School’s music award

MANGOTSFIELD School has been given an award for its art, music and drama teaching.

The secondary school has been awarded a silver Artsmark Award, a quality standard for arts and cultural education accredited by Arts Council England.

The school unveiled a new vision for art, music and drama teaching after the lockdown, aiming to engage pupils who might find traditional classroom learning a challenge through a combination of opportunities including choir and drumming clubs, pottery and photography workshops, year group art trips to London’s National Portrait Gallery and theatres, and connections with artists.

The school has also hosted art workshops for Year 5 and 6 pupils at local primary schools and visited primary schools to share music.

Head teacher Hetty Blackmore said: “There is a real sense of belonging and ownership as students have had the opportunity to perform at concerts, demonstrate and sell their art at local community trails, and collaborate with Artsmark partners such as Art Bytes.

“Whilst we are very pleased to be awarded the silver, we are now aiming for the platinum award.

“We will use this platform as a springboard to celebrate the breadth of our school cohort.

“Already, we have new schemes of work in place celebrating the diversity, equity and inclusion of our community.

“We have two years to achieve the platinum and I am confident that our ambitious staff and fantastic students will rise to the challenge.”

Talent showcase

TALENTED young musicians from the region’s schools will perform on the same bill as professionals in Mangotsfield’s St James Church.

Organisers of the area’s Ham Farm Festival are holding a one-off concert on April 29 at 7pm.

Children from South Gloucestershire Music Hub will play for 30 minutes at the start, before a one-hour performance from professional violin and guitar duo Paco y Julian.

Festival organiser and musician Emily Correa, who also teaches flute at Downend School, said: “The idea of the concert is to enable local people and particularly local young people to hear world-class music making, and also to get young musicians in the area performing on a professional stage, to a public audience, showcasing the talent of South Gloucestershire youth.

“It’s the first time a concert like this has happened in South Gloucestershire, but we hope not the last.”

Tickets for the event, which is being subsidised by the festival, are free to under-18s and cost £10 in advance for adults, online at, or £12 on the door.