Milverton Community Primary School

“Please continue to support, challenge and encourage other schools to be brave!  In this data-driven world of education (where we often seem to know the cost of everything and the value of nothing) we sometimes miss the point: the arts are intrinsic to human joy and happiness. Doesn’t everyone need more of that in their lives?”

What difference has the Artsmark journey made in your school / setting?

The Artsmark journey really helped us focus in the arts and their value in our curriculum.  It made us re-assess what we were doing and why.  It also helped us to re-focus on what is important to the children and their parents, not just Ofsted and politicians!

Staff response to Artsmark

Art provides children with freedom to fail without reprimand and to succeed without competition.  Children have revelled in experiencing the intrinsic pleasure of creation for its own sake, and having opportunities to develop the skills to think and articulate themselves critically and constructively.

Children’s response to Artsmark

The children commented on a whole range of different outcomes, from the tangible, sensory experience they got from using their hands in creative ways, to the fact that they felt brought them together as a community. “ We learnt how to use the materials properly and working with the artist allowed us to see how materials can be put together effectively, which we couldn’t have achieved alone”

“It’s brought the school together because it’s showed us what we can achieve when we work together.”

Children working on a sculpture

What surprised you about your Artsmark journey?

Just how much the whole school community re-connected with the arts and their power to bring people together!  For example, the sculpting of our squirrel demanded that we involve parents too – we couldn’t have done it without them – and when I thanked them, lots of them said just how much they had enjoyed the experience and how much they had got from it.  Now our squirrel stands proudly, at four metres long and built from concrete, a lasting memorial to the power of the arts, and that time in particular.   I feel she makes a strong statement about how important the arts are to so many people. However, the young children don’t care about that; they just love to play on her!

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

Please continue to support, challenge and encourage other schools to be brave!  In this data-driven world of education (where we often seem to know the cost of everything and the value of nothing) we sometimes miss the point: the arts are intrinsic to human joy and happiness.  Doesn’t everyone need more of that in their lives?

– Richard Stead, Headteacher, Milverton Community Primary School