A SCHOOL is celebrating after achieving a prestigious Artsmark Gold Award – in a milestone year for the programme.

South Craven School at Cross Hills has received the accolade, which supports schools to develop and celebrate arts and cultural education, in the initiative's 20th year.

Deputy headteacher, Paul Snowden, says: "We are extremely proud of achieving our Artsmark Gold Award.

"At South Craven, we are committed to delivering a high-quality arts and cultural education – with opportunities for performance, visual arts and creativity for all. And we look forward to continuing to grow with Artsmark."

He added that the award is the only creative quality standard for schools accredited by Arts Council England.

To achieve it, a plan was created to deliver arts and culture provision across the whole school.

Support was provided at various stages of the process by IVE, an organisation that helps schools develop creative education.

And South Craven is amongst eight schools in Yorkshire which are part of a four-year Burberry Inspire programme.

Each year the various schools work with a different arts partner – participants include Leeds Playhouse, Northern Ballet, the Hepworth Wakefield and Leeds Young Film.

An artist in residence from one of the organisations provides Key Stage 3 pupils with hands-on experience of different areas of the creative arts.

Paying tribute to South Craven School, an Artsmark assessor said it was "wonderful that young people were given such a strong range of options in the arts" and that the Burberry Inspire project had "led to improved student confidence and encouraged students to explore the arts as careers".

The school was congratulated on its Artsmark Award by Dr Darren Henley, chief executive of the Arts Council.

He added: "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."

Artsmark is open to primary, secondary and special schools, as well as pupil referral units and other educational establishments such as sixth-form colleges.

There are silver, gold and platinum awards.

A spokesperson said: "Artsmark’s clear and flexible framework can be used to embed creativity across the whole curriculum, address school improvement priorities and ensure every young person can access a high-quality, diverse cultural education. It can help unlock young people’s potential."

For further information about the awards, visit artsmark.org.uk.