We have worked very hard to improve our Arts provision over the past few years at NT and are the proud recipients of the Artsmark Silver Award.
The Artsmark project and subsequent Silver award has been a whole school effort over a number of years, and involved subject leaders from across the spectrum, delivering great opportunities in not only art, but drama, dance, design and music. The school has amazing partnerships with local arts organisations who provide cultural depth and a sense of connection to the local area and its wealth of history. We have also created a dedicated Art Loft, a beautiful renovated old building which is now a fantastic arts space equipped with a pottery kiln, resources and a bright and light space to help children feel inspired and energised. As 90% of our children have English as an Additional Language, our arts provision is brilliant at engaging those at various levels of language acquisition, and used as a therapeutic intervention with our most vulnerable, ultimately building a deep rooted sense of belonging within our wonderful school community.
Here is what the ArtsMark assessors wrote about our Arts provision in late 2023:
Evidently, you place high value on the arts, and recognise that they serve to underpin your school values of Nurturing Brilliance, Inspiring Ambition. Over the course of your Artsmark journey, you have carefully reviewed your arts curriculum so that it is now mapped across the school, supported by progression documents which ensure children are building on prior learning and developing their skills. You have also successfully introduced the use of sketchbooks, depicting children’s progress in skills as they move through the school. Your extra-curricular arts offer has been strengthened, so that children can take part in art, choir, dance, sewing and book clubs, amongst others. Children’s cultural capital has been developed through a programme of trips to arts and culture venues, and regular opportunities to work alongside arts professionals from ‘Reading Rep’ and ‘Jelly’, all of which is helping children to discover their personal interests and talents. Pupils relish opportunities to proudly showcase their work in displays, performances, musical compositions and exhibitions, which is raising the profile of the arts with stakeholders and within the local community. School staff understand the contribution that the arts curriculum at New Town Primary makes to children’s personal development, self-confidence, well-being and resilience. We commend that you support your most vulnerable children through access to arts-based therapeutic interventions, which are raising their self-esteem. School leaders and governors have demonstrated their commitment to the arts through the funding of your refurbished, dedicated visual art space, ‘The Art Loft’, and investment in online resources, such as Kapow. Staff have benefitted from training across arts subjects, led by curriculum leaders as well as external professionals, so that teachers’ confidence has been boosted and standards have risen.