Gold award shows school has a heart for art
PUBLISHED: 10:39 08 June 2019 | UPDATED: 08:26 09 June 2019
It's official: Dereham Neatherd High School has art at its very heart.
The school for pupils aged 11-16 has been awarded the Arts Council's coveted gold Artsmark for its work in subjects including art, photography, drama, dance, music and design and technology.
Chris Smith, the school's head teacher, said he was delighted with the accolade.
Mr Smith said he wanted to thank school staff for: "their dedication to adding cultural and creative value to students' lives".
Sally Sanderson, the school's head of creative arts, added: "Our success in artistic endeavours is only achievable because of the strong partnership that we have with our fabulously creative students and their parents.
"It is the hours and effort that everyone puts into creative projects that make Neatherd such a vibrant artistic community."
The Arts Council praised the school for the way its teachers find creative ways to help students explore and understand more traditionally academic subjects.
In addition to teaching staff, the school's librarian Lorraine Gill came in for commendation for the creative ways through which she manages to engage students' interest in reading.
In order to get the award, the school submitted a 'statement of commitment to the arts' in 2017.
This was followed up by a summary of progress made this year.
In a letter to the school, Arts Council assessors said: "Being an Artsmark setting demonstrates that through offering a broad, balanced and creative curriculum, young people have the opportunity to develop character and talent and increase their knowledge, curiosity and skills that will remain with them as they go through adult life."
The letter said the school's dedication to the arts was impressive.
It said: "Leaders at all levels are committed to ensuring staff work collaboratively across faculties to ensure students have an array of opportunities to work in creative ways with regular opportunities to showcase their work.
"Your use of the arts to promote your inclusive ethos and pastoral support for pupils is also a notable strength, and this work is evidently having a positive impact on some of your most vulnerable students."