6th September 2022
We are very proud to have heard today that Westgate has been awarded Artsmark Silver, in recognition of our rich Arts curriculum. Here is the feedback we received from the assessors:
'It was positive to read how you have used the Arts to support your work to raise standards in writing, in response to musical or dramatic performances, such as Skylar's Missing Note in KS1 and Mimika Theatre. Skills progression in music has developed, with all children learning to read stave music and play instruments in class, progressing onto a wide range of peripatetic music lessons, school orchestra and signposting to local music ensembles. Pupils perform in a range of events and concerts, which have been supported by parents. Despite the pandemic you found alternative ways for pupils to engage creatively including livestreaming performances, and you took advantage of national online performances. Your music leader created her own YouTube channel, providing music lessons for pupils at home and the site is recommended as a resource by your local music hub. You report an increase in confidence and self-esteem for vulnerable pupils who take part in arts activities and 60% of disadvantaged pupils in KS2 took part in at least one extra-curricular arts-based activity this year. Working with a professional artist and internal CPD has significantly increased staff confidence in Art & Design. There is little mention of how drama and dance are incorporated into your curriculum, and you might develop skills progression in these modelled on your approach to music. You could look to develop further partnerships with arts and cultural organisations and creative practitioners to enrich your children's arts experiences and support staff development. It is good that you plan to develop pupil voice through a school arts council, and it will be good to consider how you can engage all children in the planning and delivery of authentic arts experiences. Might your children decide what clubs they would like, what alternative arts might interest them? Might this contribute to developing the diversity of your arts offer, in line with your British Values aspirations? How might your pupils be given greater ownership of their personal progression in the Arts? It was good to read of your successful focus on wellbeing and the use of the Arts to support the self-esteem of your more vulnerable pupils. If you can develop case studies of these and other initiatives, evidencing the impact of your work, you will be well placed to share your good practice further with other settings.'
Congratulations on your Artsmark Silver Award!