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Understanding the Arts

Welcome to The Arts


We are 'The Arts' curriculum team and we are looking forward to working

on new initiatives which will have a lasting impact on the learning and achievement of all children for subjects in The Arts

(Music, Art and Dance).   We aim to fully embed the arts into everyday classroom learning and provide opportunities to enrich every child's experience of The Arts.


Who are we?


Sam Dykes (Leader of The Arts Curriculum Team and Artsmark)

Sally Firth (Music Coordinator)

Clare Woods (Art Coordinator)


Recent Developments

Follow up visit from IVE (who manage projects and funding on behalf of Arts Council England) to look at the work going on in school since achieving Artsmark Gold in 2017.  Because of good practice in cultural education, Poppleton Road will be able to support other schools on their Artsmark journey.  The aim of the follow up visit is to:

  • capture how Artsmark was achieved and how we found the process
  • see what we've learnt as a school 
  • see what we believe are the key benefits (including links to SMSC)
  • look at the impact on attainment and improving whole school results


100 Years Poppy Project

Children, parents, governors and teachers have been working all together with local ceramic artist Poppy Davies to create hundreds of ceramic poppies which will form an outdoor remembrance art installation.  Each child has made a poppy and a group of children who are gifted and talented for art have also worked with the artist to develop ideas for women's role in the war.  This installation will be assembled in the spring term and filled with the names of people from the local area or relatives of our children who fought and died in World War 1.


In July 2017, Poppleton Road was awarded Artsmark Gold Award which is the creative quality standard for schools, accredited by Arts Council England.  Artsmark provides a clear framework for teachers to plan, develop and evaluate arts, culture and creativity across the curriculum. 


The panel recognised Poppleton Road as being confident and committed to ensuring that arts and culture is embedded within the classroom, drawing on local networks and partners to offer quality experiences for your pupils.  Our engagement of pupil voice through learning leaders and Arts Award engagement were noted as a highlight.  The partnerships we hold with the Music Education Hub and Local Cultural Education Partnership were noted  as promising and the panel look forward to seeing how these support engagement with a wider range of partners in time.


As a result of our hard work in achieving Artsmark Gold Award, we were asked whether we would host a visit from Arts Council England and IVE (Creative Innovative Supportive) to share our experiences of working towards to Artsmark and to explain how The Arts is embedded in everything we do.  See below for the link to the full blog post for the visit.







  • Year 6 worked with York Dance Space to interpret 'Freedom'
  • Year 5 and 6 are also taking part in the Yorkshire Dance Festival for the third year running
  • Year 6 were also visited by architect Armine Sutton as part of a project with the National Trust to design a folly to go in the grounds of Fountains Abbey


What's next?

We will continue to work on developing knowledge and expertise with other schools as it was noted in our Artsmark feedback that this would be of benefit to our future development.  Miss Dykes is working with York Cultural Partnership to explore links with other schools, sharing good practice and resources.