The new ‘five a day’?
Millions of primary school aged children could benefit from having an average of 65 minutes dedicated to the arts every day – specifically 17 minutes dedicated to literature, 14 minutes to art, 12 minutes to music, 11 minutes to drama and 11 minutes to dancing.*
The figure, a Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for the arts, has been built using insights from 504 primary school teachers surveyed across the UK and guidance from child psychologist Laverne Antrobus. It is published today by Sky Arts to coincide with the launch of Access All Arts week, a new nationwide arts initiative for primary schools taking place this week (6-10 June).
Educators have long believed that the arts can help shape and define who children are, fuelling their imagination and igniting their creativity. After a period in which every child’s access to the arts has been severely restricted, owing to closures of schools and arts institutions, exposure to and interaction with the arts has never been more important.
Access All Arts week, developed in partnership with leading artists and arts organisations, from poet Benjamin Zephaniah to author Liz Pichon, provides free resources for teachers to take their classes on a week-long creative adventure across five forms of artistic expression.
To mark the launch of Access All Arts week, Sky Arts has taken the concept of a Recommended Daily Allowance, well-understood in the context of nutrition, and applied it to the arts to help children get their five-a-day – from reading their favourite books at home to dancing in their classroom.
“Having the opportunity to paint, to dance, to write poetry has huge wellbeing benefits for a young child, helping them to develop self-confidence and a positive self image. Access to the arts helps to build creative skills which are likely to be in demand later in life – for example, problem-solving and imagination. The idea of a Recommended Daily Allowance for the arts is a brilliant way to put a simple framework around the importance it holds for children and their development.”