Our KS4 curriculum has never had compulsory arts, but large numbers of students have always chosen arts subjects (particularly our ‘specialists’ – students who have an aptitude for visual arts and are admitted on one of our specialist places).
It gave a focus to school improvement, and a sense of pride in its achievements, as well as providing a vehicle for cross-curricular and community work.
The school is now outstanding and Ofsted (2008) noted how the arts impacted on the creativity of the school. All progress measures are now above national averages and CVA in 2011 places us 7th in the country. 60% 5+ A*-C E/M in 2012 and 100% 5+ A*-C in a year group which was imbalanced towards the lower ability.