We are delighted and proud to have been awarded
the Silver Artsmark Award!
The Artsmark Award is the only creative quality standard for schools and education settings, accredited by Arts Council England. They support settings to develop and celebrate their commitment to arts and cultural education for all children and young people. Their flexible framework helps embed arts, culture and creativity to support a broad and ambitious curriculum, strengthen pupil voice and support personal progression.
In order to achieve the Artsmark Award, we had to develop their arts and culture provision to embed a broad and ambitious curriculum. This was achieved by creating an overall plan that was committed to and delivered across the whole school.
Mrs Clements and Mrs Gregory have worked on the project for the last two years and submitted our Statement of Commitment and Statement of Impact to the Arts Council. We were thrilled to receive their response awarding us an Artsmark Silver Award.
In their response they made the following comments:
You have experienced a number of challenges as you have gone through your Artsmark journey. You have had a change of Headteacher, a change in curriculum focus from a cross curricular approach to a more skills and knowledge based one, a change in the structure of the governing body and the difficulties experienced as a result of the Covid pandemic. Nevertheless, your commitment to raise the profile of the arts has remained steadfast.
To address the lack of cultural diversity you have ensured pupils are supported to develop their awareness of other cultures through the arts by, for example, introducing them to Greek dancing and African music. Choogh Choogh leads cultural dance workshops with a focus on cultural differences. School assemblies focus on cultural celebrations which is great. Pupils are offered a range of arts-based enrichment clubs such as disco, drawing and art. Pupils have opportunities to perform in the community at Maypole dancing at Ashtead Village Day and it was lovely to read pupil performances are valued and appreciated by members of the community.
Pupils are excited to take part in dance lessons with Don Rae and have the chance to choose their own music for disco club. Knowledge organisers have been introduced to scaffold learning. It would have been delightful to hear more about how this works in the arts. Perhaps you could give some examples of what pupils say about their learning in the arts? Staff now feel more confident with the arts and find it ‘less scary’.
You have indicated your intention to introduce a pupil-led Art Council in the future. This could be a good platform to develop pupil voice and perhaps the Art Council could contribute to planning for future arts and culture activities. You might also find it helpful to explore external CPD opportunities with arts and cultural organisations and engage with creative practitioners to support your delivery of a broad range of arts offer. We look forward to hearing how the arts continue to develop at Barnett Wood Infant school. Congratulations on your Artsmark Silver Award!"