We are delighted to announce that Elmhurst has been awarded the Artsmark Platinum Award by the Arts Council of Great Britain. We are one of only three Primary schools in the whole of London who have this award! Having previously been awarded the Artsmark Gold, we decided that we were ready to start the two year journey towards Platinum. This involved submitting a Statement of Commitment, which highlighted the areas that we would be focussing on, these included dance provision, starting the Arts Award with the children and encouraging more parental involvement in the arts.
Over the two years we have achieved some incredible results. We now have a dance teacher and an after school dance club as well as a Bollywood dance club who showcase their work in regular performances. Our first group of children have received a special arts award and our parent community are fully engaged in supporting the school and attending our many performances and exhibitions.
We are proud of all of the work that we do with other schools, such as the poetry retreats and our overseas visits (this year our children went to Venice). We also continue to receive huge praise for the quality of our Shakespeare performances, working closely with the Shakespeare Schools Festival. Our rolling Shakespeare programme has included 10 different plays ranging from the Bard’s comedies to his tragedies; the KS2 group are currently studying a secondary abridged version of ‘A Winter’s Tale’.
We have a new music teacher, who has set up wonderful pupil and staff choirs and our children perform at other schools and at venues such as Stratford Circus. In addition, we employ a specialist art consultant (Andrew Mutter) and an actor in residence (Narinder Samra) who bring a special quality to our work. The standard of visual art around the school is stunning, generating praise by visitors and being a source of inspiration to local schools.
We are very excited about our new £2 million theatre build project which should be completed in autumn 2020 and look forward to welcoming our parents to many performances in the future.
The Arts Council said:
“Utterly inspirational, staff at Elmhurst Primary School are using culture to raise aspirations, change lives and nurture a lifelong love of the Arts. The power of the Arts are really making a difference to those young people’s lives. It’s transformative and long term. SLT and teaching staff work with arts professionals and pupils to embed an established and challenging range of cultural experiences into a strong, whole school arts pedagogy and curriculum. One of the strongest aspects within the Artsmark journey is that pupils are empowered to have confidence in their opinions and are directing and shaping their learning and their environment”.
The Artsmark Platinum Award recognises the huge contribution made by the staff and community at Elmhurst and the school would like to single out Jane Nash, Assistant Headteacher, who successfully lead the whole process.