Penbridge Junior School praised for creativity with prestigious award from Arts Council England

March 19, 2024 10:19am

Penbridge Junior School has been praised for its commitment to creativity by Arts Council England and has been awarded the prestigious Gold Artsmark Award.

Artsmark is the only creative quality standard for schools, accredited by Arts Council England. It supports them to develop and celebrate arts and cultural education across the whole curriculum, bringing learning to life for children and young people.

To achieve their Artsmark Award, Penbridge Junior School – a proud member of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust - had to develop their arts and cultural 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.

The Artsmark assessor commended the school on its support towards teachers to deliver music lessons for the children to enjoy, saying:

“Year 4 now learn to play a tuned instrument and the school use their links with their music hub to enhance the music curriculum. They have supported teachers to build their knowledge and confidence in teaching across Key Stage 1 and 2.

“Teacher expertise and confidence has been increased through the new schemes of work and clarity on the progression of skills being taught. In house CPD has been provided in staff meetings and by outside agencies and hubs. Teachers have observed artists working with their classes.”

Penbridge Junior School was also praised for its collaboration with other schools within the city and for its engagement in projects like the Portsmouth Cultural Education Partnership and the Royal Opera House project.

Claire Young, who leads on music at Penbridge, said the award confirms the school are delivering an engaging arts curriculum:

“This Artsmark Gold award is confirmation of all the good work that we’re doing across the school, really promoting the arts in music and in artwork, dance and drama. Applying for Artsmark has really brought the importance of the Arts to our attention, so we have been focused on achieving this over the last couple of years. We are already looking at what else we can do to inspire the children.”

Ashlee Cole, Deputy Headteacher at Penbridge School, said the school will continually look at ways to improve their arts teaching provision:

 “We love teaching anything related to the Arts at Penbidge School. We place importance on these subjects and believe the creativity has a positive impact on child wellbeing. It’s important that everyone feels like they can achieve in an area of Arts, so there’s always something of interest to someone.

“As a school, we will continue to evaluate what we are already doing and then what other opportunities we need to look at for our children to enjoy. We continuously look at the arts curriculum and look to the future to become an Artsmark Platinum school someday.”