Pupils and staff at Ghyll Royd School and Pre-School are celebrating after receiving a prestigious Artsmark Award. Artsmark is the only creative quality standard for schools, accredited by Arts Council England. It supports them to develop and celebrate arts and cultural education across the whole curriculum, bringing learning to life for children and young people. In order to achieve their Artsmark Award, Ghyll Royd have developed their arts and culture provision to embed a broad and balanced curriculum. This was achieved by creating an overall plan that was committed to and delivered across the whole school, through the hard work of specialist teachers Miss Keeley Smith (Art) and Mrs Elizabeth Coultas (Music). Ghyll Royd School was supported by We are IVE in planning and developing their objectives. We are IVE worked alongside the school at various stages to support their Artsmark Award achievement. The assessor’s feedback noted: “Ghyll Royd School and Pre-School has used their Artsmark journey to deliver arts across the curriculum, increasing teacher confidence in teaching the Arts and building their offer across the school, to initial teacher trainees and to other schools via the Wharfedale Art Competition and local families via Clay Club and Stay and Play sessions. “The teachers value each arts subject and promote arts and culture for the value they have and have started to develop the voice of children by involving them in planning and delivering authentic arts and cultural experience.”
On receiving the award, Headteacher David Martin said: “We’re extremely proud of achieving our Artsmark Silver Award. We are committed to delivering a high-quality arts and cultural education and we look forward to continuing to grow with Artsmark. This would not have been possible without the dedication of Miss Smith, Mrs Coultas as the full support of the teaching staff, and of course, the children who make teaching the arts such a joy!”
In recent years, Ghyll Royd has achieved four consecutive appearances in the shortlistings for Independent Schools of the Year Awards, including two finalist placements. This year, their focus has been on securing the Artsmark status within the Wharfe Valley. The independent school is one of ten Artsmark institutions in the Leeds/Bradford area, which includes nurseries, primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and universities.
The Silver award is the second arts achievement for 2021, as 8-year-old pupil William achieved first prize in the National Independent Schools Association’s Art Competition back in February for his textiles piece: ‘Caravanning on the Moon’.
Dr Darren Henley OBE, Chief Executive of the Arts Council, said: “I would like to congratulate Ghyll Royd School and Pre-School on their Artsmark Award. Becoming an Artsmark school demonstrates that through offering a broad, balanced and creative curriculum, young people have the opportunity to develop character and resilience, increasing their knowledge, curiosity and skills that will remain with them through to adult life.”
For more information on Artsmark, visit Artsmark.org.uk.