Auditing Provision: The new Artsmark enables us to audit our provision for the Arts and Culture in school and to plan how we can achieve the highest possible standards across the curriculum. Our children not only achieve well in the arts but across all curriculum areas including English and Maths due to the increased communication, reasoning and problem solving skills they are developing through working in the arts and towards Artsmark.

Professional Development: Our school has made professional development a key priority for the past two years and Artsmark provides a focus for this work by enabling teachers to reflect on their practice and identify areas where a practitioner can work alongside them to find alternative ways to develop their practice whilst working towards school improvement priorities. As the model at our school is one of incremental coaching this aligns with our key priorities.

Developing a Variety of Skills: At the present time, schools are under pressure due to challenges with the reforms of the assessment framework across all ages together with high levels of accountability. Schools can impact on core standards of reading, writing and maths through a traditional structured approach but our experience has shown us that this will inevitably lead to a limit on achievement. The arts enable the development of broader skills of communication, expression and deeper thinking which are essential for outstanding academic progress, employability and well-being in life.

Developing a Broad Curriculum: The changes in the Artsmark process to become an integral part of school improvement could not have been more timely. Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Speilman has spoken about the need for a ‘Big Conversation’ about the curriculum in schools and the need to ensure that a school has provided opportunities to develop the curriculum in the broadest sense, with excellence in the arts, sport and skills for life.

An Audit Tool: During inspection, schools are asked about the philosophy behind their curriculum, the relevance of the design for the context of the school and how it provides progression and skill development across all subject areas, Artsmark is an important audit tool in this process and will enable schools to identify areas to improve in readiness for their inspection and also in improving their curriculum provision as well as engaging in debate about curriculum design.

A Framework for Learning: Artsmark is a framework that supports us in finding what is relevant and questioning the accepted way of doing and learning. It helps us discover the unexpected.

Johanne Clifton, Executive Principal, Billesley Primary School, Birmingham.

“Artsmark is a framework that supports us in finding what is relevant and questioning the accepted way of doing and learning. It helps us discover the unexpected.”

Johanne Clifton, Executive Principal, Billesley Primary School, Birmingham

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