Interview with Measham CE Primary School, Leicestershire Recently awarded Gold Artsmark (Sept 2018)
What difference has Artsmark made to your school?
Pupils within our school have been able to join more extra curricular art activities since joining the Artsmark. Some children have accessed this through completing their Arts Award Discover, appreciating artists as part of a lunchtime club as well as being involved with Dance and Drama clubs. Our school choir also has attended Young Voices this year, to join in with many other children to perform in a concert for their parents at the LG Arena in Birmingham. Our choir has also had the chance to perform to our local Age Concern at Christmas, Easter and at the end of the school year.
Staff have enjoyed working with visiting artists this year and have gained knowledge through working with these practitioners that they can embed into their own practice. Years 5 and 6 had a visit from Will Grimm last academic year and he delivered a half day workshop to each year group combining story telling and show puppetry. Linking to their theme, children told a story and then created their own puppets to retell a traditional type tale to the rest of the class. From working with a range of artists, staff have shown more enthusiasm and commitment to the Artsmark, demonstrating a great passion for weaving the Arts throughout our curriculum.
Parents have responded positively to our Arts enriched curriculum and have shown great dedication to each of our arts events. We have had brilliant attendance by parents at each of our performances, as well as our Arts events.The wider community recognise us as a school where we encourage involvement with the arts, as evidenced by our growing number of opportunities.
What surprised you about your Artsmark journey?
The Artsmark has influenced one member of our staff to review our pedagogy in Writing sessions, exploring the link between Art and Design and Writing, and investigating whether Art and Design improves the quality of writing in Lower Key Stage 2 as part of her MA in Education. The teacher planned a sequence of sessions where both classes would complete a writing task, complete a piece of art work linked to the writing, before completing the same writing task again. Following this task and also questionnaires and interviews with children and staff, it was found that Art and Design did improve the quality of writing. We are hoping to review this pedagogy in Key Stage 1 and Years 5 and 6 to see how this impacts on their writing too.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
Next year we are continuing our Artsmark journey and work towards our Platinum status by hoping to become a school to offer other schools on their Artsmark journey advice and help them along their way. We are also hoping to start delivering our Arts Award Explore to our children, encouraging them to further their interest within the Arts.