June 14, 2023 11:25am
The children and staff at Cedar Children’s Academy are overjoyed after receiving the respected Artsmark Silver Award. Artsmark is the only creative quality standard for schools and education settings accredited by Arts Council England. Artsmark supports schools to develop and celebrate arts and cultural education, putting creativity and wellbeing at the heart of the curriculum, as well as ensuring every young person can be creative and access a diverse, high-quality cultural education.
In order to achieve their Artsmark Silver Award, Cedar had to develop and embed arts and culture into their broad and ambitious curriculum. The school started to run a wider range of extracurricular activities, including author visits, internal workshops, and theatre trips, in connection with their partnership with the Royal Opera House. Staff and students have become a part of the Medway Creative Schools Network and participated in a number of local events, including Medway Night Lights. These actions were recognised in their feedback from the assessors, which stated, "[The school] started using a Cultural Passport to measure activity and ensure that all children and young people can develop and display their art skills within and beyond the core timetable. […] [The school] have started to work with arts organisations, including work with the Royal Opera House. A third of Year 6 attended the Nutcracker and teachers accessed dance CPD from them."
The Artsmark assessor continued to commend the school, saying, "Leadership is supportive of the Arts, including allocating time during in house CPD for arts, ring fencing time for arts leads to plan, joining Medway Creative Schools' network, and adding Artsmark to the School Improvement Plan. Staff confidence has increased as a result of training."
Charline Clark, staff lead on this campaign, reflected on the experience, saying, "We have thoroughly enjoyed putting the focus back on creativity at Cedar. Being an advocate for prioritising the arts and other areas that are set apart from the core subjects where students can excel is amazing!"
On receiving the award, Mandy Gage, Director of Education who leads on cultural development across the Trust, said, "It is fantastic to see Cedar Children’s Academy start their Artsmark journey with plans already in place to continue on to their Gold Award.
"At TSAT, we believe in the value of cultural education and encourage all of our schools to embark on Artsmark journeys. Well done to everyone involved in achieving this fantastic award!"
As part of the assessor’s feedback, the school was provided with guidance and advice on which steps to take to progress to the next level in the Artsmark Awards. The staff and children look forward to putting this into action and working towards their Gold Award next.
Dr Darren Henley, OBE, Chief Executive of the Arts Council, said, "I would like to congratulate Cedar Children’s Academyon 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."