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Fantastic news that we have achieved a GOLD status in our Arts Mark. Well done to Laura and Shaun who painstakingly filled in an extensive application, and also many thanks to all staff for their contributions.

The validators summative comments:

CCHS is very special setting with Arts at the core of its vision and provision. They operate best practice in all of the Artsmark areas, exceeding benchmarks even in challenging circumstances. Their approach is innovative and the arts are incorporated in original and inspiring ways. The commitment to the Arts for their therapeutic role is strong, but also for the positive outcomes they produce across the curriculum. Partnerships are sustained and well planned. The level of joint planning and feedback would be exemplary for a 'mainstream' school. The Head, Governors and Teachers are deeply committed to the Arts. Teachers are inspired and excited by artistic collaboration. Artistic risks are taken and financial support given to projects. Staff are give freedom to explore artistic approaches and responsibility for projects. Students articulated the positive benefits of artistic activity and showed pride and engagement in the provision at CCHS. The commitment to a number of artists-in-residence (particularly Shaun Dolan) has a very positive effect. It ensures creative thinking, staff development, and a wide range of artistic influences, with high expectations for students’ artistic output. This has resulted in recent international recognition of project outcomes. CCHS embrace technology to support the arts and create digital art. Innovative use of QR codes, online software and mobile devices to make an interactive light installation that reflects students experience of being in hospital – a really fantastic example of arts influencing well -being and being used to communicate to the wider community. Use of video and video conferencing for documentation and teaching. CCHS has a strong and strategic plan for developing their provision and working on areas for improvement. They have identified developing links with local schools who could benefit from their expertise. I also recommend developing links through the Artsmark Network, and skills swapping. A strong application with detailed evidence provided. The visit showcased the diversity of the setting with additional evidence presented. The commitmentand passion for the Arts was clear. I very much enjoyed learning more about this unique and diverse school and meeting such creative and committed staff and students.


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