Trailblazing arts initiative to enhance performing arts education

Ormiston Sudbury Academy, Stoke High – Ormiston Academy, Ormiston Denes Academy, Ormiston Victory Academy, Cliff Park Ormiston Academy

Students and staff from five OAT academies across the country launched a unique collaborative initiative that will enhance performing arts education for their students.

The event was organised by Leo Cox, Enrichment Champion for Performing Arts and Head of Performance Faculty at Ormiston Sudbury Academy in Suffolk, and attended by students and staff from Stoke High School - Ormiston Academy, in Ipswich; Ormiston Denes Academy, in Lowestoft; Ormiston Victory Academy, in Norwich and Cliff Park Ormiston Academy, in Gorleston.

Together the academies launched the Bronze Arts Award for their students, a qualification that supports young people to grow as artists and arts leaders. With funding from Ormiston Trust, Ormiston Sudbury Academy was able to provide free training and workshops for staff and students at the launch event. The training (run by Trinity London) enables staff to become Arts Award Advisors in their academies and ensure that students are formally supported in their artistic endeavours. Throughout the day students were also given the opportunity to attend a number of workshops, all of which were geared towards earning them credits to get them one step closer to achieving a Bronze Arts Award.

Hannah Morris, Drama Teacher at Ormiston Denes Academy said: "It was a fantastic day and the students and staff here at Ormiston Denes Academy would like to extend a very big thank you to Leo Cox for coordinating and running such a successful event. The training was fantastic for me and left me with plans for running the programme buzzing around my head and subsequently my line management’s.  We hope to incorporate the Arts Award into our curriculum."

This was also the start of a collaborative initiative between the academies which aims to develop professional links between performing arts staff. This will allow them to collaborate on special events and activities and ensure that they can easily share best practice across the academies.

The initiative comes after we launched the OAT Enrichment Charter in 2016 which states that every one of our students will experience widespread cultural, outward bound and sporting opportunities whilst at an Ormiston Academy.  This commitment aims to ensure that all OAT students, no matter what their background, develop the skills needed to succeed in life after school and have access to the opportunities that will enable them to do so.

Leo Cox, Head of Performance Faculty at Ormiston Sudbury Academy, said: "This initiative is a hugely important part of the Ormiston Enrichment Charter – fostering fantastic collaboration between our academies and ensuring that best practice can be shared effectively, allowing students to receive the high quality support and enrichment opportunities they deserve."

For more information, please contact Leo Cox, Enrichment Champion for Performing Arts at Ormiston Sudbury Academy.