Silver Artsmark Award
Smithdon High School is passionate about the Arts and we are proud to have been successfully awarded Silver Artsmark status.
Our passion to provide the best opportunities for all our students, means we ensured our journey to achieving the Artsmark Award was reflective throughout: we planned, delivered and ensured that cultural capital is integral and at the forefront of curriculum design, concluding that it has value for staff and students alike, and has improved teaching and engagement in the Arts with fantastic results.
Our journey to the silver award
The vision of our Artsmark journey was to increase opportunities for our young people. The Artsmark award scheme is a two-year process where schools set out their goals and ambitions; they then strive to achieve these. Finally, the school is judged by the arts board on their endeavours throughout this time. We were delighted to be awarded the Silver accolade as a result of the dedication and commitment to the arts, which our staff and our students displayed throughout – and continue to display today.
Our journey has also increased engagement in the arts curriculum: more pupils play musical instruments; participate in co-curricular clubs and perform for audiences in a variety of events, from school concerts to the annual school musical.
Another aim was to develop relationships across the Trust and within our feeder community. Various events, exhibitions, displays of work & inclusion via invitation within the community has proved successful.
These opportunities have been extensive in promoting a love of the Arts and exposing student talents; whilst developing relationships and links within the cluster and the community. This exposure has broadened experiences for students, including those in the primary sector, and built on the network within the cluster.
Developing confident role models
Staff and students have developed confidence, learnt new skills and had new experiences through creative teaching, inclusion and provision. We recently increased our visits to local primaries with a focus on pupil-led workshops and a hands-on student approach. This is fantastic for providing the younger children positive role models, in our students, to inspire them, while allowing us to work collaboratively together and learn from these experiences. The visits were hugely successful, based on feedback from staff, students and the high school students delivering the sessions.
Collaborating with the Community
We actively engage with our local community, through local events and use of Hunstanton’s excellent facilities – like the Princess Theatre, where we staged the school musical, High School Musical in 2019 – and the Hunstanton Drama Festival, where groups of our students were able to perform. We also work with the local Hunstanton Church of Saint Edmund to stage concerts. All of these links enable us to promote Smithdon’s own talent, while raising the bar for student participation.
We continue in our endeavours to build relationships and networks with the local community, gaining their expertise and their support for all things to do with the Arts. This has been highly successful to date, allowing us to invest in the Arts and offer greater opportunities beyond even our original plans, with: art exhibitions, competitions and stronger links being forged with the local theatre, resulting in GCSE students attending technical workshops and more.