MPS is thrilled to announce that we have been awarded Artsmark Gold. This has been a collaborative effort across Art, Photography, Drama, Music, DT and Food to bring together the wide range of activities and opportunities for the students both in and outside of the classroom. This award is provided by The Arts Council and demonstrates the quality of provision for our students in the Arts Faculty. This journey has been taking place since we opened in 2018 and we have been documenting our progress as we have grown in capacity and moved to the new building.
The feedback noted:
'Despite encountering the challenges associated with your significant school expansion; the pandemic; and the tragic passing of your head teacher during your Artsmark journey, you have clearly maintained your firm commitment to offering your pupils a rich arts and culture curriculum, and recognise its important contribution to their well-being. Some of your plans were inevitably stymied by Covid, but we commend your commitment to continuing to offer young people opportunities to participate in interactive, online arts experiences and an arts 'Challenge of the Week' as part of your remote learning offer. Through your Artsmark journey, you have enhanced your arts provision by embedding visits to arts and culture venues, including the National Gallery and Tate Modern; and providing extra-curricular enrichment opportunities, such as art, Lego, film, drama, podcasting and yarn-bombing (!) clubs. Students enjoy regular opportunities to showcase their work in your annual dance show, instrumental concerts, and the Merstham Park School talent show. You've expanded your vocational offer by introducing music technology at Key Stage 4. Links with Reigate and Surrey College are highlighting arts destination opportunities for students beyond Key Stage 4 – we would have loved more detailed exemplification of this work to deepen our understanding of its effects. Despite installation delays and inevitable snagging issues, with further training for staff to acquire specialist skills planned, your move from temporary accommodation into a new building with spaces dedicated to specialist arts provision (including an art room with ceramics and photography facilities; a music room with studio spaces; drama studio; IT suite with CAD and 3D printing facilities) has future-proofed high quality arts facilities for your students and helping them to learn new techniques. Your collegiate approach to the teaching of the Arts is ensuring consistency of provision and pedagogy across drama, design and technology, art and music, and staff work together to integrate arts and culture education into other curriculum subjects. Cross-curricular links made through, for example, your Shakespeare Week, World Book Day, Black History Month and topics such as 'World Culture' and 'Our Local Community,' are raising the profile of the Arts with all stakeholders and the community. You are seeing the value of the Arts in fostering students' personal, social, and emotional development through your partnerships with the local nursing home and youth centre. You have made a positive start to sharing your good practice through your inks with local primary schools which have increased access for younger children to specialist equipment and teaching. Your Arts Leader's role as a senior QCA moderator is supporting the work of other Surrey schools. Going forwards, your school is in a good position to continue to advocate for the Arts, and to find ways to grow your sphere of influence, within and beyond your Trust. We look forward to hearing how your delivery of Arts Award Bronze supports students' personal progression within the Arts. For the future, you could consider developing your mechanisms for capturing student voice and giving young people further agency by involving them at a deeper level in the planning of a wider range of authentic arts and culture experiences. For example, an Arts Council could steer choices about visiting arts practitioners, extra-curricular arts opportunities, and visits to arts venues, and afford pupils increased decision-making power. We wish you every success with your first set of GCSE results and look forward to hearing how you continue to grow uptake in arts subjects.'
Congratulations on your Artsmark Gold Award!
A huge thank you to everyone in the MPS Arts Faculty team