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Westminster Special School

Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee School Federation of Westminster Special Schools
& Bi-borough Inclusion Service


The inclusive approach

We have an inclusive approach to art at QEII Jubilee School. We have developed a student centred approach where their needs inform the teaching; this is facilitated by AfL (Assessment for Learning).


We use engagement to inform how we teach the young people and we have decided to place learning within a play based paradigm. We made this decision as the majority of the students are operating at this level schematically and they correspond with where they are developmentally

Therefore we felt that to develop meaningful and appropriate experience that this would be the most useful starting point.


We focus on the process rather than the product. Often an artwork will be produced as a by- product of the process.

Engagement, Experience, Exploration and developing skills  

We value the student’s experience, for some of our population this will be a more passive experience where we ensure that these students explore stimulus which they enjoy and respond to. These experiences are of a sensory nature and use various sensory pathways to support the student’s perception such as sight, sound, touch and smell. As a student develops we offer a range of opportunities where they engage with materials that support precursor learning skills and their understanding of the world around them.  These activities are usually termed as messy play.

Messy Play

This involves exploring materials in an active manner; this might be rice, pasta, corn flour and so on. These materials are then explored. The materials might be poured, placed into a container; water might be added to change their texture or smells added. These activities take many forms such as a student exploring independently or with another child (parallel play) or with an adult where they will be requesting materials or actions. This playful exploration is key in development as the child learns through discovery which supports their conceptual understanding of the world around them.  

During this period we look at extending the student’s engagement and using this as way of assisting the student’s development. As the young person moves through the stages of development we support their urge to create by offering them a range of tools, pencils, paints, brushes and we support them in making choices.

Autonomy and a sense of self

We acknowledge the uniqueness of each student and how art and creative play allows the student to express and explore the world around them, through these actions the students start to develop a sense of self. We support choice making and encourage independence and autonomy through collecting their own resources and making choices.    

Partners and the breadth of experience

We work with a number of cultural institutions such as the Royal Academy of Art, The Wallace Collection, Rolls Royce, Cirque du Soleil and the Royal Albert Hall. We also work with a SEN potter and we are currently developing a multi- disciplinary and multi-sensory workshop with Creative Futures


A culture of celebrating the Arts 

The arts are displayed throughout the school, on display boards and on our centrally hanging mobile that greets people as they enter QEII. The arts are also central to the summer arts festival.

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