School celebrates being first in Suffolk to receive top arts accolade
PUBLISHED: 12:42 15 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:42 15 January 2020
Sidegate Primary School has received the award for its work enhancing opportunities for students by providing a range of clubs, workshops and experiences where they work directly with professional artists, authors, dancers, musicians and actors.
Sidegate is also the Lead CALSA School (Culture and Arts Leaders in Schools & Academies) for the Active Learning Trust, leading work to support the other 15 primary schools and five secondary schools within the trust.
Wendy James, Headteacher at Sidegate Primary School, also secured a £150,000 grant from Paul Hamlyn Foundation's (PHF) Teacher Development Fund for a two-year project aimed at supporting artists to upskill teachers to erode social disadvantage through the arts.
She said: "We have worked for this award over many years and are very proud to have been awarded the Platinum Artsmark. For us, the arts are not just subjects, they are a way of learning across all aspects of the curriculum.
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"Our children live and breathe the arts throughout their lessons and extracurricular activities.
"The impact has been amazing. Our pupils' confidence is much improved, and they are more engaged in their learning and willing to throw themselves into new experiences.
"As a result, they are more resilient, motivated and able to work together. Their vocabulary and public speaking are also improved, and their eyes have been opened to the opportunities for arts-based careers.
"We are honoured and proud to be the first primary school in the county to receive the Platinum award and we look forward to sharing our learning and experiences with other schools in our community and Trust."
Emily Fletcher, senior officer at Artsmark, said: "It is clear that Sidegate has gone from strength to even greater strength in the last two years, maintaining and enhancing the quality of its provision while establishing partnerships with arts and cultural organisations that are having a positive impact on outcomes for a wider group of children and staff.
"Your commitment to closing the cultural capital gap is deeply impressive, translating into carefully planned projects that specifically address the needs of disadvantaged children and seek also to engage their parents."