‘I cannot scream praise high enough for the teachers within Bedford Arts. It is their natural talent for nurturing and growth of self-esteem that has quite literally been life-changing for my daughter’. Mrs Downs, (parent of an Arts student at Bedford High School).
Bedford High School is a Gold Artsmark School, Lead Artsmark School, Music Mark, Royal Exchange Ambassador School and National Theatre Flagship School. The Arts Faculty is composed of Art, Dance, Drama and Music and our united vision is to ‘Bring out the best in everyone through creative thinking and expression’. This statement is at the forefront of everything we do to ensure our students have as many high-quality Arts opportunities as possible.
We run five GCSE courses and between 40% – 50% of students at KS4 study an Arts subject. Music GCSE grades are above the national average. We are proud that our students on average achieve two to three grades above the national average. Over 200 students participate in at least 10 Arts-based clubs on a weekly basis ranging from dance, choir, musical theatre, drama group, music composition, rock school, flute club, brass band and art club. These clubs culminate in shows throughout the year such as the Christmas show, pantomime, talent show, KS4 and vocal showcase evenings, lunchtime theatre clubs and our summer musical, this year we are performing Sister Act. We pride ourselves on giving the wow factor by producing high-quality shows worthy of Youth Theatre standard, we feel this is the reason we have over 4000 people attend our shows each year.
We also take part in many community, regional and national events including Leigh Carnival Festival, Leigh Canal Festival, Wigan Music Hub events, dance competitions, art competitions, Music for Youth, SLICE projects and National Theatre events to name a few.
The faculty has ‘Arts Ambassadors’ across the Arts subjects. Their role is to drive the Arts across the school, organising live events and leading Arts clubs. Introducing the role of Arts Ambassadors has not only developed student leadership but also helped raise the profile of the Arts with increased uptake in Arts events.
Our cultural provision is something we are very proud of at Bedford. Students have opportunities to visit theatre performances, museums, art galleries, dance shows, music trips and take part in workshops with professional artists. We work closely with local, regional and national partnerships to ensure our students work with the best professionals in the creative industries.
Providing our young people with excellent career guidance is very important to us at Bedford and especially in our Arts faculty. The creative industries are growing faster than any other sector in the UK. Every year the UK’s creative industries contribute £92billion. The growth of the sector is expected to grow predicting that the creative industries could be worth £128.4billion to the UK economy by 2025 and help to create up to a million more jobs by 2030. We host careers lunches where professionals from the creative industries speak to our students about pathways into their careers. We also host an annual careers fair where we have a vast array of professionals from the creative industries speak to our students to help them understand the opportunities in the creative & cultural industries.