Delight as borough school receives prestigious award for arts education

The secondary school is officially top of the class when it comes to including culture in the classroom.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 4:45 am
Staff and pupils at Bedford High School with the Artsmark Platinum Award

Bedford High School in Leigh has been given the Artsmark Platinum Award from Arts Council England (ACE) which rewards educational establishments using creativity and culture to bring the whole curriculum to life.

The Manchester Road school’s achievement in reaching the highest of the three Artsmark levels available involved having to demonstrate that the arts and culture were embedded across the whole school.

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Bedford High School head teacher Helen Phillips said: “We’re extremely proud of achieving our Artsmark Platinum Award.

“We are committed to delivering a high-quality arts and cultural education and we look forward to continuing to grow with Artsmark.”

Janet Madden, head of the arts faculty, said: “We are delighted to receive the prestigious Platinum award that recognises our sustained and firm commitment to arts and culture at Bedford.”

David Whitehead, the chair of the governors, added: “A high-quality cultural education is a right, not a privilege.”

Even the challenges of the last year and the Covid-19 pandemic has done little to dampen the enthusiasm for culture at Bedford.

The school put together a spectacular Christmas show which it recorded and then showed online featuring talented dancers, singers and visual artists.

Bedford High also staged an art exhibition online for the first Leigh Fun Palace, a celebration of grass-roots culture, last year and pupils also created art work to remember the victims of Nazi genocide which has been used in local and national Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations.

ACE says the Artsmark Award can help unlock young people’s potential and build their confidence, character and resilience by putting together a creative quality standard for schools.

And the organisation has certainly been impressed by the dedication to culture at Bedford.

Arts Council England told the school: “It is such a joy to read of the progress Bedford High School has made since its last Artsmark Award.

“You are clearly a school that strives to continually improve on its own personal best.

“From the evidence you have presented, it would be fair to say the arts runs through every facet of school life with even the staff forming a school band.”

Passing on his congratulations to the school, Dr Darren Henley OBE, chief executive of ACE, said: “I would like to congratulate Bedford High 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.”

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