Lancaster school celebrates national arts status

Alison Dodd, head teacher, with pupils  Connor, Molly and Maisie.
Alison Dodd, head teacher, with pupils Connor, Molly and Maisie.
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Pupils and staff at Stepping Stones pupil referral unit are celebrating after 12 children received Arts Awards from Trinity College in London.

In addition, the school was awarded the Silver Artsmark status.

Artsmark is the creative quality standard for schools; accredited by Arts Council England and is awarded to schools which actively champion high quality art and cultural education within their curriculum.

Culture and creativity increases pupils’ confidence, critical thinking, communication and literacy skills, improving attainment and bringing core subjects to life.

In order to achieve Artsmark Silver status, Stepping Stones has demonstrated its commitment to incorporating art and culture into every student’s life and learning, as well as showing ambitious plans for the future.

An exciting collaborative community partnership with The Dukes Theatre, and Lancaster University, who secured funding, was successful in engagement with reading, improving literacy, and developing emotional well-being. The children produced fantastic comics and animations, some of which are being exhibited at The Dukes Theatre from October 22nd until November 23rd. The project won the North West Cultural Education Award in 2017-18.

Head Alison Dodd said: “It has been fantastic to see the children engage in a range of arts projects in school, all of which is impacting on their skills development and improving their self- esteem.

“The hard work of our Arts Leader is brilliant in securing the opportunities for our pupils.”

Darren Henley, chief executive of Arts Council England, said: “I would like to congratulate Stepping Stones on achieving Artsmark Silver and welcome them into our growing family of Artsmark schools. To become an Artsmark school, Stepping Stones had to demonstrate its dedication to the arts. It has put together an ambitious plan which will ensure that each of its pupils is given the opportunity to explore and build a love of the arts that will remain with them as they go through adult life.”

Diane Sheron, Creative Arts Leader at Stepping Stones, is keen to develop further partnerships with Lancaster University and The Dukes Theatre and looks forward to further exciting projects which are in the planning stage, to extend incorporating the arts throughout the school.