Morley Primary Academy Achieves Silver Artsmark Status!

February 3, 2023

Morley Church of England Primary Academy has been awarded the prestigious Silver Artsmark from the Arts Council.

Art, Design & Technology Leader, Kate Easter, explains how the school has achieved this national accreditation:

“Our Artsmark journey began in May 2019 when we submitted our statement of commitment to the Arts Council. The document required us to think carefully about the current offer from our school, the areas of the arts that we wanted to improve and how Artsmark would contribute to our Improvement and Development Plan. We knew that the arts threaded through daily life at Morley Primary, as a walk through our school would show any visitor, but we wanted to raise the profile of the arts for the whole school community and develop our offer – we wanted to become a silver Artsmark school.”

“As part of our launch, we held an Open Studio event in September 2019, where every child exhibited pieces of artwork; we now run an exhibition every year. Listening to the pupil voice became a large and important part of the work. The children wanted an after-school art club and more visitors to come in and run workshops. Therefore, we ran an after-school art club where children learnt various slab techniques and how to create lino prints. Staff also attended after-school sessions to develop their understanding of sketchbooks and how these can be developed further.”

“Children visited Norwich Castle for the Take One Picture exhibition, staff worked with Festival Bridge to organise a visit from the Little Shop of Imagination and Norwich Puppet Theatre came to perform Hansel and Gretel to the whole school. Children enjoyed Samba and Bollywood dance sessions and we engaged with Norfolk Music Hub to deliver whole class ensemble teaching. Our termly musical assembly gives children a platform for performance and children can join our school choir. Church services become an opportunity for performance too, with children leading singing, reading and drama as part of the service. We take part in the Norfolk Schools of Sanctuary’s ‘Day of Welcome’ each year and our foyers display the work from both days as a warm welcome to everyone who visits Morley.”

The assessors gave the school this feedback:

Arts and culture are linked to wider learning opportunities and you draw attention to careers in the creative industries. You strive to give all children equitable access to the Arts and are aware of the importance of ensuring your arts curriculum is representative of society as well as your setting. You have made changes to the range of artist studies and have plans to do further work on this. You ensure that all children can access arts, including funding instrument lessons for children receiving pupil premium funding. Opportunities for performance and for displaying a range of children and young people’s work in the Arts are developing, for example taking part in Norfolk Open Studios and your plans to exhibit sculpture in your entrance. You run internal CPD and discuss the artsmark in staff meetings.’

Kate continued, “At Morley Primary, we strive for children to leave our school being able to communicate what they see, feel and think. We hope that because of the passion that we all have here at Morley, children will develop a lifelong appreciation of the arts and all that they bring to our lives.”

“We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved together and after a little celebration, we will be going for gold!”

Examples of pupil artwork can be seen above.