Artsmark and Poetry

This National Poetry Day, Art Coordinator Sharon Palfreyman from Corrie Primary School, talks to us about how two inspiring arts and poetry projects helped them achieve Artsmark Gold…

Corrie Primary School is based in Tameside, Greater Manchester, and when the tragic Manchester attack happened in May, pupils at our school wanted to honour the victims, and we as educators, needed to ensure we were promoting cultural diversity, equality and tackling racism in schools.

We held an arts day where the whole school created art work entries for NASUWT’s ‘Arts and Minds’ competition which promotes and celebrates cultural diversity. Our Year 4 children produced a stunning ‘This is Manchester’ display inspired by Tony Walsh’s moving ode to Manchester, ‘This Is The Place’ which has been chosen as a winning entrant. 

Poetry has always been a much-loved art form in our school, and our arts partnerships have really helped bring poetry to life within our school.

Legasee – an Arts Award Discover project

Legasee are an education charity who record oral history interviews with veterans from the armed forces and develop education resources based on the recordings for schools.

Their Korea, The Forgotten War project was a fantastic opportunity for us to combine Arts and History, so we worked in partnership with them to deliver an Arts Award Discover project. We welcomed Korean War Veteran, Brian Hough, to Corrie Primary who talked to us about his experiences and was interviewed by our children. They then designed information posters and remembrance peace symbols, as well as series of moving poems inspired by what they had learnt. 

Read all the Korea, The Forgotten War poems. 

Hunting poems with Z-Arts

Last year we got involved with Manchester-based children’s charity, Z-Arts, as a result of some of our teachers attending a professional development session focussing on the value of storytelling and exploring children’s creativity through books and stories.

We were delighted when Z-Arts invited us to take part in an exciting poetry competition, ‘We’re Going on a Poem Hunt!’ inviting us to contribute poems using the format of Michael Rosen's famous 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt' poem. Our children had so much fun working together to create their personal version of this wonderful poem. We had gorilla hunts, tiger hunts, number hunts, ice-cream hunts and so much more – it really inspired their imagination.

Our Nursery class learnt about percussion, exploring storytelling through sound and Year 2 enjoyed a creative writing workshop where they explored the five senses, experimented with language and shared their ideas on themes. Their poem, ‘We’re Going on an Ogre Hunt’, was selected as the winning entry. Read it here.

We were so excited! Corrie Primary was the first school to be invited to experience Z-Arts interactive ‘Bear Hunt, Chocolate Cake and Bad Things’ exhibition, our pupils got to meet the author himself and were even featured on Manchester TV!

















Going for Gold...

Artsmark has enabled our school to get involved with all sorts of cultural opportunities and we felt the poem hunt was a great way to engage children across the curriculum – from literature and science, to history and maths. They really enjoyed the project and worked so well together. We always teach them to try their best – and from that, good things will happen!

We are so proud to have achieved Artsmark Gold. It reflects the hard work and enjoyment all our children and staff have in the arts. Delivering projects like these ensures we provide a creative and imaginative environment to enrich all our pupils’ lives on a daily basis.

On Friday 22 September, Tameside’s Civic Mayor, Cllr Joyce Bowerman, joined us for a special assembly, and presented them with their Arts Award certificates. 




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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