Prior Pursglove College and Stockton Sixth Form College receives prestigious Artsmark Award


Pupils and staff at Prior Pursglove and Stockton Sixth Form College are celebrating after receiving a prestigious Artsmark Award.

Artsmark is the only creative quality standard for schools, accredited by Arts Council England. It supports them to develop and celebrate arts and cultural education across the whole curriculum, bringing learning to life for children and young people.

In order to achieve their Artsmark Award, Prior Pursglove and Stockton Sixth Form College had to develop their arts and culture provision to embed a broad and balanced curriculum. This was achieved by creating an overall plan that was committed to and delivered across the whole college.

Prior Pursglove and Stockton Sixth Form College was supported by The Forge, the specialist participatory arts organisation in planning and developing their objectives. The Forge worked alongside the college at various stages to support their Artsmark Award achievement.

“Prior Pursglove and Stockton Sixth Form College clearly have a strong commitment to offering high quality arts learning for 16-19 year olds. Their facilities are well designed and of high quality, including an innovative creative arts building with state of the art facilities, designed largely by their own arts teachers, including well-equipped arts and media studios and a professional gallery space. They maintain a commitment to a broad and varied creative arts curriculum, including fine art, photography and design, drama and performing arts, music, media and film studies with academic and vocational options and courses at level 3 and for foundation level learners. They also offer high quality technical support through the employment of specialist arts technicians.

“It was great to hear that numbers studying Arts subjects are increasing on both their sites. But beyond the specialist arts subject offer they have increased the extra-curricular offer available to all sixth form students from any subject background on both sites with an Arts enrichment club and regular Open Mic music sessions at lunch time in the student common room. They have also seen increased numbers in weekly music enrichment sessions where many non-arts students extend their learning or deepen their passion for the Arts through active participation. Particularly impressive has been their work to extend beyond the 16-19 age range, including short courses for Adults in the community and arts enrichment for KS3/4 electively home educated pupils.”

The Artsmark assessor commended Prior Pursglove and Stockton Sixth Form College on Friday 6th March.

On receiving the award, Joanna Bailey, Principal of Prior Pursglove and Stockton Sixth Form College said: “We’re delighted and thrilled to achieve our Artsmark Gold Award. We are absolutely committed to delivering a high-quality arts and cultural education and we look forward to continuing our journey with Artsmark to become a recognised centre of excellence in our localities.”

Dr Darren Henley OBE, Chief Executive of the Arts Council, said:

“I would like to congratulate Prior Pursglove and Stockton Sixth Form College on their Artsmark Award. Becoming an Artsmark school demonstrates that through offering a broad, balanced and creative curriculum, young people have the opportunity to develop character and resilience, increasing their knowledge, curiosity and skills that will remain with them through to adult life.”