Peterborough school has struck arts gold

The Encore group performing at the recent Yaxley Festival
The Encore group performing at the recent Yaxley Festival

Sawtry Village Academy near Peterborough has been awarded the prestigious Gold Arts Mark, accredited by Arts Council England.

The Arts Mark aims to unlock the potential of young people by using the arts to develop their character and talent and increase their knowledge of creative fields.

Simon Parsons, headteacher at the academy, part of the Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust, said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded the Gold Arts Mark. It is very important to us that we continue to extend the boundaries of learning for our students and we have been committed to developing our arts provisions to provide new, exciting and educational experiences for our students.

“As a result of the initiatives we have put in place, the GCSE uptake for creative subjects has increased. This summer 60 students will gain a Technology GCSE and this will increase to 103 students by 2021. Media studies now has two GCSE classes and 25 per cent of the Year 8 cohort have opted to take music. This is fantastic and we look forward to sharing our learning with other schools in the Trust.”

Arts lead Hannah Hughes added: “We have been working hard to ensure our students have the opportunity to experience a wide variety of arts-related activities. Having professionals visit and speak to our students has inspired and encouraged them to pursue their interest within the arts.”

The academy has introduced an ‘Encore’ performance group which give students the opportunity to perform throughout the year at school and locally.

The academy has also partnered with Young Technicians, who teach students how to run the lights and sound at shows, and has links with Peterborough Community Radio where students are invited to perform. One student has even been offered her own online radio show.