Be the best you can be with Artsmark

Published on: 
4 Oct 2018

"The Artsmark Award has been a part of Havelock Academy for over ten years now, holding a Gold award under the previous framework, and in 2017 we gained our Platinum Award in the new, refreshed framework. 

What is so great about the award is the fact that it is so much more than a certificate on the wall.  It is a motivator for all of us to continue to meet our academy motto, “Broadening Horizons”, through a continuous, high-quality arts programme, in and out of the curriculum.  So what does all of that actually mean in practice?

Well, we love the arts at Havelock! When I was Head of Arts I worked tirelessly to ensure that myself and the arts team were everywhere. All of the time. This high profile ensured that students couldn’t escape from us!  This ethos has continued under new leaders, fully supported by myself and the rest of the senior leadership team, as the benefits that the arts provide to our students are so huge.  We serve a community that faces high levels of poverty and deprivation.  Without us at the heart of that community, many of our young people would only ever come across the arts on the television – if they were lucky.  So we make sure they are part of an arts community from the minute they step through the doors each morning.

We do this through high-quality arts lessons, in music, dance and drama, as well as mapping out arts provision across other curriculum subjects.  We also offer a wide range of clubs and activities after school and in the holidays.  We work closely with the David Ross Education Trust, which we are part of, on large scale arts events and projects, and we run lots of trips and visits. But what else?

We sing! When we became an academy in 2008, the teachers that made up the performing arts team at the time spent a rainy Friday afternoon writing an “academy song”, encompassing everything we were setting out to be as an academy.  The principal at the time loved it and it became our song – sung in celebration assemblies and at other school events.  Everyone learnt it – and I do mean everyone! The words were printed in student planners, and we sang it in music lessons and assemblies.  I went into house assemblies on a rota to help the heads of house with the singing.

We then introduced The House Shout – our annual choral competition – where each of the eight houses prepares a song, and sings it for the rest of the school, with guest judges awarding points, and a trophy for the winning house.  I was so proud that the house that I was a part of only went and won it for the first two years! Go Archer House!  There were some grumbles about that house having a music teacher, so it not being fair, but I have to attribute a lot of the success to a humanities teacher in our house, who did most of the work with them, whilst I was busy helping in other houses.

So between rehearsing for the House Shout, and singing the Academy Song, Havelock really did become a Singing School.  We are so proud of this.  It is part of our identity as an academy – with the words to our song being a useful reminder to everyone about what we stand for, and why we want to retain our Artsmark Award, the first line being, “Be the best that you can be at Havelock Academy…”


Emma Marshall, Deputy Principal, Havelock Academy

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Cultural education gives children and young people the opportunity to develop their creativity, both individually and collectively, and that's why our goal is for every child and young person to have the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts.

Darren Henley
Chief Executive
Arts Council England

It's vital that children have the opportunity to learn and enjoy arts and culture from an early age. It develops their creativity, inspires future careers and enriches their childhood.

Artsmark Award does brilliant work in schools and education to ensure young people access a broad and balanced curriculum that includes high-quality arts and culture.

Michael Ellis MP
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism
Department of Culture, Media and Sport