Meon Way Federation schools achieve Artsmark awards

June 4, 2024 01:18pm

Hundreds of children across three schools in Portsmouth are receiving a vibrant and engaging arts curriculum, following nationwide recognition by Arts Council England.

Meon Infant School and Moorings Way Infant School have received the Artsmark Silver accolade, with Meon Junior School gaining their Artsmark Gold award, in recognition of the engaging arts curriculum delivered by all three schools that collectively form Meon Way Federation.

Arts Council England endorses Artsmark as the only creative quality standard and is committed to supporting schools nationwide in nurturing and celebrating arts and cultural education across all facets of the curriculum, thereby enhancing children's learning experiences.

Artsmark’s recent recognition of each of the Meon Way Federation schools, who are proud members of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust, underscores the schools' commitment to fostering creativity and expression among their children.

For Moorings Way Infant School, a report accompanying the award stated the school: “Clearly have a strong understanding of the value of the arts, in themselves and in the contribution they can make to children’s wider learning and personal development… You have increased the range of visits and visitors by engaging with local artists and you have been mindful of the cultural diversity of the children’s experiences.”

At Meon Infant School, the inspectors stated that the arts are valued and promoted as a non-negotiable part of the school curriculum, saying: “You have a planned progressive curriculum that uses the arts to deliver across subjects including History, Science and English. You have considered your pupils’ existing knowledge and created equaliser tasks for the art curriculum to ensure every child has some prior knowledge before starting topics.”

As for Meon Junior School, which received Gold in their Artsmark accreditation, they were praised for the impact they are having on the confidence of pupils. Their report said: “You are seeing a growth in confidence and positive engagement from young people as a result of your practice. You report children now display newfound confidence, they express imaginative talent in art, music and PE lessons and show improved skills in composition and performance of creative writing and poetry.”

Sara Paine, the Executive Headteacher at Meon Way Federation, says for all three schools to be recognised has been an encouragement to the school communities. She said:

“At Meon Way Federation, our three schools work closely together to deliver a curriculum that has a positive impact on the lives of our children. Part of our work across both infant schools and our junior school is to deliver a rich and exciting arts curriculum that makes our children well-rounded individuals with cultural experiences and opportunities in which they can express themselves creatively. I am delighted our three schools have come together to deliver an engaging arts curriculum and congratulate all our staff involved in this moment."

Julia O’Neill, who teaches art at Meon Junior Schools, shared the school promotes a culture of recognition for good work, saying:

“I feel a huge sense of accomplishment and pride in contributing towards the achievement of the Artsmark Award. Achieving this award not only celebrates the achievements of teachers and the schools, but also benefits the children by enriching their arts education and fostering a greater appreciation for creativity and artistic expression.

“Having put together a bespoke curriculum, where children can learn to develop the skills and techniques on their artistic journey, has proven to be a great success and has improved their confidence immensely. I am beyond proud of every single pupil. We regularly celebrate the children's work in Arts assemblies, and I have a team of Arts Ambassadors who participate in the organisation and running of these, inspiring their peers as positive role models, to explore their artistic talents.”