Appledore Primary School

Today’s theme is Artsmark and Arts Award. Arts Award inspires young people to grow their arts and leadership talents: it’s creative, valuable and accessible. Arts Award can be achieved at five levels, four of which are qualifications and the first an introductory award. Arts Award can work brilliantly as part of an Artsmark journey, for a whole class or year groups or as an after school club.

Appledore Primary were awarded Gold Artsmark in 2016, they told us about their Artsmark journey and how Arts Award is now part of their school.

Appledore School is located in the heart of an ancient fishing village, rich in maritime history, on the junction where the River Torridge meets the River Taw in beautiful North Devon.

Tell us about your experience of Artsmark:

We began our Artsmark process as a specific school improvement project to help carve out our unique identity as a school and ensure a broad and balanced curriculum with art at the heart. It allowed us to take stock and audit what resources in terms of materials, connections and people we already had and how we could bring them together and build on them. It has enabled and strengthened our network of relationships within the school and the surrounding community.

What difference has the Artsmark journey made in your school?

An incredible difference, so much so that we are opening our own community arts studio based at our school. It has had a huge environmental change as art is now highly visible around our school with our own art gallery in the main entrance highlighting progression of arts skills from Nursery to Year Six with art work displayed and now our dedicated arts space, the Harbour Studio.

Does a member of staff have anything to say about their experience of Artsmark?

‘I have tried out new techniques which I have used with the children’, Yr2 Teacher, ‘I wasn’t aware of the resources available or how to ensure progression across Year groups but I am now!’ Yr5 Teacher. Quotes after staff Arts training.

What are your pupils thoughts regarding their experience of Artsmark or an event within it?

‘What are you making? ‘A masterpiece!’ Miriam Year Six replied during a ‘Clay Day’ at local Artist Sandy Brown’s ceramics studio.

What surprised you about your Artsmark journey?

The snowball effect it has had, it just keeps leading to bigger and better things!

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

All of our children now gain their Discover Arts Award in Year One and Explore Arts Award in Year Five. We also held our first Summer School in our studio this year for children from other schools and those who are educated at home to join our pupils to gain their Arts Awards too.

As the Bridge Organisation for the South West we are here to support you with Artsmark and Arts Award, if you would like to find out more please email bridge@realideas.org