Artsmark: Enabling every pupil to grow

The Mighty Creatives have been working with a number of Artsmark schools who are keen to support other schools in their areas to development their arts and cultural provision as they work towards their Artsmark award. We hear from one of these schools about their plans for their Artsmark journey.

Posted by: Hazel Townsend | September 21st, 2016

At North Wheatley C of E Primary, a small rural village Church school in Retford, North Nottinghamshire, the development and embedding of the arts is at the heart of the curriculum.

Why is the arts so important?

Through the arts the school facilitates moral and individual development, a love of learning alongside an acquisition of knowledge. Joanna Hall, Headteacher at North Wheatley explains.

“We feel the arts provide pupils with the opportunity to understand themselves and the world around them. It provides a platform through which and from which, they can express their thoughts, experiences and feelings. We believe that the arts shape our lives and our thinking, enabling every pupil to grow as a unique individual. It’s about developing the whole child and recognising the importance of the whole learning journey–allowing children to grow, to find out about themselves, to express themselves as individuals and to develop their confidence and self-esteem. It is about giving the children those opportunities and experiences and allowing every child to find an area in which they can shine!”

The school started their Artsmark journey in the Spring term of 2016 and are working towards Platinum level. A key focus for the school as part of their Artsmark plans is to share their practice and support other schools to develop their arts provision and as a result the school are planning a Creative Arts Teach Meet 3.30pm – 5.00pm on 27th September, which is open to all schools. Please email office@northwheatley.notts.sch.uk if you are interested in attending and would like more information.

Why did you become and Artsmark school?

“Because it is something I feel passionate about….and it is a way of celebrating the arts in school and raising its profile with parents. Some parents don’t place high value on the arts or understand the impact the arts can have. Artsmark can help raise its profile, so parents can see the wider benefits of arts, for example, how it can support speaking, listening and writing. We want parents to see that we think it is important and why it underpins all we do. I believe that children and adults learn best through play and when their learning is given meaning – so their learning becomes meaningful”.

Artsmark will provide the school with “a focussed and strategic approach to the development of the arts, ensuring that school leaders reflect on and monitor current provision, identify areas of strength and weakness, seek opportunities to enrich learning in the arts and allocate budget to ensure best value is achieved for enhanced pupil outcomes”.

Interested and want to find out more about Artsmark?

The Mighty Creatives will be running a series of Briefing Sessions where you can find out about the new Artsmark and Arts Award, what they involve and how they could benefit your young people and school. There’s also the chance to hear case study examples from other schools, plus access to free one-to-one support. These sessions will be held 4.00pm – 5.30pm and are free and open to any schools.

  • Tues 27th Sept – Phoenix, Leicester
  • Weds 5th Oct – National Craft and Design Centre, Sleaford, Lincs
  • Thurs 6th Oct – Deda, Derby
  • Weds 12th Oct – Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham
  • Thurs 13th Oct – Royal and Derngate, Northampton

Our other current Artsmark Ambassador schools in the East Midlands include: -

  • Toot Hill School, Bingham, Nottinghamshire
  • The Grange School, Daventry, Northamptonshire
  • St Luke’s CE Primary School, Glossop, Derbyshire
  • Queen Elizabeth's High School, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire
  • Groby Community College, Leicestershire
  • Candleby Lane School, Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire
  • Pennine Way Junior School, Swadlingcote, Derbyshire
  • Abbey Primary, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire
  • St Peters C.E (VA) Junior School, Derby


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