Debut arts festival at St Peter’s Junior School to mark platinum award

Artsmark award for St Peter's Juniors

Drama, dance art and more all featured in the first ever arts festival at St Peter’s Junior School.

A celebration of the arts curriculum with a busy two-day programme of events and activities was a perfect showcase to highlight the school’s recently received national honour, the Artsmark Platinum Award.

Creativity and fun were centre stage and focused on the themes of friendship, hope, self-belief and working together. All year groups took part in a range of dance, drama and visual arts activities and performed to one another in showcases throughout the two days.

Young members of the Year 3 and Year 4 St Peter’s Performers impressed audiences with their confident and enthusiastic musical version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The Year 5 and Year 6 St Peter’s Performers meanwhile pumped up the volume with an energetic and humorous ensemble show about Romans that featured songs about the civilisation’s customs, pastimes, buildings, art and culture.

The school’s Arts Leaders (pictured) from Years 4, 5 and 6 played important roles throughout the festival – they helped to lead and support others during the workshops, and organised and led their own activities during their lunch breaks. They won praise for being positive, imaginative and supportive and are fantastic ambassadors for the Arts at the school.

Other activities included parents/carers enjoying the challenge of a dance workshop alongside the Years 3 and 4 Elite Dancers. The school hopes this experience will lead to similar parents/carers workshop sessions and it aims to further expand its arts festival next year.

The festival demonstrated qualities that led to St Peter’s receiving the Artsmark, which is the only creative quality standard for schools, accredited by Arts Council England. The Platinum Award is the highest category that is awarded and recognises the broad and rich artistic curriculum that the children receive at St Peter’s.

Headteacher Tim Whitehouse said: “This was a brilliant festival and our children and staff deserve the highest praise for the way they engaged with fun learning activities and some super shows – with even more planned this term.”

“We are committed to delivering a high-quality arts and cultural education alongside our academic success. Our specialist drama, art, music and dance teachers add so much to the life of the school and we look forward to continuing our learning journey with Artsmark.”

In order to achieve their award, St Peter’s further developed their arts and culture provision to embed a broad and ambitious curriculum. This was achieved by creating an overall plan that was committed to and delivered across the whole school.

St Peter’s has its own drama and dance studio that all children use each week, as well as a newly-completed art building for specialist art lessons.

The Artsmark assessment commended ‘the strong, purposeful and reflective leadership of the Arts at St Peter’s and a firm commitment to promoting arts and culture.’

It added ‘investment in new resources, including a new specialist art suite with stage area and new stage lighting for your studio, is testament to the value school leaders place on the Arts.

‘Students enjoy, and are inspired by, an extensive range of artistic and cultural experiences, including theatre visits, live concerts, participation in arts festivals, and chances to work alongside professional arts practitioners.’

Dr Darren Henley, Chief Executive of the Arts Council, congratulated St Peter’s and added: “Becoming an Artsmark school demonstrates that through offering a broad, ambitious, and creative curriculum, every pupil can develop character and resilience, increasing their knowledge, curiosity and skills that will remain with them through to adult life.”