BLOG: Arts Award at Jarrow Cross Primary school

10 February 2020

Arts Award at Jarrow Cross Primary school

Jarrow Cross Primary School is a huge advocate of the arts and holds an Artsmark award at silver level. As champions of creativity, we endeavour to provide a rich and stimulating curriculum which will develop children’s cultural capital. Jarrow Cross has been delivering Arts Award since 2013. Children within our setting have the opportunity to achieve Arts Award at Discover and Explore levels. The impact has had a huge impact upon children’s confidence and wellbeing.

Over the years we have worked alongside a variety of creative practitioners and arts organisations. We have close links with the Customs House, who have proven to be invaluable in our endeavour to provide a broad and exciting curriculum. The Arts Award groups have had the opportunity to visit ongoing exhibitions at the Customs House and take part in creative workshops within the gallery. The children also visit BALTIC to look at the contemporary art on display and have taken part in ‘The Big Draw’.

In 2017, funding was acquired from the Jarrow Big Lottery Fund and was used to deliver a selection of Arts Award creative workshops. A variety of local artists were invited into school to work alongside the children and their parents.

The creative practitioners included ceramics artist Di Rutledge, artist and sculpture, David Wilkinson, a local environmental artist group, Wiliby Rocs and local Biro artist Jane Lee McCracken.

The ‘Discover in a Day’ workshops were a huge success and enabled 103 children (33% of the school) to achieve Arts Award at Discover level.  

The ‘Discover in a Day’ workshops then inspired Jane Lee McCracken to develop further workshops highlighting the plight of endangered animals and she delivered a pre-exhibition workshop in school, ‘Where Did all the Animals Go?’ These workshops were also delivered to additional schools within the North East including Royal Grammar School, Newcastle and Mortimer Road Primary School in South Shields.

Children’s work was exhibited at Thought Foundation in June 2019. The exhibition included an endangered species wall display of Biro drawings created by the children and parents, family members or carers who took part in our original workshop at Jarrow Cross

Jane’s Drawing for Endangered species workshops were run in conjunction with the Born Free Foundation with 25% of fees donated to BFF. The president of The Born Free Foundation, Will Travers, came along to the exhibition and BFF are now advocates of The Endangered Species project. The project has developed further and plans to complete further workshops and exhibit in 2021 are underway.