Staff and pupils at Springwood have something to sing and dance about after its dedication to the teaching of the arts saw it receive a prestigious gold Artsmark award.
The honour, which is valid for two years, is given to schools that put time and resources into encouraging the teaching of the arts. The award report was full of praise for Springwood and noted how clearly value is placed on the teaching of arts subjects.
“As a specialist performing arts school, Springwood recognises the value of the Arts and that this is strongly supported by the school’s leadership,” the report said, going on to praise the school for its uptake in Art and Drama GCSE entries, and its “impressive” levels in Music and Dance at ALPS (A Level Performance System).
This is a wonderful vote of confidence in what all the teaching staff at Springwood are trying to do, and the amazing response they’re getting from the pupils.
Springwood encourages pupils to get involved in singing, and to see it as part of the school ethos, rather than an additional thing that they have to do, and as a result we more than tripled the number of pupils who were involved and had to create two separate age-group choirs.
With the encouragement of senior school leaders, more time was put aside for singing, raising standards, and as a result we’ve received a lot more attention, even featuring on BBC Newsround and being asked to sing at the Royal Albert Hall.
The increasing emphasis on and enthusiasm for the arts is not just confined to Springwood, its benefits have been felt right across the Trust.
Last year the Art and Drama departments of Springwood and Smithdon High in Hunstanton had a joint trip to the United States, and we also had the first Trust dance festival, for all the schools.
Springwood already has plans to build upon its recent achievements and has always been at the heart of the arts community and in recent years their relationships with local and national arts and cultural partners have deepened.
The ambition is to work more closely with these partners to involve more children from the feeder schools and from the community as a whole. We want to see an uptake in the learning of instrumental music and an increase in the number of students having the opportunity to take part in performances.