We are a mixed comprehensive school in Tottenham, north London with a diverse intake of pupils and high numbers of EAL/SEN children and those in receipt of FSM. We have recently begun the Artsmark process and attended our development day in February.
I attended with a member of SLT and found it very helpful. The full day course was held in a very pleasant venue that was easy for us both to get to, and we had the opportunity to meet other teachers from a number of schools who were also participating in the process. It was really useful to discuss arts provision with practitioners from a wide range of contexts, including some teachers from one of our neighbour schools.
As the day progressed, we were guided through the Artsmark process and encouraged to think critically about our aims for the arts in our school. By the end of the day, we had built up a clear picture of what we needed to do to improve our arts provision and compiled a bank of resources that I was able to draw upon when writing our ‘Statement of Commitment’.
We have a thriving music department - having recently invested heavily in this area. We decided to engage with the Artsmark process as a way of taking the next step in developing our music provision, whilst also reflecting on our current practice in the other arts subjects. By using the self-assessment tool provided by Artsmark, we have been able to step back and really analyse where our strengths are and what we want to improve in relation to our arts provision. The process has started a conversation between senior leaders and subject coordinators about how we can better support our children through the arts; the Artsmark process requires firm commitment from SLT and the school’s governors, so it has really helped put the arts to the fore on a management level.
I am confident that our practice and provision across the arts will improve as a result of engaging with this process and am certain that by doing so we will also improve outcomes across the other curriculum areas.
Find out how A New Direction can support your school through the Artsmark process here