Northampton school joins national campaign by Arts Council to promote cultural education

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A Northampton school has taken part in a new Cultural Education Challenge to encourage arts and education leaders to develop cultural education provision.

Nine schools in the East Midlands have taken part in a nationwide pilot of the Arts Council’s refreshed Artsmark award, including Abbeyfield School in Northampton, illustrating their commitment to providing a strong cultural education for students.

All the pilot schools were supported by The Mighty Creatives, one of 10 regional Bridge organisations across the country helping to connect schools, children and young people with arts and cultural activity.

At Abbeyfield School, the arts are seen as crucial part of learning for students, inspiring creative thought and expression across all subjects.

Pupils at the school have had the opportunity to learn from national theatre and dance companies, such as the Royal Shakespeare Company and Motionhouse, as well as visiting cultural venues, including, the Royal and Derngate and Tate Modern.

Assistant principal, Laura Parker, said: “Artsmark has allowed us to explore new methods of teaching and curriculum design in order to provide students with inspiring and engaging stimuli by introducing them to arts companies and professionals.”

Now in its 15th year, the Artsmark award has helped the Arts Council and schools ensure more children and young people have access to high quality arts and culture.

The refreshed Artsmark award, which opened this autumn, has been designed by schools, for schools. It will offer schools greater opportunity to build arts and culture into their curriculum and strategic ambitions.

Peter Knott, area director, Midlands, Arts Council England said: “We want every child and young person in the East Midlands to have an exciting and vibrant cultural education which challenges and inspires them, helping to harness and develop their talent and potential.

“Our refreshed Artsmark award will help make this ambition a reality by supporting local schools to enrich, develop and strengthen their arts and cultural provision, bringing arts and culture to life in every classroom.”