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Bluecoat Beechdale Academy receives prestigious Artsmark Gold Award

Pupils and staff at Bluecoat Beechdale Academy are celebrating after receiving a prestigious Artsmark GOLD Award in a momentous year for the programme as it celebrates 20 years of arts, culture and creativity in schools.

The Artsmark Award is the only creative quality standard for schools, accredited by Arts Council England. It supports schools to develop and celebrate arts and cultural education, putting creativity and wellbeing at the heart of the curriculum. Artsmark ensures every young person can be creative and access a diverse, high-quality cultural education.

In order to achieve their Artsmark Award, Bluecoat Beechdale Academy had to develop their arts and culture provision to embed a broad and ambitious curriculum. This was achieved by creating an overall plan that was committed to and delivered across the whole school.

Bluecoat Beechdale Academy was supported by The Mighty Creatives in planning and developing their objectives. The Mighty Creatives worked alongside the school at various stages to support their Artsmark Award achievement.

The school’s Statement of Commitment and Statement of Impact was assessed and the following feedback was shared:

“Bluecoat Beechdale Academy sounds like an exciting and vibrant place for students to be and how delightful that students (especially the boys) can go to the music room during lunch breaks and before school simply for pleasure. It was great to read the Arts form a core component of your Schools of Sanctuary Award. Your many collaborations (which are a strength), such as with NAE, UNESCO City of Literature, Young Creatives Award, Nottingham Playhouse and Theatre Royal are positively impacting on not only on students’ outcomes and experiences but, on staff too. Most notable of these is your long-term collaboration with the RSC as an associate school. Students have the opportunity to perform on a professional stage, learn about careers in the Arts through supporting backstage activity and many staff have been trained in the RSC Rehearsal Room Pedagogy. It is no wonder your collaboration with the RSC has made a significant difference to how you approach teaching Shakespeare and achieving your highest ever results in Summer 2022. A closer relationship has also been forged between the English and Drama Departments. Staff have many occasions to be trained and supported in developing their knowledge and skills by other arts professionals too as well being supported through in-house and the Trust’s CPD programme. Diversity in the community is actively supported and celebrated. The Art Department worked with the New Art Exchange on a residency programme around equality and diversity. Students organised and led the Academy Day of Culture where different cultures were celebrated through art, design, music, and dance. Students have ownership of their creating and performing and their views are listened to and acted upon. For example, you are planning to introduce photography as a direct request made by students.”

Dr Darren Henley CBE, Chief Executive of the Arts Council, said:

“I would like to congratulate Bluecoat Beechdale Academy on their Artsmark Award. 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.”

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