In 2017 Wildern School achieved Artsmark Platinum for its opportunities and promotion of the Arts and our commitment to continue supporting these.
The Platinum award is the highest recognition and was awarded in all of the following areas:
1. Striving for excellence and innovation
2. Being authentic
3. Being exciting, inspiring and engaging
4. Ensuring a positive and inclusive experience
5. Actively involving children and young people
6. Enabling personal progression
7. Developing belonging and ownership
Wildernâ€™s vision for the Arts and Culture remains a top priority within the School Development Plan. The Arts are an integral part of Wildern life. Wildern students have access to a high quality Arts curriculum throughout their Wildern journey and this will not change.
Within the School Development Plan there is a clear objective for all staff to explicitly teach cultural opportunities as well as providing enrichment opportunities across the Arts.Â Every department is encouraged to maintain the principles of creativity to encourage and support students learning through role play and drama, sound and music, moving image and media, movement and dance, visual imagery, art and heritage and culture.Â All staff are engaged in keeping this central focus alive and allowing students to access the Arts in all subject areas. Regular monitoring and observations by Directors of Learning and the Senior Leadership Team ensure that this is taking place.
Our journey so far has been full of wonderful and exciting opportunities for our students as well as opportunities to share our vision and ethos for the Arts with local schools, the community and outside agencies. These opportunities have been available to us because the culture of the school ensures Wildern is at the forefront of the Arts.
Our Artsmark journey has been even more successful than we had anticipated and one of the main reasons for this has been our ability to reflect and identify ways to continue to move forward. Wildern Schoolâ€™s vision ensures the Arts continue to flourish not just on site but within our partnership schools and the community.
One of Wildernâ€™s aims is to maximise the opportunities students have to access the Arts and Culture by ensuring our learners experience â€˜real lifeâ€™ opportunities. This was no more apparent than a unique opportunity offered to the Wildern Dance Department to perform in the BBC Ten Pieces Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. Wildern was one of 5 schools to be invited to perform at this prestigious event following participation in the BBC Ten Pieces project. Wildernâ€™s passion and drive for the Arts ensure opportunities like this take place and highlight Wildern as a flagship school for the Arts.
Wildernâ€™s journey has also had a positive impact on the Arts provision of the local community and primary school cluster.Â This is through timetabled primary outreach time we have been able to regularly support our cluster schools to provide high quality Arts provision and establish strong roots to build outstanding Arts education from non-specialist teachers at a primary level. This has also enabled the primary schools to begin their own Artsmark journey and embed our ethos of valuing the Arts across all subject areas.
Wildern actively promotes and encourages participation in Arts and Culture as well as providing students guidance in these areas as a career choice. Students participate in Arts careers days with local colleges and theatres and have opportunities to meet and work alongside people from Arts and Culture industries such as actors, dancers, choreographers, artists, musicians, composers, and directors.
Wildernâ€™s Artsmark journey has triggered a review of what we can offer to other secondary schools and feeder primary schools to support their growth and development in the Arts.Â Â We support feeder primary schools by offering them the opportunity to have teachers of music lead lessons focusing on building specialist skills in the subject. As a result primary staff have been able to reflect on their pedagogy and apply the methods and techniques used in these sessions to enhance their own teaching and learning in the classroom and beyond.
The Art department have supported two local secondary schools in leading CPD sessions on different techniques in GCSE Art and Photography as well as assisting in planning schemes of working and sharing resources. This has enabled these schools to have a much clearer idea of how to plan for high quality teaching and learning and created strong links across the community.
Schools without specialist facilities have been offered opportunities to host Arts focus days in The Wave lecture theatre and perform in The Berry Theatre to give their students â€˜real lifeâ€™ high quality experiences in the Arts. This allows Wildern to take a lead in pushing Arts and Culture to the forefront not just in its own school but within the wider teaching community.
The school has seen innovation and change across all subject areas. Each department has reflected on their pedagogy and made changes to the delivery of topics across the school to ensure the Arts are a central focus for teaching and learning. In English Romeo and Juliet is not only being analysed in the classroom but also performed from a script to allow students to access the text in different ways. In Humanities planning, filming and editing animation videos has helped to develop knowledge of key events.