Ramsgate Arts Primary – It’s Just brilliant!
Bright, beautiful and brilliant – that’s what pupils feel about Thanet’s first specialist arts primary that has opened its doors for the start of the new school year.
And feedback from families to staff has been equally impressive, with positive reaction to Ramsgate Arts Primary’s new £4 million state-of-the-art building. The opening follows two years of operating from mobile classrooms on the Chilton Primary site in the town after initially launching as Ramsgate Free School in September 2015.
The new specialist curriculum has a pioneering focus on art, drama, dance and music being taught for half of every day in purpose-built studios, balanced with learning the core International Primary Curriculum.
With arts development central to the school, a year-long learning arrangement with the award-winning Turner Contemporary in Margate is already under way.
Head of school Nick Budge said: “For a specialist arts school, the link with such a prestigious gallery as Turner Contemporary is fantastic for our pupils and our staff.
“It is widely recognised as one of the leading art centres in the UK and we are proud to be working with their team. This is an amazing journey that marries art and education.”
The world of arts is very much to the fore, with pupils being introduced to their new school houses, named after modern luminaries – their House Heroes.
They are:- award-winning international contemporary artist Tracey Emin who comes from Margate (Emin House); acclaimed dancer, writer and television celebrity Darcey Bussell (Bussell House); broadcaster, actor, DJ, and musician Idris Elba (Elba House); and choral conductor and broadcaster Gareth Malone (Malone House).
Mr Budge said: “We chose the House names to reflect inspirational and innovative people from the arts world. We are sure the children will engage with the concept and enjoy finding out about their ‘House Heroes.’
As pupils settled into their spacious and bright new world, the school council members who visited the Newington Road site as it was being constructed in the last year shared their thoughts on their new surroundings.
Head boy Malaki said: “It is very exciting to have a new school built just for us. I saw it go from a pile of rubble to this brilliant place. It was like magic.”
Head girl Lilly agreed: “It makes me feel cosy and safe. It is quieter for learning, even though there are lots of children. It is a lovely place to be to do our work and have fun.”
Jacob: “It is 1000 times better than our old school. There is so much more space, with room to explore.”
Josephine: “It is great to have a large playground and field to ourselves.”
Jamie: “There is more room to learn and do experiments and it is not so noisy. My family said it is fantastic, and I agree a million times over.”
Ramsgate Arts Primary School is part of the Viking Academy Trust with Upton Juniors at Broadstairs and Chilton Primary. Executive Head teacher Michaela Lewis said: “The new build is a great step forward for the area - it is a fabulous space for teaching and learning and is somewhere that the children of Thanet can flourish in our arts programme.”
She added that working with Turner Contemporary “recognises the importance to arts development of having a dedicated arts primary school. These are exciting times.”
Turner Contemporary’s Schools Officer said “It is fantastic to see a new Thanet primary school putting arts at the heart of their approach. We are delighted that Ramsgate Arts Primary School has taken the initiative to make the most of our world class programme and unique expertise to enhance their curriculum across 2017/18.”
Children have already got into the swing of their link with the local gallery, creating pictures of the distinctive centre at Margate harbour and making models of it from recycled materials.
During October to celebrate the opening all pupils will visit Turner Contemporary and work with gallery ‘navigators’. During this time the young artists will create work both at school and in the gallery.
Pupils will also visit exhibitions at Turner Contemporary each term during the academic year 2017/18, and the gallery’s Schools Officer will provide information on exhibitions to help teachers plan how they can be used as a spring-board for cross curricular learning.
*For more information, contact Mr Budge on 01843 582847, or email firstname.lastname@example.org