'Real team effort' as Hartlepool school earns prestigious arts award

A primary school is celebrating after landing a gold award for its commitment to promoting arts and cultural activities.

Friday, 13th May 2022, 4:45 am

Barnard Grove Primary School, in Hartlepool, has received the prestigious Artsmark Gold Award from Arts Council England.

The award is the only creative quality standard for schools and was awarded after assessors were impressed by the school’s many initiatives.

They said: “Children are exposed to a range of experiences, both within school and beyond.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Barnard Grove Primary School staff, from left, Helen Reed and Naomi Tones with pupils Elsie Graham, Samuel Holtham and Charles Bullock with items of art work created by themselves and fellow pupils at the school. Picture by FRANK REID

“Many of them are arts-based, including visits from artists and authors or trips to the theatre and cinemas.

“You plan with the arts in mind and subject leads meet regularly to review the ways the arts can play into more general learning.”

Dr Darren Henley, the arts council’s chief executive congratulated the school and added: “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.”

The school has 341 children on its roll and is judged to be a “good” school by Ofsted.

Barnard Grove primary school pupils, left to right, Lexi Magee, Leah Cooper, Charlie Widdowfield and Dylan Twydale taking part in a art session Picture by FRANK REID

It is one of eight primary schools within the Ad Astra Academy Trust.

Delighted headteacher Lee Walker said: “Staff throughout the school continue to work extremely hard to ensure that all of our pupils are creative and can access a diverse, high-quality cultural education.”

Helen Reed, who has played a key role at the school in helping to gain the award, added: “It has been a real team effort across the school to ensure that the arts and cultural provision is embedded throughout the curriculum.

“Over time, we have increased the opportunities for pupils to learn through the arts, both within school and through extra-curricular opportunities.

Barnard Grove primary school pupil Samuel Holtham with a face mask designed and painted by a fellow pupil at the school Picture by FRANK REID

“Staff appreciate how the arts can boost confidence and pupils’ overall attitude to learning.

“The school also offers a wide range of creative opportunities for children ranging from visits from authors to trips to the theatre.”

The Artsmark Award lasts for a period of two years,after which the school will have to make a fresh submission to Arts Council England to retain it.

The other seven primary schools within Ad Astra Academy Trust are Brougham, West Park and West View, in Hartlepool, Crooksbarn and Rosebrook, in Stockton, and Ayresome and Sunnyside, in Middlesbrough.

Read More

Read More
These are the Hartlepool schools rated as 'outstanding' by Ofsted inspectors