Smithdon School receives prestigious award

Smithdon School receives prestigious  award

Staff and students at a West Norfolk school have been celebrating news that it has been awarded a prestigious Artsmark.

Smithdon High School, Hunstanton, has been assessed by the organisation which is accredited by the Arts Council for the development of education in the arts and culture across the UK.

Students have recently been staging their production of Legally Blonde, which played to packed houses at the end of February. The show was also performed to local primary school pupils at special matinee shows.

The school will be hosting an Art Exhibition on March 26 which will be shared by local primary schools and taking the theme of nature.

“This is great news for our school and we are all delighted that we have a silver artsmark which is an indication of our current commitment and our plans for future development of provision in this field,” said John Hirst, Headteacher.

“The students put on a fantastic show with Legally Blonde and it’s productions like this which illustrate how much emphasis we put on the arts and how well our students embrace the opportunities within that field,” he added.

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“It is good to see Smithdon’s arts provision emerging, with an increased range of clubs, trips and visitors in place and planned; growing engagement from students, notably in instrumental music and greater exposure to the wider community through performances and a strengthening of pupil voice,” says the letter announcing the school’s Silver award.

The school is already looking forward to its Summer Concert which will showcase a range of performers and Smithdon’s opportunities for students to become involved.

Extra curricular activities at the secondary school include instrumental music lessons, ensemble music groups, drama and speak out and debate challenges. There is also a Literature Society, Choir and a Jam Session club available for students either during lunch time or after school.

Smithdon is part of the West Norfolk Academies Trust and has 630 students and 85 staff based in the Grade II listed ‘brutalist’ steel and glass structure that has become a landmark in the area.

The school has grown and also boasts a range of purpose-built facilities and resources which has helped achieve the Artsmark award.

The scheme is open to all schools and the awards are made to schools committed to arts and cultural education. It can take two years from registering to achieve an award and includes staff training, self-assessment and an impact statement.

West Norfolk Academies Trust is a locally-based charity working with a total of 11 primary and secondary schools in the area. It works to support each school while allowing each to maintain its own identity and ethos.