Iain Duncan Smith MP celebrates Churchfields Junior School's Artsmark Gold Award

As part of UK Parliament Week 2018, Iain Duncan Smith MP visited Churchfields Junior School to celebrate their prestigious Artsmark Gold Award, and hosted a debate with pupils, on Friday 16 November, 

Churchfields Junior School was awarded their fifth Artsmark Gold Award in July 2017, in recognition of the strength and vibrancy of their approach to arts and culture. Churchfields has an artist in residence, Vicky Thornton, and every child and teacher in the school learns a musical instrument, alongside weekly dance lessons.


During Friday's visit to the school, the MP for Chingford & Woodford Green met with the headteacher and was taken on a tour of the school, engaging in a range of creative activities (including a Bhangra dance performance by Year 3 pupils, and a woodwind lesson). He then held a question and answer session about how voting works in Parliament, followed by a debate and voting activity with Year 6 pupils. The visit took place during UK Parliament Week 2018, which ran between 12 - 18 November.

Iain Duncan Smith MP, said: 

“The enthusiasm and dedication of the pupils and staff at Churchfield Junior School to arts and music was a real pleasure to experience first-hand during my visit. I joined classes learning Bhangra dance, practising music for their forthcoming school Christmas event and talked to students about their love of drawing, as well as answering their questions.

“Learning to think like an artist is useful to everyone, whatever their career path; an artist learns to have curiosity, to think about the bigger picture and the fine detail, to think about solutions and creative answers to questions.

“It’s vital that children have the opportunity to learn and enjoy art and culture from an early age, which in turn helps them develop in all areas of life and can improve performance in other subjects too.”

He was joined on the visit by Anne Appelbaum, Director of Children and Young People at Arts Council England, who said: 

"It was a pleasure to visit Churchfield Junior School and to see the children dancing, playing instruments and drawing. Churchfields is a long-term member of the Artsmark family, recently achieving Artsmark Gold for the fifth time and the headteacher, deputy head and teaching staff show a real commitment to supporting the creative life of every pupil as part of an outstanding education."

published date: 
Monday, 19 November 2018

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