BURNT Mill Academy is the only secondary school in Essex to achieve the country’s highest accolade for arts education.
The school, in Harlow, has been awarded the prestigious Artsmark Platinum Award.
Artsmark, awarded by Arts Council England, helps to unlock the potential of young people, helps to develop their talent and increases their knowledge and understanding.
Schools receiving the award are given access to resources, as well as networks of cultural organisations around the country to help to develop and strengthen their arts provision.
The school had to submit a statement of commitment, case study and statement of impact before being assessed for the award.
The feedback received by the school in response stated: “Burnt Mill Academy have continued to act as leaders for arts-based learning, making arts opportunities part of learning for students on a daily basis, as well as using the approach in more targeted ways for disaffected learners, for example.
“You are achieving great things at Burnt Mill Academy and are looking to ensure that the arts are working on all fronts, from engaging the most reluctant learners through to helping the most talented excel.
“Overall, an exciting, vibrant and ambitious arts-rich school which is outward looking and seeking to help others improve their arts offer.”
The school was praised for “significant events”, including –
hosting a Shakespeare festival
arranging arts rich international trips
co-ordinating live performances, including ballet, street dance, orchestra, theatre
contributing to BBC interviews
Cristin Casey, BMAT director of performing arts, said: “I am stunned and ever so proud. This is the biggest accolade and highest achievement in the country for arts education.
“Very few schools received the Artsmark Platinum Award.
“I am blown away and so proud of what we have managed to do for the young people of Harlow.”
The award is valid for two years.
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