The head teacher of one of Hartlepool’s oldest schools says more children should benefit from a project which encourages both their creativity and team working.
Eighteen pupils from all year groups at St Aidan’s Church of England Memorial Primary School received certificates after successfully completing their Arts Award.
Young people between the age of five and 25 can take part in the scheme which was launched 10 years ago. It is managed by Trinity College London in association with Arts Council England and is recognised by colleges, universities and an increasing number of employers.
The St Aidan’s pupils were supported by Hartlepool community interest company BloomInArt which works with a number of local schools to encourage children to learn through art. The result of their project – an art work created out of glass – will take pride of place in St Aidan’s school hall.
Head teacher Lynn Scott said: “It’s about nurturing the whole child – not just concentrating on their academic ability. Arts Award gives children an opportunity to shine.
“They perhaps might not be academically gifted but it might bring out of them something they’ve never had an opportunity to experience or to try out before. They might find they’ve got a real talent and provide them with a direction for their future.”
Mrs Scott said the new National Curriculum launched last September has provided schools with greater flexibility and independence and allows them to embrace projects like Arts Award: “You’ve got a bit more leeway and creativity in how you deliver your curriculum. We’ve seen team work right across the school. The older ones have been buddies for the younger ones. It’s given them responsibility, sharing ideas and experiences.”
She added: “I hope other head teachers and senior leadership teams also see the value of Arts Award.”
BloomInArt was established by directors and lifelong friends Emma Wheetman and Rachel Laycock to help enhance children’s education through participation in arts projects.
Both directors are passionate about the importance of the arts in education and believe embracing the arts at a young age can have a positive impact on a child’s overall learning and development.
“Working creatively with young people can instil a creative discipline and confidence for life,” said Emma.
Rachel added: “Many of the projects we deliver work to a live brief, with site specific artwork being designed and produced by the young people. Working with a professional glass artist enables young people to learn design principles that are usually introduced at a higher level of education.”