Yesterday, Joan commented that the Artsmark award involved an awful lot of work. You can find more Artsmark information here. Interestingly enough, most of us didn't know anything much about the application until last week, the fact being that we are already fulfilling the criteria for an Artsmark award. For a while now we have adopted a creative approach to learning, including approaches like Mantle of the Expert, P4C, and a wider use of Drama to enhance creative writing, filming and other computer based arts, art and design, dance and close links with the Essex Dance Theatre and, most strongly, I think, a very wide focus on music in varying forms. The point is, I think, that it *is* happening and has been for quite a while, not that we have made it happen in order to get the award.
The most we had to do, and this applies to every time we have a 'special' visitor to the school, is make sure our bays are relatively tidy and displays are up to date. As it's all open plan, any clutter is rather noticeable, and I'm afraid I do clutter rather well - if there was a Cluttersmark award I'd get it every time! Hence my time in school on Saturday.
Lunch with the good lady was very pleasant. She seemed impressed with what she saw, raved enthusiastically about the Foundation Stage violin class and the singing in junion hymn practice, discussed Mantle of the Expert and ended up challenging us about 'modenrn maths methods'! The jacket potato and fillings was rather good too!
We don't know yet whether we do enough to merit the award. In a way it doesn't matter at all, we'll still be doing what we're doing, we won't be changing anything just to get an award like this. But it would be nice, wouldn't it? Positive recognition is always encouraging.