West Hill Primary School was awarded the prestigious Arts Council England Artsmark Gold Award in June 2007 and again in June 2010.

Managed by Arts Council England, Artsmark is a national award scheme which recognises schools with a high provision in the arts. The scheme encourages schools to consider the opportunities they offer in art, dance, drama and music. By gaining an Artsmark, a school shows its commitment to the wider development of young people and teachers and to raising the profile of the arts in the school and the local community.

The Artsmark Award demonstrates West Hill Primary School’s strong commitment to the arts. It also acknowledges the relationship the school has developed with the local community through arts activity. Some of the arts activities in which children participate, such as creating a special painting, acting in a play or learning a new song, will stay in their minds for the rest of their lives.

We are delighted that the Arts Council continues to recognise West Hill Primary School’s stimulating and exciting arts curriculum which encourages children to work with local artists as well. There is a huge amount of arts activity going on at the School and we have many talented children and teachers. Our arts curriculum extends way beyond the school day. For example, our PTFA puts on an annual Murder Mystery Play, which is written by our Headteacher and which stars staff, governors and parents. It’s great fun to rehearse and perform and raises much needed funds for the school.

We have put on excellent musical performances such as ‘Rats! The Musical’ and ‘Yanomamo’ which always involve the whole school community in one way or another, whether through drama, dance and music or through designing and creating artistic backdrops for the performances. In addition, all children can learn to play musical instruments. We run clubs for Dance, Creative Writing, African Drumming, Ukulele, Music Time for Key Stage 1, Art & Craft and Ceramics and there is an after-school orchestra for children in our Learning Community, held at our school. Whole school and classroom displays are outstanding and there are lovely, artistic murals, an amphitheatre and a storyteller’s chair in our grounds. There are many examples of the children’s excellent art work on several pages of our school website.

The arts are very important to us at West Hill Primary School and we shall continue to work within the Artsmark scheme to help us develop our provision further.