Telford special needs school celebrates prestigious arts award

A special educational needs school in Telford is celebrating after being awarded the highest level of recognition for its creative endeavours.

Headteacher Abi Martin with head of performing arts Lauren Elliott and pupils Oliver Walker, Ben Szydlowski, Sophie Donovan and Charlie Rose, all 15
Headteacher Abi Martin with head of performing arts Lauren Elliott and pupils Oliver Walker, Ben Szydlowski, Sophie Donovan and Charlie Rose, all 15

Southall SEN school, in Dawley, has recently been awarded the Platinum Artsmark, the highest level of award that can be given to an educational establishment by Arts Council England.

The award demonstrates the commitment of the school to encouraging creativity among its pupils.

Feedback from the Arts Council noted the staff's ability to foster the passions of students and praised the school for its creativity during the pandemic.

"It is clear that Southall School is very committed to the Arts and creativity," the award reads, "Your ethos is one in which personal expression is a big part of future progression, your teachers and teaching assistants help students in finding talents, passions and outlets that allow each individual to shine.

"Your work was still site-based during Covid due to the nature of learner's needs, and you used the opportunity to get even more creative. The success you had with the Arts Award qualification is testament to this."

Headteacher Abigail Martin said she was thrilled that the school had been recognised by the Arts Council,

"I am very proud of the staff, students and parents for their hard work and imagination, and to offer these amazing opportunities," she said.

The school is also celebrating the achievements of a former Southall performing arts student who was awarded a scholarship to study film and media at university in Manchester.

Additionally, pupils have recently been working with BBC Radio 4 to create a documentary on inclusive music practice, which saw students create music and speak to documentary makers about the impact of music on their lives.

The school has also opened a multi-sensory outdoor learning space, created with plants that give off a range of smells, recycled materials for sound and different textures for touch.

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