Families sit at tables covered in crayons and paper and create artworks

Since re-launching in October 2015, Artsmark has now reached one million pupils through over 2,500 schools across England. This includes 75,000 children from 200 schools in the West Midlands.

Artsmark is the Arts Council’s flagship award for schools. Re-launched in 2015 with a simplified structure, Artsmark champions arts and culture in a growing network of schools across England. The award supports teachers to plan, develop and evaluate high quality arts and cultural education within a broad and balanced curriculum.

Arts and culture have been shown to build confidence, resilience and drive that helps children grow into happy, articulate and succesful young people. Through the award, schools can also provide evidence for how they meet the spiritual, moral, social and cultural requirements for Ofsted.

Arts Connect co-ordinates Artsmark in the West Midlands. Arts Connect is focussed on improving opportunities for children and young people aged 0 – 19 to access, engage in and connect with high quality arts and cultural activity. Arts Connect run a variety of programmes across the region, alongside Artsmark and Arts Award.

Billesley Primary School in Birmingham signed up to Artsmark in March 2016, and and are currently on their Artsmark journey. Johanne Clifton Executive Principal explains; “Artsmark is an important part of our school improvement processes; it enables us to audit our provision for the Arts and Culture in school and plan how we can achieve the highest possible standards across the curriculum. The Artsmark structure provides us with new and engaging opportunities for our children to learn and succeed. Our children not only achieve well in the Arts but across all curriculum areas including English and Maths due to the increased communication, reasoning and problem solving skills they are developing through working towards Artsmark.”

Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England said: “Through the creative use of arts and culture, Artsmark is bringing learning to life for one million pupils all over England, right across the curriculum. We look forward to supporting even more schools in 2017, and watching the benefits of art and culture positively impact on children’s development.”

If you are intersted in Artsmark for your school in the West Midlands, contact Arts Connect’s Artsmark specialist, Helen Frost at helen.frost@wlv.ac.uk or call 0121 446 3204.