5 reasons why you need an Artsmark Partner in your life

Published on: 
17 Apr 2019

Since the Artsmark Partnership Programme launched last year, more than 650 arts and cultural organisations have signed up, offering a whole range of brilliant cultural opportunities for both young people and their teachers.











What is this partnership programme all about, we hear you ask? And why should you get involved?

Let’s face it, we all know why cultural education is so important. Arts partnerships can play such a powerful role in developing a young person’s perspective of the world.

But what makes Artsmark Partners so special and how can they help you on your Artsmark journey?

  1. They appreciate your Artsmark priorities

Artsmark Partners know and understand the Artsmark criteria. They’ve been briefed about your Artsmark objectives and goals and can help you get there!

At Strike Lane Primary School their Artsmark Partner, Lancashire Music Education Hub, not only deliver amazing music education in school, they've helped the school identify what they're doing well and where they could improve.

This supportive way of challenging them and offering valuable feedback, helped the school develop their Statement of Commitment (the first stage of the application process for those of you new to Artsmark).

And Lancs Music Hub signposted them to other Artsmark Partners, which is why we love them!

  1. It’s opening doors to wider networks

We are one big community. After all, there’s 4,000 of you lovely Artsmark settings! But we know you can sometimes feel lonely and isolated in your practice.

Enter our Artsmark Partners who have their own network of schools and practitioners in your area who can help open doors to new friends and colleagues.

Sarah Barnes is the Design Technology teacher (and a one-woman department superstar) at Thomas à Becket Catholic School.

By joining forces with Crafts Council UK, it’s brought new skills into her teaching – and the whole school, building her confidence and crucially, she’s been introduced to other schools and teachers through the programme, sharing best practice with a like-minded community.

  1. It’s a long-term, two-way relationship

The most successful partnerships are those who get through the ups and downs and have clear lines of communication. Much like the National Theatre and Hillstone Primary School.

The National Theatre have been working with Hillstone through Let’s Play – a theatre making programme for primary schools.  As part of Let’s Play, the National Theatre has commissioned a series of new plays and Hillstone were one of the very first schools to perform them.

And the National Theatre have welcomed their feedback with open arms, helping them shape future plays and teaching resources. On the flip side, Hillstone have received excellent CPD opportunities that are now cascading down through all teaching staff.

We can’t wait to see what the future holds for these two! 

  1. It’s changing young people’s lives

We had the pleasure of spending a whole day at Hillstone Primary School, watching Year 5 get ready for their first ever school play, Hercules and Phoebe.

From seeing the final rehearsal to the dress rehearsal performed in front of their peers and friends, and the final performance for their parents and families, it was wonderful to witness every single pupil grow in confidence.

But it was speaking to the parents after the show that really tugged our heartstrings, making us realise the power these partnerships can have.

Both ‘Phoebe’ and ‘Hercules’ were the types to shy away in the background, let alone take centre stage. At home they were committed to learning their lines and the pride of their parents was amazing. They couldn’t believe how far they’d come in just six short weeks.

  1. Hitting the mark

One of the eight Artsmark criteria that settings need to demonstrate is developing valuable partnerships. Working with an Artsmark Partner helps you hit the Partnership mark!

And that’s not all. Some Partners may offer CPD opportunities - another of the Artsmark criteria. Through Let’s Play, staff attended a whole CPD day with National Theatre, where teachers were able to pass on their experiences to other teaching staff. The Crafts Council supported Sarah in developing new skills to bring back to the classroom, building her knowledge and confidence.

So, what are you waiting for? Don’t just take our word for it. Watch our new films about how the Artsmark Partnership Programme is shaping these schools’ arts provision and the lives of their students. 

Watch Hillstone Primary School creating theatre with the National Theatre

Listen to Strike Lane making music with Lancashire Music Hub

See Crafts Council's Make Your Future programme in action

Contact your regional Bridge to find Partners in your area.



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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