Delight as Chesterfield school receives prestigious award for arts education

Pupils and staff at a Chesterfield school are celebrating after receiving a prestigious award in recognition of the art education on offer.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 9:36 am
Pupils and staff at Barlborough Primary School are celebrating after receiving a prestigious Artsmark Award. Pupils from Years 1-6 showcase their artwork with Miss Ward and headteacher Mrs Towndrow-Birds.

Barlborough Primary School has been given the Artsmark Silver Award by Arts Council England (ACE) which rewards educational establishments using creativity and culture to bring the whole art curriculum to life.

It marks the culmination of 18 months work and is the first time the school on High Street, Barlborough, has achieved the Artsmark Award.

Headteacher Kerry Towndrow-Birds said the school is “extremely proud” to receive the award in recognition of its broad, ambitious, and creative curriculum,

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Pupils at Barlborough Primary School also take part in photography classes as part of the Artsmark.

She said: "We are committed to delivering a high-quality arts and cultural education and feel it is a huge achievement that despite all the difficulties during the past 18 months, our school has continued to develop and improve the educational experience of our pupils.”

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During its journey towards the artsmark, Barlborough Primary has made partnerships with businesses such as the The Harley Gallery in Nottinghamshire and The Royal Ballet, which is based at the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden, with students enjoying trips and in-school visits.

“We also did some CPD (Continuing Professional Development) training with staff and the children created their own Alice in Wonderland dances with The Royal Ballet,” Year 1 teacher Tara Ward added.

"We did some photography, dance, and did a lot of about pupils voice; questionnaires to see what the children wanted to do – it wasn’t just about art as in painting it was about art as a whole.

"A lot of children hadn’t been to the theatre or anything like that so we did a whole school pantomime where we took all of the school to Derby so they got the experience of being in the audience.

"Over the first lockdown we also created a whole school project where we created a stone rainbow, so all the children at home painted a stone in whatever colour their class was and then we came together to make a memorial stone piece of artwork to display in school.”

Barlborough Primary was commended by the Artsmark assessor for ‘positively increasing the emphasis on arts and culture and engaging with the Arts is having tangible results on pupils’.

The school is now hoping to work towards the next level, Artsmark Gold.

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