Staff and pupils at Springwood High School in King’s Lynn have something to sing and dance about after the school’s dedication to the teaching of the arts saw it receive a prestigious gold Arts Mark award.
The honour, which is valid for two years, is given to schools that put time and resources into encouraging the teaching of the arts. Springwood is part of the West Norfolk Academies Trust, which runs 11 primary and secondary schools in the region.
The award report was full of praise for Springwood and noted how clearly value was placed on the teaching of arts subjects.
“As a specialist performing arts school, Springwood recognises the value of the Arts and that this is strongly supported by the school’s leadership,” the report said, going on to praise the school for its uptake in Art and Drama GCSE entries, and its “impressive” levels in Music and Dance at ALPS (A Level Performance System).
“This is a wonderful vote of confidence in all the teaching staff at Springwood are trying to do, and the amazing response they’re getting from the pupils,” said the Trust’s director of engagement, Hayley Roberts.
“We really encouraged pupils to get involved in singing, and to see it as part of the school ethos, rather than an additional thing that they have to do, and as a result we more than tripled the number of pupils who were involved and had to create two separate age-group choirs,” she said.
“This meant that, with the encouragement of senior school leaders, more time was put aside for singing, raising standards, and as a result we’ve received a lot more attention, even featuring on BBC Newsround and being asked to sing at the Royal Albert Hall.”
The increasing emphasis on and enthusiasm for the arts is not just confined to Springwood, its benefits have been felt right across the Trust.
“Last year the Art and Drama departments of Springwood and Smithdon High in Hunstanton had a joint trip to the United States, and we also had the first Trust dance festival, for all the schools,” she explained.
“At Remembrance time, we had a Holocaust survivor who gave a talk which inspired the writing of a play which all seven of the Trust’s primary schools were able to take part in, and it proved such a success that it’s being made into something that will be done every year.”
Springwood’s arts mark is valid for two years, and it is clear the school already has plans to build upon its recent achievements.
“Springwood has always been at the heart of the arts community and in recent years our relationships with local and national arts and cultural partners has deepened,” she said.
“Our ambition is to work more closely with these partners to involve more youngsters from our feeder schools and from the community as a whole. We want to see an uptake in the learning of instrumental music and an increase in the number of students having the opportunity to take part in performances. We’ve had some very exciting times recently that have earned us this award, and we look forward to a lot more still to come.”
Barking Dog Media
We provide a range of media services to help you promote, market and represent you or your organisation, club or business in public.