Quick Links

Quick Links

Back to top

Chapel Break Infant School


The Big HEART Studio 


The Big HEART is an innovative and experimental learning environment at the heart of our school. It is as much an approach to deep learning, as it is a studio. All the children at Chapel Break access some of their learning in the Big HEART. The learning consists of the development of a range of skills, including speaking and listening, debate and discussion, a variety of thinking skills, social skills, independence of thought and action and persistence. It builds a knowledge and experience of the visual arts beyond those that can be offered within the usual classroom setting. 

We are currently developing exciting links between Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths (STEAM).


This is what Ofsted previously said about our provision


The Big HEART provision (formerly The Tardis) is exceptionally innovative & builds upon earlier work on Philosophy that the school has been doing for some time. The outcomes of this provision, due to its resourcing, staffing and imaginative use of questioning result in some thought provoking & extremely mature work.”

Where does the Big HEART concept come from?

The Big HEART approach has been designed and developed from a range of influences that put deep thinking and child-lead learning at their core.

 Influences include

  • Room 13, Reggio Emilia (key principles include children are collaborators and learn through interaction within their communities and that children are natural communicators and should be encouraged to express themselves however they feel they can)
  • Creative and experiential school foundations                                         Philosophy includes:
  • Creative and free flowing thought
  • Respect, sensitivity and awareness of others
  • Collaboration and co-construction
  • Promotion of curiosity and questioning
  • Risk Taking within safe boundaries
  • Promotion of childhood as a time to explore, play, create and be joyful.

What does it look like?

  • Thinking Studio – generation of ideas
  • Art Studio – making ideas real.                    Environment is:
  • Positive and values all ideas
  • Away from distractions
  • Comfortable and relaxed
  • Participatory and inclusive

How does it work?

  • Integral part of planning stage of Real Projects
  • Ongoing discussion with teachers reflecting on ongoing assessment
  • Range of stimuli – picture books, paintings, objects, questions, experiences
  • Importance of high quality picture books
  • Importance of Drama 
  • Generating questions and responses

Generating questions in the The Big HEART


  • Responses to picture books
  • What if…Would you rather….Why on earth…
  • Hot seating and Drama
  • Question sorting
  • Quotes and Notes book
  • Moving thoughts into drawings, sketches and doodles
  • Moving sketches through to Art Studio.

Artwork in the The Big HEART


  • Importance of teaching Art skills  ( NSEAD)
  • Drawing out Children’s ideas
  • Working alongside, guiding, using the right language, introducing choice
  • Importance of good resources
  • Working individually and collaboratively
  • Importance of TALK (including social talk) while working.
  • Impact on certain groups of children.
  • Immersion and engagement.

How do children benefit from The Big HEART learning?

Joyful learning in the The Big HEART


  • Active and Co-constructive learning
  • Development of Children’s  Social, Moral, Cultural and Spiritual awareness
  • Self-confidence and Self expression
  • Empowerment
  • Focus group development
  • Speaking and Listening
  • Looking and Reading Skills
  • Openness to and appreciation of the Arts
  • Friendship and Fun 

What has it achieved?

  • Exhibitions
  • Competitions
  • Links with local organisations and artists
  • Parental links
  • Website
  • Research and article
  • Link work with local schools
  • Links with UEA School of Education and Lifelong Learning.