Governing boards have an important responsibility to ensure that their school offers pupils a wide and varied curriculum, and creative teaching and learning is a core component of this. Engaging with the arts is a particularly powerful way to experience creative teaching and learning practices.
Furthermore, Ofsted inspectors will consider whether the governing board ensures the curriculum is broad and balanced; the grade descriptors for ‘outstanding’ and ‘good’ refer specifically to cultural development.
Artsmark Celebration Week (9th to 13th October) has offered a chance to shout about the wonderful things that Artsmark schools are achieving with and for their pupils, right across the country. On this final day, we decided to shine a spotlight on the important role of Governors in the Artsmark journey and give a Governor’s perspective on the value Artsmark has created at their school. We asked Alicia Parry, Vice Chair of Governors at Palace Fields Primary School in Runcorn, to share her thoughts with us. Here’s what she had to say:
“As a governor who has recently taken on responsibility for the Arts, I am excited to see how out Artsmark journey is already bringing noticeable changes to the school. We have embraced the seven quality principles, initially by placing them at the forefront of our whole school curriculum but with plans to make them points of reference for CPD feedback, lesson observations and extra-curricular activities.
“The staff played a major role in outlining the direction they wanted the journey to take; visioning what the end result would look like and what their input would be in order to make it a reality.
“In a relatively short period of time there have been marked changes including the transformation of our outdoor learning environment and weekly Music CPD for our teaching staff.
I am confident that we will continue to go from strength to strength and I look forward to seeing where our Artsmark journey will ultimately take us.”
For schools hoping to engage their governors with the Cultural Education Challenge, as supporters and critical friends, we recommend downloading a resource compiled by Arts Council England and the National Governors Association, called Cultural Education, a guide for governors. This document provides valuable information and guidance on the questions that governors should be asking and well as key national programmes, partnerships and sources of funding.
Curious Minds has also compiled a simple document outlining some key Benefits of Artsmark for your School, which you may find helpful.