Getting smart in art! That’s a Bury school which is believed to be the first in the borough to snap up a top arts award at the first attempt.
Bury Catholic Preparatory School is celebrating after being awarded the coveted Artsmark Gold by the Arts Council England.
The accolade recognises the Manchester Road school’s firm commitment to art and co-incides with an innovative arts project currently involving the prep school and nearby Holy Cross College.
Teacher and arts co-ordinator, Elizabeth Gaskell said: “The Artsmark award was set up eight years ago and I found out about this three years ago. I began to look into it and spent a year auditing everything that we already did. We found out that as far as the guidelines were concerned, with an extra push we could apply for gold.
“We applied last November for the award after auditing everything we did. After being assessed, we were recommended for gold and then later we were told we had achieved it. The extra push involved us reaching out to the community, putting on a concert at the Grundy Day Care Centre and our choir taking part in a carol service in Bury town centre.”
Bury Catholic Preparatory School’s devotion to the arts is well documented. Pupils already benefit from a whole range of art-related subjects and activities including painting and drawing, dance, ballet, guitar lessons, dance workshops and fencing.
Elizabeth added: “We’ve also shown partnership with another educational establishment and done work on the model of a man with Holy Cross College.
“Our children did the template for it. Our Year 1 pupils sat down and helped design different parts of the body and we made our 7ft sculpture out of cardboard.
“The Holy Cross students took it away and assembled it.
“Our children have been working with Holy Cross to refine their sculpture skills and they spent an afternoon at the school assembling the sculpture.”
Commenting on the Artsmark award, she added: “As far as I am aware, it is rare to receive gold at the first approach. Naturally, we are all delighted.”