Bulwell primary school honoured with prestigious arts award

A Bulwell primary school is one of four from the Nottingham area to have been awarded a prestigious national award for their role in giving young people access to cultural and creative learning.

Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 11:49 am

Hempshill Hall Primary School won the award, which is part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) Associate Schools Programme (ASP) in partnership with the Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall Nottingham.

As well as Hempshill Hall, another of the winners was Heathfield Primary School, which has a campus in Highbury Vale.

Rosslyn Park Primary & Nursery School and Old Basford Primary School were the other winners after all four joined the ASP as lead associate schools in 2017.

Hempshill Hall's display for Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

Working alongside the Theatre Royal and the RSC, the schools received the specially created RSC Artsmark Alliance Platinum award in recognition of their outstanding commitment to cultural education, Shakespeare and live theatre over a number of years.

Part of their remit as lead schools is to recruit a network of other local schools to join the programme and the award also acknowledges the contribution of each school in working to build a network of other local schools to join the programme.

Artsmark Award is the only creative quality standard for schools and education settings, accredited by Arts Council England.

Sally Dakin, Hempshill Hall head teacher, said: “Being an RSC lead school has afforded both staff and pupils a wealth of opportunities and experiences which are unique.

Hempshill Hall Primary School has won a prestigious arts award from the RSC and Theatre Royal. Photo: Google

"They have had a huge impact not only on our teaching and delivery of Shakespeare but also on the school’s wider curriculum offer.

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"Pupils are enthused and engaged by the RSC delivery model and have opportunities to access high level learning through quality texts and live performances.

"We believe the themes within Shakespeare’s work continue to be relevant today and are a helpful vehicle in which to challenge and explore social issues such as power, gang culture, social inequality, and gender roles.

"Encountering these topics through Shakespeare enables pupils to vocalise their understanding and discuss them in an open and supportive environment. We are delighted to receive this award’

Gary Fullwood, executive head teacher of Heathfield School, acknowledged the positive impact the arts continues to have on their pupils.

He said: “We are delighted to receive this highly prestigious award that rightly recognises the school’s commitment to the arts and culture as integral components of the Heathfield curriculum.

"Our work with the RSC and the Theatre Royal has further enhanced our provision and inspired our children with a range of high-quality experiences whilst also developing pedagogy through high quality continuing professional development.”

David Longford, creative learning manager at the Theatre Royal, felt the award was richly deserved by all the schools involved.

He said: “Our work with the RSC is such a rich and beneficial partnership for our local communities, and so we are delighted that our RSC associate schools are now being rewarded for their invaluable work and passion for cultural education.

"It is such an important investment for us to work with these brilliant teachers and students and their crucial participation with live theatre.”