Top ranking once again for middle schools

Chantry and Newminster Middle Schools in Morpeth in Morpeth have both been awarded the prestigious Artsmark Platinum award, accredited by Arts Council England.

Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 2:01 pm
Updated Friday, 27th September 2019, 2:29 pm
Chantry Middle School supported the Elmer's Great North Parade initiative in aid of St Oswald's Hospice.

This is the second time that the two schools have been given the top ranking.

In making these latest awards, which are re-assessed every two years, the Artsmark panels praised the breadth of arts and cultural education offerings at the schools, and pointed to the commitment to and the support for these activities given at governing body level.

They commended the ‘clear management’ at the schools and the collaboration and sharing of the Artsmark experience with other schools.

Some of the pupils who took part in the performance in aid of the Comic Relief appeal.

In addition, there was recognition of the contribution that the arts could make to the well-being, confidence and skills of pupils.

Simon Taylor, CEO of The Three Rivers Learning Trust, said: ”The Artsmark Platinum award is very well deserved by both Chantry and Newminster Middle Schools, and celebrates the breadth of our curriculum and the many wider enrichment opportunities that are available for all students.

“The Three Rivers Learning Trust has a firm commitment to supporting the arts and I would like to congratulate the schools on this wonderful achievement, and thank the staff who contribute their expertise and energy to promote the arts.”

The activity pictured top was Chantry pupils designing a large, fibreglass Elmer the Elephant sculpture as part of the Elmer's Great North Parade initiative in aid of St Oswald's Hospice.

The winners and runners-up had fun painting the school’s Elmer.

The other activity pictured was both schools putting together their biggest ever Comic Relief event as more than 1,200 students performed Toto’s Africa song together on one of the school fields.

The Rock Choir and Taiko drummers’ part of the big fund-raising day was worked on for a few weeks beforehand.

It included creating the sound of a storm using body percussion.

The School of Rock musical and Sign2Sing are among the other major performances that have taken place this year and partnerships have been developed with organisations such as Music Partnership North and Mushroom Works Artists.

Charlotte Jones, curriculum leader of the creative arts across the two middle schools who has co-ordinated progress in the Artsmark journey, said: “This huge accolade would not have been possible without the support of pupils, staff, parents and carers, governors and the trust.

“The partnerships that we have been able to build and sustain with the local community, together with a range of local, regional and national organisations, have also been essential to our journey.

“We have shared our Artsmark experience with other schools and organisations and hope to be able to do so with many more in the future.”