Artsmark is the only creative quality standard for schools, accredited by Arts Council England. It supports schools to develop and celebrate arts and cultural education across the whole curriculum, bringing learning to life for children and young people.
In order to become an awarded Artsmark school, The Portsmouth Academy, which is a member of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust, had to develop their arts and cultural provision to ensure they provided a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum. They also had to create and deliver a school-wide plan which demonstrated their commitment to cultural education.
To achieve this, The Portsmouth Academy built a brand new Aspire building with music classrooms, music practice rooms and a drama studio, as well as redeveloped its existing dance studio and changing rooms. This has ensured the school provides outstanding Arts facilities and opportunities for all students.
In addition, The Academy has made Dance, Drama, Music and Design Technology compulsory to all students in years 7, 8 and 9, meaning they all receive at least one full hour of teaching from each arts-based subject per week, delivered by a subject specialist. The school also offers subsidised singing lessons to some of their Pupil Premium students and have seen extra-curriculum club attendance rise by more than 800% compared to the previous year.
By joining the Artsmark network, The Portsmouth Academy will now gain access to exceptional networks and resources from some of the most treasured cultural organisations in the country, which will help to strengthen their arts provision even further. Through Artsmark, The Portsmouth Academy will incorporate arts, culture and creativity into every pupil’s life, learning, knowledge and understanding, helping them to build resilience, confidence and character.
Ryan Lock, Assistant Principal for Personal Development, Careers and Enrichment, praised staff and students for playing an important part in achieving the Artsmark accolade.
He said: “Staff and students within our creative departments have worked tirelessly to achieve this accreditation. I’m so proud that Artsmark have recognised our efforts in delivering quality arts and cultural education across our curriculum.
“This award demonstrates to young people across the city of Portsmouth that The Portsmouth Academy is serious about supporting students who have an interest in the arts. Whether they enjoy the arts as a hobby or career aspiration, the school strives to provide opportunities across the board within this area. We have dance studios, a kitted-out stage and lighting, modern music rooms, brand new art studios, photography and much more for young people to enjoy and thrive in.”