Ramsgate Arts Primary has won praise for the way it encourages its pupils to explore all the varied avenues of the arts.
RAPS is the only Kent school out of eight nationwide that were chosen to be part of a fact-finding in-depth report on ‘arts-rich schools’ by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).
The document states that it evaluates “case studies from the frontline of headteachers who have committed whole-heartedly to an arts-rich education and share some of the strategies they are using to deliver their vision. We were interested in schools that had a highly developed arts-based pedagogy that shaped their school curriculum, and schools that had sought to prioritise teaching a wide range of high-quality arts subjects.”
The report states that: “Ramsgate Arts Primary School (known locally as RAPS) opened in 2015 and was deliberately designed to have spaces for arts learning and the aesthetic of an art gallery. RAPS is founded on a belief that a grounding in the arts is vital if we are to give students the creative skills they need for an increasingly uncertain future.
Head of School Nick Budge told the report: “To us, it is crucial that students develop the skills needed to succeed as they move through the world.”, while Deputy Head of School Hanna Beech added that the arts are “not opt-in or opt-out” and “all pupils, whatever their background or reason for attending our school, have the same arts experiences and opportunities”.
The report looks at the use of dedicated art spaces, giving the arts a high status, developing a range of partnerships such as RAPS links with the Turner Contemporary, Dreamland Margate, the National Gallery, and regular professional dance, drama, music and artistic sessions with specialist staff.
The document concludes that the schools visited have “steadfastly committed to the arts. In doing so, they have consistently delivered curriculum breadth and cultural capital to their pupils.”
Mr Budge said: “The RSA report clearly shows that our vision and ethos at RAPS is strong, positive and is developing very healthily.
“We are proud of our achievements so far but this is an ongoing work in progress to ensure the best of arts learning for all of our children.
“To be one of just eight schools nationwide looked at as ‘arts rich’ as part of a very detailed overview of arts in education is important for RAPS and we were proud to take part and honoured to be asked.
“The report demonstrates that an arts-rich school such as RAPS requires the dedication, effort, and vision of the whole staff – we are very lucky to have a brilliant and motivated team, combined with the creative energy and developing talents of our children, plus the support of their families.”
Ramsgate Arts Primary School is part of the Viking Academy Trust with Upton Junior School at Broadstairs and Chilton Primary School, Ramsgate.