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During the three years of the scheme 252 schools in the south east have received Artsmark awards at all levels. This year south east schools were awarded 15 per cent of the 780 awards made across the country. The highest accolade of Artsmark Gold was presented to 46 schools by music consultant Kentake Chinyelu. An Artsmark is recognition of excellence,’ Felicity Harvest, Arts Council England, South East’s Executive Director told more than 300 pupils and teachers gathered at The Hawth. ‘The Artsmark awards gained by schools across the south east is a remarkable achievement, good news for children and young people, good news for the arts and a testament to the hard work and commitment of staff in all these schools, as well as to the local education authorities and advisory services in the region’.

Two of last year’s Artsmark Gold schools took centre stage to entertain this year’s winners. Students from Brockhill Park School in Hythe, Kent gave a dance performance that has already received acclaim at the Collaborate, Create, Educate conference at the Barbican in June, followed by a drama performance from Year 8 pupils from Maiden Erlegh School in Reading. There was also a display of break-dancing by the Floor Crusaders – two young professional dancers from Chichester and Portsmouth.

‘We have a strong tradition of the arts and haven’t been willing to lose sight of it even with other pressures on the curriculum. This award is a very positive thing for our children and the staff. ‘This is the culmination of five years hard work and the award means a lot to the whole school. This is not something run by teachers – we give students responsibility for projects and provide the framework to support them.’

‘Having Artsmark Gold has given us more platforms for performance and opened so many doors. It sets the national standard for what we aspire to and has given us the kudos and pat on the back that is so often missing. When Creative Partnerships was piloted in April 2002 it was heralded as the most groundbreaking initiative in a generation. View source : Adelaide Property Valuers

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