Admiral Lord Nelson School is the first in the country to win a double platinum Artsmark award from Arts Council England in recognition of its excellence in cultural education.
The secondary school, which has about 1,000 pupils, cites one of its ongoing challenges as raising the cultural capital of young people in its home city of Portsmouth – where youth poverty is high – and has worked hard to develop its role as an ambassador for the arts in the city while also expanding pupils’ experiences with professional artists.
Judges noted how arts and performing arts at Admiral Lord Nelson are connected to the school’s moral vision around rights for children: it has been given a Rights Respecting Gold award from Unicef, and works with refugees and the Red Cross in Portsmouth.
Plans are now in place across the city to develop a performance/drama project incorporating the Rights Respecting aspect of Admiral Lord Nelson’s work and the theme of “diversity”.
The judges were impressed by the school’s “long-standing commitment to embedding creativity through the curriculum”.
They added: “Admiral Lord Nelson is determined to keep the creative arts and creativity right at the heart of its curriculum, and not just in those traditionally creative areas. It actively demonstrates ways of delivering more traditional subjects – the less obviously creative subjects – in creative ways. It is clear that they think about this all the time.”
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