The new 'five a day'? Sky Arts unveils a Recommended Daily Allowance for the arts

Wednesday 8 June 2022

Primary school aged children should be spending an average of 65 minutes a day dedicated to the arts, including reading, painting and dance, new research reveals

  • The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for the arts coincides with the launch of Sky Arts’ Access All Arts week, a new nationwide learning programme for Primary Schools
  • Research recommends that 17 minutes should be dedicated to literature, 14 minutes to art, 12 minutes to music, 11 minutes to drama and 11 minutes to dance*
  • Child Psychologist Laverne Antrobus and primary school teachers across the UK built the ‘Arts RDA’ in collaboration with Sky Arts
  • Kimberley Walsh has also joined forces with Sky Arts to drive awareness of Access All Arts Week

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.

Laverne Antrobus, comments: “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.”

The ‘Arts RDA’ recommends that primary school aged children spend an average of 65 minutes engaging with the arts each day.* The research conducted also looked into specific arts disciplines, which break down the total RDA as follows:

  • The RDA for literature (including reading, making up stories/creative writing, reading and writing poems) – is 17 minutes per day, or 1 hour 59 minutes per week**
  • The RDA for art (including drawing, painting, crafts, colouring) – is 14 minutes per day, or 1 hour 38 minutes per week**
  • The RDA for music (including singing, playing an instrument, listening to music) – is 12 minutes per day or 1 hour 24 minutes per week**
  • The RDA for drama (including acting, directing, writing a script, reading a play, going to the cinema or theatre, watching a play) – is 11 minutes per day or 1 hour 17 minutes per week**
  • The RDA for dance (including taking part in any type of dance from tap and ballet to street dance, watching dancing, making up/choreographing their own dances) – is 11 minutes per day or 1 hour 17 minutes per week**

The new research also revealed that in the experience of primary school teachers surveyed, the children they teach tend to on average engage most with art, followed by music, dancing, drama and finally literature

Additional research surveying 1,000 parents of primary school age children, conversely found that literature, including reading, making up stories and writing poems, is the number one activity that parents would like their child to spend more time doing outside of school, with almost one third (32%) of parents acknowledging this.

Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts, says: “Access All Arts week has brought as many artists and arts organisations as possible together to create fun, interactive resources for teachers. We’re committed to helping them create inspiring lessons for their pupils and to supplement the brilliant job that they already do in this area.

“We know that access to creative pursuits enhances a child’s prospects whatever they choose to do in later life, so fighting the good fight for making arts accessible to all is vital.

“Our ‘Arts RDA’ gives a simple, initial framework for how young children could spend each day creatively. We’re keen to look at this area further, with the lens of a five a day model, as we move forward with our education initiatives.”

Singer, dancer and actress Kimberley Walsh has also joined forces with Sky Arts to drive awareness of Access All Arts Week and Sky Arts’ ongoing commitment to increase access to the arts amongst all young people.

Kimberley Walsh, adds: “The arts were such an important part of my life growing up, whether it was singing with a hairbrush to Kylie, dancing with my sisters or performing plays in front of the family. I think it’s great that Sky Arts is doing so much to make sure that every child across every part of the country has the same opportunities to access the arts and I really love the idea of the ‘Arts RDA’.”

Access All Arts Week is available to all primary school teachers and children in the UK and Ireland. 6,137 teachers and 4,639 schools across the UK and Ireland have already signed up, of which 41% are classed as deprived schools.  

The resources available cover five forms of artistic expression, with each module containing two different artforms: Marks (2D and 3D mark making), Sounds (Singing and Instruments), Words (Poetry and Storytelling), Images (Photography and Filmmaking) and Moves (Movement and Drama) with ready-to-teach videos and resources developed by teachers and arts organisation partners. There have been more than 8,000 resource downloads to date.

For more information visit the Access All Arts week website.

For more information please contact:

Red Consultancy, Sky Arts Press Office – skyartsteam@redconsultancy.com

Notes to Editors:

Access All Arts Week runs from 6th – 10th June 2022. Access to the platform and all content is free and open to all teachers. After June 2022 the website will remain live as a resource for teachers.  

#AccessAllArts

https://accessallarts.skyarts.uk/

The research was conducted by Censuswide. 504 primary school teachers from the UK were surveyed between 24 May and 26 May 2022. 1,014 parents of primary school age children were surveyed between 23 May and 25 May 2022. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

*A total of 65 minutes is the mean time respondents would recommend a child of primary school age should dedicate to the arts each day, both at school and at home, including music, dancing, art, drama, literature. Respondents were subsequently asked how much time they recommend children should spend on each of these individual aspects of ‘art’. The figure shown is the proportion of this total against the 65-minute total.

**The per week statistic has been derived from using the average amount of time found over one day dedicated to the ‘art’ in question

About Sky Arts:

Sky Arts exists to bring more art to more people across the UK. In 2020, with the creative industries under serious threat, we threw open our doors to make the channel free for everyone to watch. We’ve redoubled our mission to increase access to the arts and we’re committed to getting everyone involved as the industry recovers. The fact is, we need the arts now like never before, and Sky Arts brings them straight to your living room.

We have something for everyone, championing creative talent by showcasing the best in music, theatre, dance, literature, opera and visual art. From Glyndebourne to Grime and Cézanne to The Style Council, we’ve got your passions covered. Millions of viewers tune in to hit returning series such as Portrait Artist of the Year, Urban Myths and British cultural institution The South Bank Show, but our acclaimed new programmes might take you anywhere from Pinter’s house with Danny Dyer to a Scottish road trip with Samuel Johnson.  

Collaboration is at the heart of what we do. Sky Arts is the headline sponsor of National Theatre Live in the UK and we work with cultural partners across the country including the English National Opera, Royal Academy of Arts, Tate, Creative Industries Federation and Coventry City of Culture to name but a few.  

You can watch Sky Arts for free on Freeview channel 11 and Freesat channel 147.  If you’ve got Sky or a Now TV entertainment pass, you can also watch over 2,000 hours of shows exclusively on demand.  

We’re passionate about supporting the next generation of artists, so we’re working with five leading Sky Arts Ambassadors: Booker Prize-winner Bernardine Evaristo, dance artist Akram Khan, conductor Charles Hazlewood, Theatre Royal Stratford East Artistic Director Nadia Fall, and sculptor Anish Kapoor – to run bursary schemes for new and emerging talent.

About Sky

Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of Comcast Corporation, a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. Across six countries, Sky connects 23 million customers to the best entertainment, sports, news, arts and to our own award-winning original content.  

Following the launch of Sky Glass, we now offer customers our strongest ever line-up of products and services. As well as the new streaming TV with Sky inside and everything integrated, customers can enjoy the award-winning Sky Q with all your favourite channels and apps in one place, and with Sky Go you can now access an even better experience on your devices. Sky TV has new channels, new shows and new deals with Peacock, Paramount+ and more. Sky Mobile was voted Best Pay Monthly and Best Value Pay Monthly network by Uswitch, and with Sky Broadband we’re offering our fastest speeds yet. 

Building on the success of Sky Originals like Chernobyl, Gangs of London and Brassic, we are doubling our investment in original content by 2024 through Sky Studios. Our new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, is expected to create over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK over the first five years alone. Sky News provides impartial and trustworthy journalism for free, Sky Arts is the UK’s only dedicated free-to-air arts channel making the arts accessible for everyone and Sky Sports, our leading sports broadcasting service, brings customers some of the biggest and best global sporting events from the Premier League to Formula 1 and everything in-between. Sky Cinema is the home of Sky Original films with brand new films launching every month alongside an unrivalled range of the latest cinema releases and on demand library. 

We believe that we can be a force for good in the communities in which we operate. We’re committed to being Europe’s first net zero carbon entertainment company by 2030 and we’re proud to be a Principal Partner and Media Partner of COP26 – the UN Climate Change Conference. We take pride in our approach to diversity and inclusion: we’ve been recognised by The Times and Stonewall for our commitment to diversity, and we’ve set ambitious 2025 targets to continue to increase diversity and representation.  We’re also committed to investing £30million across our markets over the next three years to improve our approach to diversity and inclusion, and to tackle racial injustice.

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