Students and staff at Godalming College are celebrating after being one of the first College’s nationally to receive a Platinum Artsmark Award, the highest award made by Arts Council England in recognition of the quality of the College’s contribution to the arts, creativity and culture with the comment ‘Godalming is a wonderful beacon of good practice’.
Art Council England developed this award to ensure all young people have access to creative and diverse cultural experiences in education, with an emphasis on quality. It is a momentous year for the Award as it celebrates 20 years.
In their feedback the Arts Council says, 'Wow!! Where to begin? There is just so much Godalming College does to actively promote the Arts. The value you place on the Arts is outstanding and sets a high bar for others to follow. Curriculum design when it comes to the Arts is a considerable strength.
Godalming College offers 20 Arts based qualifications and many more opportunities to be involved in the arts through a unique Enrichment offer, which ensures that all students have access to the arts whether or not they are studying for an arts based qualification. The diverse nature of these experiences, the vibrancy and quality of what Godalming College offer and the strong links with individuals working in the arts and the long term partnerships that have been developed with schools, universities and other colleges, have all be recognised as providing fantastic opportunities for students.
In order to achieve the Platinum Artsmark Award, Godalming College had to develop an ambitious plan and deliver on it, which has not been easy over the past couple of years during the pandemic. Students however have continued to have opportunities to perform in online live events for Drama, Dance, Music and Performing Arts, and Exhibitions have still gone ahead for Art and Design, 3D Design, Graphic Design, Photography and Textiles plus showcases of work from Media and Technology.
The Arts Council also praised the College’s ethos of keeping in touch with Alumni and allowing peers to share good practice. “The deployment of ex-students to return as Artists in Residence to demonstrate techniques, discuss ideas and offer advice to current students whilst being given space and time to continue their own work is a great way of modelling the Arts as a career of choice. Using current students to share their expertise with other students supports your practice of “any one can be an artist” and how great those students must feel to know their knowledge and expertise is recognised and valued.”
On receiving the award, Jonathan Sparsholt, Head of Faculty for Arts and Sciences said:
“This is a fantastic accomplishment for the College and much-deserved recognition of the outstanding arts provision taking place every day. Our arts departments are creative, vibrant and supportive, building environments in which students are challenged to push their artistic expression and inspired with lifelong loves of their subjects. To have achieved ‘Platinum’ in our first Artsmark journey is remarkable and we look forward to continuing this success by supporting the artists, performers and creators of the future.”
Dr Darren Henley OBE, Chief Executive of the Arts Council, said:
“I would like to congratulate Godalming College on their Artsmark Award. Becoming an Artsmark school demonstrates that through offering a broad, ambitious, and creative curriculum, every pupil can develop character and resilience, increasing their knowledge, curiosity and skills that will remain with them through to adult life.”