18th February 2022 – Tags: Artsmark
The arts are a crucial part of our curriculum. They provide many benefits that enhance child development and student achievement and help unlock our students’ academic and personal potential.
We believe that every child should have the opportunity to be creative and to experience and participate in arts and culture. To enhance these opportunities and inspire creativity, our schools are participating in the Artsmark Award.
The Artsmark Award is the only creative quality standard for schools and education settings. Accredited by Arts Council England, Artmark’s flexible framework helps embed arts, culture and creativity to support a broad and ambitious curriculum, strengthen student voice and support personal progression.
Led by our Lead Practitioner of Art, Sharon Bianco, our nine schools are at different stages in their journey. Sharon talks us through not only their journey and its impact on the schools so far, but also her own professional development.
“We are delighted to be working with Artsmark and ArtsConnect across our nine schools. We are passionate about unlocking academic and personal potential ensuring every young person can be creative and access a diverse, high-quality cultural education. Building young people’s confidence, character and resilience through creativity is high on our agenda.”
In order to become an Artsmark accredited school, each school devised a Statement of Commitment to the arts. This commitment celebrates the strengths of the school’s current arts provision and communicates its ambitions for its future arts provision which it will work towards.
All schools within the WAT family have set action plans for this journey. Arts ambassadors have been appointed to ensure student voices are heard and, alongside each school's arts leaders, took part in a days training - the focus being ‘What do the Arts mean to us’.
Arts leaders from our schools met for a development day and unanimously decided the theme for our arts projects should be based around our ASPIRE curriculum and have focused on the word ‘inspiration’.
The next step involved interviewing and appointing professional artists to work on an exciting collaboration with our students. This collaboration will see students take part in workshops to produce digital animations and experience claymation, silhouette, cut out, model making and character design techniques.
This will culminate in a celebration event that will be shared with students, parents and the local community. The commissioned artists are also offering professional development opportunities enabling our staff to have the knowledge to power up our curriculum with digital technology.
We are excited to be offering Bronze, Silver and Gold Arts Awards. These awards help to develop our children as artists and arts leaders, providing brilliant opportunities to work on a wide range of arts, cultural and heritage activities and projects.
One of our strategic ‘big moves’ is to build staff talent and develop inspiring, research informed staff. Our Artsmark journey will support this, engaging, motivating and upskilling teaching staff using Artsmark’s CPD, whole school collaboration and Arts Award training.
Speaking of her pride in leading our schools on their Artsmark journey, Sharon says:
“I am proud to be able to lead on this journey within our family of schools working alongside colleagues who have a passion for delivering the arts, inspiring us to be more ambitious and confident in developing our arts curriculum and enriching our young people's lives; ultimately making them happier and healthier.”