Our students and staff are celebrating after New College received a prestigious Artsmark Gold Award. It is a momentous year for the programme as it celebrates 20 years of arts, culture and creativity in schools.
The Artsmark Award is the only creative quality standard for schools, accredited by Arts Council England. It supports schools to develop and celebrate arts and cultural education, putting creativity and wellbeing at the heart of the curriculum. Artsmark ensures every young person can be creative and access a diverse, high-quality cultural education.
In order to achieve their Artsmark Award, we had to develop our 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.
Over the past 15 years, we have developed a rounded curriculum that highly values the arts, creative and cultural subjects for the positive impact engaging in these subjects can have on young people. We have an established Arts and Culture strategy which gives our students access to cultural experience both directly in the school and through community programmes, such as our current partnership with The Curve Theatre in Leicester.
We were supported in planning and developing our objectives by The Mighty Creatives, a charity that provides creative youth services for young people, helping them to harness the power of the arts and creativity for positive change. The Mighty Creatives worked alongside our staff at various stages to support their Artsmark Award achievement.
The Artsmark assessor commended New College Leicester on its commitment to the arts and the high value it places on offering arts rich experiences to its students, many of whom who do not have such opportunities outside of school, commenting: “Students actively contribute to the development of the arts provision which reflects their interests and cultural heritage. Students can access glass-working, spray painting, lighting production, reggae, Bollywood dance, stage fighting, e-textiles and 2D design.”
“The many collaborations New College Leicester has developed with arts practitioners and organisations are making a difference to students’ outcomes. Perhaps the most notable is your Project Enable working with Soft Touch Arts and Team Hub to support targeted groups of students with their wellbeing and long-term partnerships with Curve theatre and Leicestershire Music Service.”
On receiving the award, Ms Kate Brown Director of Learning at New College Leicester said: “We’re extremely proud to be reaccredited as an Artsmark Gold Award School. We remain committed to delivering a high-quality arts and cultural education across all years building on the success of several projects including our Year 4 Performing Arts Programme and continuing to work in partnership with our arts partners to enhance our students’ experiences and achievements. We look forward to continuing our range of initiatives to further grow with Artsmark.”
Dr Darren Henley CBE, Chief Executive of the Arts Council, said:
“I would like to congratulate New College Leicester on their Artsmark Award. Becoming an Artsmark school demonstrates that through offering a broad, ambitious, and creative curriculum, every pupil can develop character and resilience, increasing their knowledge, curiosity and skills that will remain with them through to adult life.”