College receives prestigious Artsmark Award

Pupils and staff at Prior Pursglove and Stockton Sixth Form College are celebrating after receiving a prestigious Artsmark Award on 11th January 2024.

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, Prior Pursglove and Stockton Sixth Form College had to demonstrate the positive and extensive impact of their arts and culture provision across the whole college, the students and the staff.

This was achieved over two years through many different arts and cultural initiatives, including the expansion of our enrichment programme.  All students take part in an enrichment of their choice, from Creative writing or College Newspaper to the twice yearly Musical Production amongst many others.

Staff and students collaborated with Tees Valley Museums, including Kirkleatham Museum and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA), where students undertook work experience, with some of our Gold Arts Award students gaining employment opportunities through these ventures.

Students and staff visited local Primary schools with the arts enrichment students who then lead arts activities with the children there.

Arts and cultural events are celebrated on a regular basis at the college with many activities timetabled across the year to appeal to a wide range of interests. Examples include arts activities for black history month, a Ukrainian folk music performance and a talk about the war as well as national photography competitions.

The Arts Council’s Artsmark reviewers had this to say:

“We are delighted to inform you that your setting has been awarded an Artsmark Gold Award. Congratulations! Your Statement of Commitment and Statement of Impact have been assessed and we’re pleased to share this feedback from our assessors with you:

‘We were impressed by your commitment to the transformative power of the arts, which is having a measurable effect to teaching and learning across the school and beginning to impact other professionals within local primary schools. Creativity and arts are clearly referenced within the school planning documents. SLT, Governor support, and specialist teachers drive an established range of provision, underpinned by a credible qualification offer, including delivery of Gold Arts Award for some students with local arts organisations. It’s brilliant that Arts Award has led to positive progression into employment for two students. It’s also great to hear about students leading arts projects and extra-curricular activity…Your use of arts for mental health and wellbeing, and how you have started to embed cross-curricular work with Maths and History across a large, complex setting is to be commended”.