The Friary School has long-held a commitment to the arts, despite the government funding for specialist status in this area stopping over eight years ago.

Of course, the UK is a real driver in the creative industries, and though our academic results are in the Top 10 in the county, we still retain a passion for subjects like Art, Drama, Dance and Music which remain an integral part of our lives.

Thankfully, the new OFSTED criteria has moved away from the ‘Results… Results… Results’ emphasis driven by the DfE and is now looking for children to learn well, but also to learn broadly. Having a top grade in Maths and English remains very important, but if that is achieved without an awareness of culture, communication and creativity, then the child and the world is much poorer for it.

Consequently, we are revisiting the Artsmark status – obtained through the Arts Council England – as it highlights and exemplifies our approach and we are delighted to have passed through the first phase of this prestigious award.

Matt Allman, Headteacher, said: “This award maintains focus on an important area and after successfully obtaining national recognition for E-Safety we wanted to set ourselves a new challenge. We very much tell our students that life is about driving forward, setting new challenges, and making things better, so this was a great chance to practise what we preach.”

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