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Artsmark Gold! - Yes, we have done it again!

North Lakes School is delighted to announce that they have been re-awarded with the prestigious Artsmark Gold Award, which recognises the school’s commitment to the arts throughout the school and in its wider community.

The staff at the school have worked hard to ensure that Music, Art, Drama and Dance are embedded in the curriculum and the Gold Award validates and confirms this commitment. Artsmark assessor Jane Nattrass, visited the school in the Autumn Term and after talking to staff, children, governors and visiting practitioners, commented that, “North Lakes is a good example of a Gold School - they are ambitious, aim high and encourage the pupils to have high aspirations”.

Mrs Nattrass saw the children at work, and was thrilled by the wide variety of art forms and the range of displays. She praised the breadth and depth of the Arts in the school and recognised how North Lakes works within the community, through projects such as: Drama opportunities with Dragonfly Theatre Group, Quandom, and QEGS; Creative writing with Wordsworth Bookshop, Penrith Library, author Alan Gibbons and the Kate Greenaway Award; Dance with UCC, UDance Cumbria and Sally Hardacre; Art with QEGS, Karen MacDougall (Penrith Museum) and various visiting practitioners; and Music & Singing with Sing Up, BlueJam, Jilly Jarman, BBC, Sainsbury’s and the North Cumbria Transition Choir & Ensemble.

Headteacher Mike Pincombe said, “This is an important national award that celebrates the hard work of staff and children in the arts and recognises the involvement and support of the whole community. At North Lakes we aim to provide a wide range of high quality opportunities so the children can grow in confidence and enjoy using the arts to express themselves. I would like to thank parents, governors, staff and all the agencies who have worked with us to help us achieve this award.” 

Several exciting new projects are underway including a Tree Whisperers Project with Carlisle Archives Centre, Intergenerational Reading activities at Winter’s Park, Penrith, poetry sessions at Wordsworth bookshop, a visit to the Herald to see how real journalists are inspired to work, and poetry study at Dove Cottage. The school’s ongoing project, the North Cumbria Transition Choir & Ensemble runs in partnership with BlueJam Arts and is now in its 5th successful year involving 24 schools from Eden and North Cumbria.

The school has an established partnership with Creative Futures Cumbria and Cumbria Music Education Hub, It is also a community arts base used by many Arts organisations and community groups such as ACT Theatre Group, BJamba Samba Band, Bluejam Young Songwriters, Jazztalk, Holi Ilex Yoga and Soundwave.

In December 2013 North Lakes School was recognised as a ‘Good’ school during their Ofsted inspection and the Artsmark award builds on the school’s success as a Sing Up Platinum School, and SAPERE Silver School for Philosophy for Children. More information about the arts opportunities available at North Lakes can be found by visiting the school website: