible, so that they develop a greater understanding of the world around them.

The children can look forward to a selection of exciting arts activities including African drumming and songs, traditional African stories told by a professional story teller, African arts and crafts and traditional African dance.

This term our arts ambassadors have been busy learning all about the African artist Esther Mahlangu as well as African pattern and design. Come into the main reception and see our first mini art exhibition based on this work. The arts ambassadors have experienced screen-printing, batik, fashion design, jewellery making and paper sculpture all inspired by African art and culture.


What is an arts ambassador?

An arts ambassador’s role involves learning all about the arts and creating excitement around a theme or topic. Arts ambassadors help plan and design our cultural offering so that we plan lessons and activities that capture the imaginations of our young children.


Would you like to be a future arts ambassador?

Please email school so they can add you to our sign up list.

Arts Ambassadors 2023-2024

(Arts theme: Mental Health and Wellbeing)


We will be working on a variety of exciting creative projects this year connected to Mental Health and wellbeing.  The children will have opportunities to explore and develop their creative skills through the arts. We will be creating lovely art works, performing poetry, learning and singing songs and creating props.


Arts Ambassadors 2023-2024



The Arts Ambassadors will be working with Miss Garrioch this term to learn and perform songs that are uplifting and joyful. We have started with the fabulous song 'Electricity' from the musical Billy Elliott, which describes how it feels to hear music and dance.






Last week we looked at what is devised theatre and improvisation. After exploring the Children’s ideas, we watched a clip from an American theatre company that explained what devising is in theatre. To warm up we then did several drama games to build on the children’s spontaneity and improvisation as well as creativity. We played games such as the word association game and then saying mundane words such as items in a kitchen in a different emotional state. We then walked around the room and every time I shouted out a different emotion the children had to change their physicality and facial expressions. 


Following this we planned out our ideas for creating a scene around the 3 songs that we learnt last term. All songs highlight our arts theme of mental health and wellbeing. We wanted to loosely base our idea on ‘Billy Elliot’. The children wanted it to reflect their lives so they decided on the characters being in year 5 and then a fall out in friendship and loss of identity. How a supportive gymnastics coach would listen and support and then help them to overcome their worries. We are looking forward to acting out the scene this week! 


Arts Ambassadors 2023-2024



The Arts Ambassadors have been researching significant artists, scientists, activists, sports people and anthropologists who have excelled in their chosen field, despite living with mental health conditions. 


Did you know Charles Darwin, Freddie Flintoff and Serena Williams experienced anxiety and Florence Nightingale lived with PTSD? The children have been creating posters to show that you can't always tell what a person is going through, and that mental health conditions can and do impact people from all walks of life.


The posters created by the children which will be displayed around the school will hopefully help remove some of the stigma around mental health and ultimately show that mental health disorders do not have to hold anyone back from achieving their dreams.


Term 1

Arts theme: Mental Health and Wellbeing

Arts Ambassadors 2022-2023

(Arts theme: The environment and climate change)




The Arts Ambassadors have been very busy this summer term creating 3D set designs and costume illustrations for the Y6 production of Once on This Island. 

The arts ambassadors learnt all about set and theatre design before making a scaled down 3D model. The children read the script before deciding which key elements to include as part of the set. They each made several sketches of their ideas and plans before working on a final design. They then used this design to make all the 3D elements from paper and card. The main elements made included the hotel, the palm trees, the fishing boats and the car. The model was then used by the Y6 children to inspire the making of the full-scale set. 

The arts ambassadors also created costume illustrations for the play. We looked at the costume designer Clint Ramos before setting to work. The children researched each of the characters before designing their outfits. The illustrations created were then shared with the Y6 children and their parents as part of the preparation for the play. 

Arts Ambassadors 2022-2023

(Arts theme: The environment and climate change)



This term the arts ambassadors have been crafting 'wonky' fruit puppets. The puppets have been created as props to film along side the children reciting the environmental poem Funny Fruit and Wonky Veg by Matt Goodfellow.


Make a change

with a simple pledge;

picky funny fruit

and wonky veg


Different looks

same great taste

now none of it

need go to waste.


Did you know...1.3 million tonnes of food is wasted in the world each year? Wonky fruit and veg tastes the same! Does it matter? Food production takes a massive amount if our planet's resources such as oil and water. Disposing of waste also uses energy. You can help! Embrace ugly fruit and veg!


The children have also been writing their own poetry based on this funny theme. Check back here in a few weeks to see the finished film! We hope to share the final film with the entire school to promote eating wonky fruit and veg!

Wonky fruit and Veg by the arts ambassadors

Still image for this video

Arts Ambassadors 2022-2023

(Arts theme: The environment and climate change)



This term the arts ambassadors have been learning a new song called 'Our Earth'. This song is all about the environment and climate change. The lyrics to Our Earth are very poignant, yet catchy like a pop song.

Miss Garrioch, our wonderful music teacher has been very busy sharing her skills and knowledge about singing and performing with the children.

Our lucky arts ambassadors have learnt how to warm up their singing voices using a variety of techniques, which have given us all the giggles! The exercises included,  stretching our tongues, jaw massages, making over exaggerated chewing faces, lip rolls, siren sounds and singing scales accompanied by the piano.


The arts ambassadors have loved learning this catchy song and the accompanying harmonies. Miss Garrioch also showed the children how to create an accompanying rhythm using the African djembe drums. We have still got lots of practising to do, but we hope to post a video of the final performance in a few weeks.

Arts Ambassadors 2022-2023

(Arts theme: The environment and climate change)


This term we will be reading some environmental poetry and using this as the basis for a collaborative art piece.

The arts ambassadors chose the poem 'Let us save the planet'  by Roger Stevens and created these stunning fabric collages.

Arts Ambassadors 2021-2022

(African Arts Festival)


The art ambassadors have been busy planning activities and events for the whole school to enjoy in term 6. 

Activities include African art and craft projects, booking an African drumming performance and workshops and inviting a professional African story-teller to our school. We can't wait for everyone to be immersed in African art and culture this term.

Please click on the below link to find out more about our African Arts Festival.




This term the arts ambassadors have been learning all about African music with Mrs. Ashworth. 

Session 1

We started the session today talking about African music and songs. We discussed what we already know about African musical instruments and songs.We listened to ‘Mwambe children’s choir’  and discussed what we could hear. “They use lots harmonies together", Sophia. “The children were singing solo’s and harmonies”, Izzy. "We noticed that the children sang using ‘Call & response", Harriet, “Some of the lyrics were sung in African and some were sung in English”, Sophia.

We then viewed a video of the African’s children choir singing ‘Yesu’. The choir was so full of energy and joy. The children danced whilst they sang and played the drums.


Next we did a singing warm up….

We sang ‘Siyahamba’, a  call and response song – the children did so well clapping and marching to the beat. Then we learnt a new African song ‘Babathanza’  A popular Zulu song (another call response song). Mrs Betham could hear us singing our song from her classroom and said how fab we sounded!


“We looked at a really interesting African instrument called a ‘Sekere’ made from a gourd, which is a type of vegetable. It was covered in shells. It made a super noise”, Mary Lou.

“Mrs Ashworth knows lots about African music, she gave us djembe  drum each to play”, Emma.

“We learnt how to make different noises on the djembe drum, slapping different parts”, Bella.

Finally we learnt how to do call and response with the drums! We learnt a few rhythms that we played together. The arts ambassadors had a great time! Thank you Mrs Ashworth.


Session 2

We started this week’s session recapping on last week’s learning. What can you remember?

African music is made using traditional musical instruments and singing. They don’t use electrical equipment.

The music is joyful, there are exciting rhythms, there are lots of catchy melodies that repeat. The rhythms build up in layers. There is lots of ‘call and response’. So someone leads and  others follow.

We sang Syahamba to warm up our voices along with the piano and then acapella.  We then watched a video of some other African children sing Syahamba. We discussed what was similar and different. We noticed that the rhythm had changed.


We practised the call and response song Sin Je Je Je. Working on what we had learnt last week. We’re getting better! We tried it with the backing track.

Next we skipped to percussion!!  We practised playing different sounds/tones on the drum. We played different timelines. We had to keep to the beat. We played a rhythm called Apple, apple , apple pie. Then another rhythm called Watermelon pie, watermelon apple. The rhythms on their own aren’t complicated but when we put them together they sounded really good and create layers. We then had a go composing own rhythm in pairs. This is what we came up with:


Nutella on toast (Harriet)

Juicy, juicy orange (Mary Lou)

Strawberries and cream (Oliver)


Session 3


Today we started to session watching a Ugandan choir sing a song in Swahili. “Call and response is like copying and responding to a leader”, Harriet Y3. We warmed up our voices singing Babethanze with the piano and then the backing track.

"We learnt a new song today called ‘Kye Kye Kule’", Issy, Y6. “African children learn their songs through call and response”, Mary-Lou Y6. “We learnt actions to go with the song, they were a bit like the moves from the song ‘head, shoulders, knees and toes’”, Bella Y4


After learning ‘Kye, Kye Kule’ we reminded ourselves how to play the djembe drums. Mrs Ashworth talked about different drumming terminology – call and response, unison drumming, polyrhythms and layered texture. “Layered texture is more than two rhythms playing at the same time”, Harriet Y3.


“We played the rhythms we composed and practiced last week. After practising our individual compositions, we layered the rhythms. It sounded brilliant but it was quite hard to keep in time”, Issy Y6.

“It helps to remember the phrases that go with the rhythms”, Mrs Ashworth. “Playing lots of rhythms together is called a polyrhythm”, Mrs Ashworth.

Lastly we learnt how to do improvisation. “Improvisation is where you make up rhythms free-style”, Mary-Lou B6.

The arts ambassadors have loved their introduction to African music so far....

Still image for this video
/Users/claireclements1981/Desktop/CURRENT PHOTOS/Arts ambassadors music workshop/P1120475.MOV


This term the arts ambassadors have been learning traditional and contemporary African dances with Mrs Simmons.

Session 1

We started the session with a warm up to get our bodies ready!

"We have learnt some amazing African dances! Azonto is a dance from Ghana", Mary-Lou.

"Ikinimba Dance is a traditional African dance too", Izzy. "The dance is based on an African legend. Apparently the higher you can jump, the better the hunter you are. And it impresses the ladies!", Harriet.

The arts ambassadors then proceeded to jump as high as possible around the classroom! 

"We learnt how to Sekem this week", Emma. "Sekem is slang for move".

After learning a few African moves the children had to think about how to combine them to make a new dance routine. We will be practising these moves again next week!


Session 2

This week we learnt four different dances...

Muwagolo: this is a Ugandan dance involving spring/stamp/tuck jumps moves.

Eskista: An Ethiopian dance which involves a shoulder workout (dancing shoulders)... phew! 

Aduma: A dance from the Masai tribe of Kenya, which involved stepping and shunting. "Men dance to show strength – they have to jump as high as they can with long legs", Bella. Bella and Oliver did incredibly high jumps!

Zaouli: A dance from the ivory coast. You would not believe how fast your feet have to move! "This felt like electricity in my legs"' Sophia. 

"Finally, we learnt a dance move called 'Gwara gwara'. I need a sit down after all the dancing", Oliver.







This term the arts ambassadors have been creating artwork inspired by African art and culture with Mrs. Clements

We started the term looking at the artist Esther Mahlangu. Our children created designs and patterns inspired by her work and went on to make little huts based on the Ndebele tradition of house painting. “I really love the bright colours and geometric patterns found in Ndebele art” Harriet, Y3.

Our arts ambassadors also used their African patterns to create these beautiful batik scarves.

"We looked at some authentic African fabrics before having a go at trying to create some of the patterns ourselves" Sophia, Y6.

“You draw your African design onto the cloth with wax then you use fabric dye to paint the cloth. The wax acts like a resist. Mrs Clements used an iron at home to melt the wax to reveal the design – they look great!” Oliver, Y6.

Look at this quick video of the batik scarves hanging in our main reception.

Our African Arts Mini Exhibition

Still image for this video

Here are some pictures of the arts ambassadors creating African jewellery. “We looked at some real African jewellery before having a go at making some ourselves with clay. We had to roll and shape the clay to make the right shapes. I made a lion’s head for my central piece!” Bella, Y4.

“We painted our beads with bright colours and patterns when the clay was dry. It was quite fiddly. I painted my African centre piece gold” Sophia, D6.

Look at these beautiful illustrations of ladies wearing traditional African headscarves. The paper used to make the headscarves was screen-printed. These photos show the art ambassadors using a silkscreen and a ‘squidgy’ to pull the ink through the screen to create a print. “We loved pulling the squidgy and revealing the print underneath!” Emma, Y3 and April, Y5

The arts ambassadors have also enjoyed learning about fashion design and paper sculpture. “We used our Ndebele patterns to create a paper dress. We had to cut shapes and learn how to pin them together. I liked thinking about how to create the shape of the skirt” Mary-Lou, Y6

“I enjoyed thinking about how to cut and manipulate paper to create my 3D paper necklace” Issy, Y6

Our arts ambassadors started their ambassadorial roles learning what the 'arts' are. They created posters to reflect their understanding. The children also worked collaboratively to design their own arts ambassador's logo and badge. 

The arts ambassador logo designed by our children.