Earlier this year, Cornish primary school Perran-ar-Worthal achieved their Artsmark Gold award! After two years of working together to develop their arts and culture offer, they’re really proud to become a Gold school. We caught up with Rachel Heffer, the headteacher of Perran-ar-Worthal about their Artsmark journey.

“Artsmark has provided us with a clear focus on why the Arts really matter to, not just our pupils, but also to our staff and community. The focus on Artsmark has ensured we have given the Arts the status it deserves, which has enabled our curriculum delivery, as part of our creative Fabulous Fridays, to gain the recognition that we believed it should have.”

“Our Artsmark journey took us through the COVID period where we found ourselves having to think even more creatively about how we ensure these areas of curriculum were still being delivered to the highest standard we could offer. In doing so, staff became even more determined to ensure the Arts did not suffer as a consequence of a lock-down. It has made us even more determined to ensure the Arts should also be recognised as a therapeutic element to any curriculum provision, COVID or no-COVID, where creative thinking can enable pupils to access all subjects with confidence.”

Other staff at Perran-ar-Worthan have enjoyed doing the Artsmark award too, saying “It’s been an incredible journey of learning and growing creatively as a whole school”

Rachel says, “My favourite part of Artsmark has been watching us grow as a school and a staff, where a greater sense of determination has come from our focus on ensuring no subject was lost during COVID and how creative thinking has enabled us to see and approach other subjects differently.

My advice would be to look at the bigger picture and see, really see, how this can enable your school and staff to grow rather than just going through the process to achieve an award.  The ‘journey’ of Artsmark is definitely more important than the destination!

We are thrilled that through the Artsmark journey we have been able to remain true to our beliefs and values which have never been changed but rather enhanced by the process and achievement of our Artsmark award. We have thoroughly enjoyed this great adventure of self-discovery!”

Would you like to develop arts and culture in your school? Find out more about Artsmark on their website here, and register your setting here.